California's Bespoke Coach used the recent LA Auto Show to reveal its latest luxury van. The 144 Executive Coach is a smaller, less expensive alternative to its full-size Sprinter 170 coach, but the new model doesn't slouch on comfort or luxury. Buyers can enjoy everything from custom-made recliners, to a built-in bar, to an entertainment system with dual LED TVs, Apple TV and DirecTV.
Having had the opportunity to scope out a few aftermarket luxury vans lately, we have to wonder: Why is the car/SUV-based limousine a thing when there are vans like the Brabus Business Lounge out there? Luxury vans offer tons of space, comfy recliners, entertainment systems with large TVs, enough headroom to move comfortably around the cabin, and in the case of models like the Senzati Jet Sprinter, even a bathroom. Granted a tinted-out black Escalade looks cooler than a tall van from the outside, but when it comes to the part of the vehicle you actually spend time in, we'll take the luxury van every time.
The Escalade/van comparison is relevant because Bespoke positions the 144 Executive Coach as an alternative to a gussied-up Cadillac Escalade ESV. Based on the 144-in (366-cm) wheelbase Sprinter 2500, the new model is larger than the Escalade but 41 inches (104 cm) shorter bumper to bumper and 11 inches (28 cm) shorter in height than Bespoke's standard 170-in wheelbase Sprinter luxury van.
"The 144 Executive Coach is impressively spacious – it is 9 in (23 cm) longer and 20 in (51 cm) taller than the Cadillac Escalade ESV," said Bespoke president Gabi Mashal in introducing the van. "There's no need to stretch an Escalade, the 144 Executive Coach provides similar maneuverability with a lot more headroom."
Bespoke makes a proper limo out of it by splitting the driver and passenger cells with a partition wall with privacy window. Two Maybach-inspired six-way-adjustable leather captain's recliners face out from that partition wall, and the other two face forward, creating an intimate lounge. Multicolor ambient LED lighting, artificial wood flooring and piano black trim help create a warmer space for occupants.
Regular drivers may have to wait for fully autonomous concepts like the Volvo Concept 26 to come to fruition before regularly enjoying a relaxing, no-hassle commute, but passengers of the Bespoke 144 can enjoy that commute in the present tense, no grabbing the steering wheel or stomping the pedals involved. The van keeps them entertained with an impressive hardware suite that includes a 40-in Samsung LED TV on the partition wall, a 32-in Samsung TV on the rear wall, dual 8-in tablets, and a 900-watt, eight-speaker Focal sound system. The tablets run Bespoke's app, offering control of cabin features.
Available video sources include an 80 Blu-ray movie server, wall-mounted HDMI input, DirecTV and Apple TV. Other options include an LED-lit minibar, rear center console with two motorized laptop tables and a refrigerator/freezer, Nespresso machine, motorized window shades, and tablet controlled passenger-driver intercom.
The 144 Executive Coach starts at US$149,900 as a full van or $105,000 as a conversion.
Source: Bespoke Coach
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