In September of 2018, the newest models of the Presidential State Car debuted for their first day of work. The new model began production back in 2014. In this list, we will refer to The Presidential State Car as any car that has previously or currently carries the leader of the free world. With each model, they are multiple cars.
For the most part, they are all identical within their model range. The Presidential State Car also goes by “The Beast,” or “Cadillac One,” among other names. The Presidential State Car is no ordinary automobile, as it takes ranks with some of the most expensive cars on the road and is loaded with features to protect some of the most important people in the nation. Here are some incredible facts about the Presidential State Car in all its uses, models, and glory over the years.
These things ain’t cheap! The 2009-2019 model of the Presidential State Car cost $1.5 million each. That’s 8 times more than a Bentley! The newest model, which debuted in September of 2018, is reported to cost roughly $15 million dollars for a dozen vehicles. Once you crank out the math, that comes out to a little over a million dollars per car – $1.25 million to be exact. Either way you look at it, it’s an expensive ride. But would we want anything less for such an important vehicle?
There are no keyholes. The Secret Service agents in charge of operating the vehicle are the only people who know how to open the car. We wish we could provide more details on how this works, but it is such a high-clearance security matter that the it is well above our pay grades. The model seen here is one of the new Presidential State Cars produced in the late 2010’s; one of 12 total models in the newest line.
Look at a dollar bill, and then subtract an inch from its length. That’s how wide the breakproof glass is on the Presidential State Cars is; 5 inches thick! The Presidential State Car has five-inch thick breakproof glass for maximum protection against any threat to the high-ranking officials inside. This is just one of the many precautions from exterior threats that “The Beast” is outfitted with.
The “2009 Presidential State Car” is the first presidential limo not to carry a specific model name, according to General Motors. Until this point in the process of First Cars, they all were truly modified versions of already-existing cars. The model created for the 2009 version began production in the mid 2000’s and was basically put together from scratch – earning it a lack of model name.
Sometimes, “The Beast” is a decoy. America’s leader doesn’t always travel around in the $1 million+ vehicle designed specifically for him. No, often times he travels in an armored bus referred to as “Ground Force One”.
There are whole teams of individuals whose responsibility is to ensure there are several back-up measures in place in case of a serious incident. That’s why there is always two pints of blood in the type of the #1 passenger inside of the vehicle at all times. Additionally, at least one oxygen tank is stored on board at all times as well. When you are transporting the leader of the free world, it’s always a good decision to include some due diligence for backup scenarios.
In 1964, the Lincoln Continental, code named “X-100” received massive protective upgrades including; heavy armor plating on the exterior frame and new armored hard-top. It was used for another three years until its retirement in 1967. However, the newly-protected Lincoln stayed in government use for another decade before it was sent to Henry Ford Museum.
The Presidential State Car travels with a lot of unique, individualized items that probably will never get used, but also are things you don’t want to get caught without. Like a mechanic! Yes, the Presidential State Car brigade always travels with its own mechanic at all times. This mechanic is a federal agent who carries a plethora of diagnostic equipment and tools in the Presidential motorcade wherever it goes. Stay tuned to see later in this list how that mechanic got to work one day in a foreign country.
There is a ‘Panic’ button inside the Presidential State Car – we have no knowledge on what motions it sets into action. The best guess is that it deploys a series of anti-aggressor options while signaling to nearby officials/operative/law enforcement to provide assistance A.S.A.P. There very well may even be more than one button, in case the passengers in the back seat or the drivers up front aren’t able to press it. Let’s hope we never find out.
It’s not invincible! if anything its myriad of precautionary options and specialized machinery make it difficult to manage at certain time. For instance, “The Beast” broke down on a 2011 trip to Israel. Perhaps there’s more to the story, but from what is reported – the driver simply put the wrong kind of fuel into the tank. This is when the traveling mechanic became necessary!
A Kevlar mat lines the underbelly of The First Car to protect from anything dangerous that might be tossed underneath or be laying in the road already. As we’ve seen thus far, there is seemingly no measure that government officials won’t take when it comes to protecting its asset inside the Presidential State Car.
Oh, look – more Kevlar! This time, it’s in the tires. Yes, there is Kevlar in the vehicles’ tires prevent them from going flat if punctured. But punctured sounds almost too comical – like a nail had a chance of derailing the Presidential State Car. The Kevlar is there for random construction equipment, sure. But it’s in the tires for much more forceful potential damage. Again, let’s hope we never find out.
