The Evolution of Luxury Transport

The Evolution of Luxury Transport

From ancient civilisations in Egypt to supercars in modern society– we pay tribute to Luxury Transportation through the ages in this Multi-part Blog Series.  Let’s start our journey taking a closer look at the progress from Ancient Times to the internal-combustion engine and see how Luxury transportation has evolved.


It all started in Egypt with human-powered luxury transport when the Pharaoh’s who ruled during Ancient times wanted to find a unique and luxurious way to travel during religious ceremonies and hence the “litter” was born as a mode of transport. Not very fast (0-60 in a couple of hours give take) but comes with great air conditioning.

Human-powered transportation evolved to a one-cylinder engine etienne_lenoir_automobilewhen in 1860 the French engineer Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir introduced us to a workable internal-combustion engine that ran on coal gas and was ignited by an electric spark. This engine was able to power a road vehicle in 1863.


The next step was liquid fuel and we have Siegried Marcus, an Austrian Inventor to thank for his four-wheeled design with internal combustion engine. It was however 25 years later that first real forerunner for the modern automobile emerged. This vehicle was called the Panhard-Levassor and designed by Emile Levassor.


The next area of inventors during the 1890’s and 1930’s played around with how automobiles were powered – steam, gasoline, electricity (batteries) were popular choices. American steam cars were considered the crème de la crème during this area thanks to their low noise levels and the smooth ride they offered. The Stanley Steamers grabbed all the attention with it’s land speed record in 1906. It managed to travel 205.9 kilometres per hour. The only downside to steamers were the danger of overheating the boiler and the long time it took to build up steam.


The internal-combustion engine however was here to stay as it advantages outweighed its disadvantages during those early days.

Next part in our Multi-part Blog series we continue the journey looking at Luxury transportation through the ages.