Skip to main content

Presidential limo remains in service a little while longer

The Obama-administration’s Cadillac presidential limousine will remain in service for the rest of 2017 as newly inaugurated president Donald Trump settles into the oval office.

Originally delivered in 2009, the armoured Cadillac limo, nicknamed “The Beast”, will continue to serve president Trump until the new Cadillac One or Ground Force One as it’s also known, arrives in a pre-determined delivery window by General Motors’ luxury division.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ride in the motorcade from the White House to the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., July 21, 2010, to sign the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Former president Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden ride in the motorcade in Washington, D.C., July 21, 2010 (official White House photo by Pete Souza).

Believed to have eight-inch thick armoured doors as heavy as a Boeing 757’s with five-inches of armoured polycarbonate window protecting a completely airtight sealed cabin to prevent chemical attacks, the super-heavy limo (official weight is classified for security) also has kevlar run-flat tyres with nylon inner tubes on reinforced rims to keep it mobile in the event of tyre attacks, roadside bombs or other explosive attacks. The underbelly is also armoured for the same reason.

The diesel engine has little confirmed information, but is believed to be drawn from the Chevrolet Kodiak truck range (likewise the chassis) and tuned to haul the limo’s mass and girth. Diesel is used due to its low volatility and availability around the world compared with petrol – the tank is sealed with a special foam to protect from explosion.

Other goodies festooned inside The Beast are believed to include a small-scale armoury of weapons, tear gas, firefighting and oxygen supply equipment plus a cache of the president’s blood in the event of injury and emergency blood transfusion. It’s believed the front and rear of the limo can emit ‘chaff’ (metallic explosive missile deterrents), smoke grenades and tear gas. The driver also gets infa-red and night vision screens to ensure driving can continue through smoke and in total darkness without using headlights.

Passenger numbers amount to seven to include the Secret Service’s head protection agent, a guest or two, plus the highly-skilled driver and additional Secret Service. Seatbelts are even designed to release inward as opposed to outward, presumably to allow more ergonomic exit of the vehicle in the event of having to escape.The Beast_Cadillac Presidential Limo

The Beast is always strategically parked between the president and crowds, and is staged just off-screen when television cameras are poised to record the president meeting anyone in a public space. This uses the vehicle as a protective wall in the event of coming under hostile attack. It’s also unknown exactly how many identical Beasts there are, but multiple vehicles travel at any one time.

A highly armoured communications vehicle nicknamed Roadrunner, built on a Chevrolet Suburban SUV, follows The Beast at all times, and a C-17 Globemaster plane transports it around the world when the president takes Air Force One to leave the White House. Roadrunner acts as a direct communications link to the motorcade on the ground.

Trump will receive an updated version of The Beast at some time in 2017 without a specific delivery date.