Big-Shot Transport: the Brilliant Mercedes Sprinter

March 25th, 2011

Mercedes-Brilliant Sprinter

My father liked the term “big shot” and sometimes fancied himself one. But he drove big Buicks and Lincolns and would have laughed at the idea of transporting VIPs and celebs in a conveyance like this.

After all, it’s really a delivery van, albeit a very fancy one, chauffeured and fitted out with every convenience and comfort (but apparently no toilet). According to its website, Brilliant Transport’s fleet operates on the East Coast, “with a focus on the Hamptons” (thank God!), and in Los Angeles, with side trips to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Malibu.

If you hired one to take you to Tijuana, would they do that, I wonder? I’m sorry, but nice as it is, this ain’t no limo, and if you took one to a high-level business meeting, what would your colleagues think as you parked next to their Lincoln Town Cars or sleek Maybachs? Is it the caterer pulling in? A SWAT team?

Brilliant Mercedes SprinterRichard Fertig, Brilliant’s founder, says, “Most NBA basketball players can stand up inside with room to spare.” Which they had better not do in traffic, unless they’re getting out to use the facilities in a 7-Eleven. (If Brilliant wants to do this thing right, they need to plan bathroom stops in good places, like all the second-class buses in Mexico do.)

BenzInsider says you can buy the Sprinter Grand Edition (only at M-B’s Manhattan store) for $189,850, and to some that looks like a bargain—if you don’t factor in cost.

If you took Brilliant’s van from New York to Boston, say, it would be comfortable indeed, and would pick up you and your party at your door. Amtrak’s Acela would get you there from Penn Station (which is no picnic) in about 3 and a half hours, and no Sprinter could make it that fast. Cost for a first-class seat (with wi-fi) is $238. I don’t know what Brilliant would charge, but you can check.

What price exclusivity, after all?

Would you prefer getting chauffeured in a Brilliant Sprinter or a Maybach sedan?

—jgoods

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