29th September 2007, outside the headquarters of Binz UK. Yes, that's right, Binz, not Benz.
Now don't go thinking that this fine car (GBP80K plus) has anything to do with those ghastly cut-and-shut American stretch limos. Binz is a German coach builder and Mercedes fully approve these vehicles which are built this way from the start, often with heavier duty parts than the original. Unlike most conversions, this car comes with a full Certificate of Conformity, a full DaimlerChrysler guarantee and even the more unusual parts can be ordered through the main Mercedes system. All vehicle systems such as ABS are preserved and the limo is crash-tested.
Our test car was fitted with the same E220CDI engine found in the standard E Class that we featured on the Verdict a few weeks ago; it was more than capable of hauling around the longer, heavier Binz model. The increased length is scarcely noticeable, even on tight roundabouts.
I've been keen to get this car onto the Verdict since trying it at the SMMT test day a few months ago, and it didn't disappoint.