Even though there are ‘Cadillac’ insignia’s on the vehicle, the car is completely custom-built by Secret Service engineers. Very little of this vehicle is actually a Cadillac. And those parts that are from a Cadillac, are chump change compared to the entire vehicle. In fact, it’s got a lot of parts from a lot of vehicle models. What’s important is that it’s a completely custom made car designed under GMC and Cadillac monikers to ensure for the people that it is “American-made”.
The car goes everywhere the big guy goes. Whenever he travels, “The Beast” is transported to that destination. If that means being flown by a C-17 Globemaster to an international destination, then that’s what happens. So now, if you’ve followed along, not only does the vehicle meet our top leader in a foreign country, but now there’s a whole gang of Air Force aircraft along for the ride, too. Must be expensive, huh?
The First Car is a military-grade vehicle, make no mistake about it. Much effort went into the design in order for it to look like a standard operating vehicle. But trust us, it’s not. The plated armor on the body and roof is more than seven inches thick. That’s longer than a dollar bill! If that didn’t add enough weight to this monster-truck-turned-government-ride, then wait until you hear about the doors. The doors on the Presidential State Car are as heavy as those on a Boeing 757! Think about that next time you board a plane. The door on the plane that you walk through and probably never pay much attention to, is the same weight as those on the State Car.
None of the windows open in the Presidential State Car except for the driver’s window. And even then, that only opens 3 inches! The obvious answer as to ‘Why?’ is safety. You don’t want anything happening just cause someone inside wanted a breeze. But beyond that obvious explanation, remember that the glass is five inches thick. What kind of custom-made machinery would they need to implement in the seven-inch thick doors to get the window to roll down in the first place?
The interior of the vehicle is sealed completely from the outside, so any noxious chemicals around the car can not filter in. This is just another of the many layers and sublayers of protection against any potential danger that can be imagined. Especially when the Presidential Car travels out of the country so often, any and every precaution needs to be taken. The fact that the windows don’t open and the doors are 7-inches thick aids this effort greatly.
“The Beast” comes loaded with dozens if not hundreds of counter-intelligence tools. One of the coolest has to be something we would all love to have in our cars; night-vision cameras! “Cadillac One,” as some call it, come equipped with night-vision cameras in the front of the vehicle. The video cameras send a stream of the video to monitors inside the cabin. Not usually a tool that civilians would find useful – but to a highly trained government operative with his back against a wall, it could be the difference between success and failure.
“The Beast” weighs an astounding 14,000 pounds. For reference, a 2009 Ford Taurus weighs 3,642 pounds. What could make it so heavy? Oh who knows; perhaps some break-proof doors, a massive gas tank with emergency reserves, maybe run-flat tires and some blast-proof undercarriage covers. But other than that, who knows why it’s the same weight as an adult elephant.
The Presidential State Car won’t be spotted traveling solo on the highway any time soon. The Presidential motorcade means that the Presidential State Car is never alone. There are 12 different models of the newest Presidential State Car and while some of them travel together as part of any motorcade – there is always at least a set of heavily armored vans, SUVs and other vehicles behind, in front of, or beside the Presidential State Car. Must be nice to have some friends!
Whenever the Presidential State Car is in motion, or the big guy himself is traveling in the vehicle, the White House chief security officer is always in the front passenger seat. The two and never really too far apart, to be honest. Time spent in travel is no different. The chief security officer knows where his asset is at all times, and really, the time spent in “The Beast” may be some of the easiest watch he ever has to do. He knows exactly where his guy is when they’re in that car.
Now that you know the Presidential State Car is built to look like a sedan but actually is the size of a SUV – it may not surprise you to learn that the interior is rather spacious. The driver’s cabin holds two people, and the rear cabin seats as many as 5 people. Plus, the main man is allowed to have guests on board! One surprising yet entertaining guest that we know has been inside of the Presidential State Car is the legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld. His show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee took a plot twist when instead of having a guest in a classic car like he usually does, Seinfeld was the guest in the Presidential State Car.
Of course the Presidential State Car isn’t going to be uncomfortable! So is it any surprise that “Cadillac One” is outfitted with rear seats and maintains both reclining and massaging capabilities. It’s a regular Hollywood limo! Additionally, the leather and cloth of the interior is hand-cut and hand-sewn, making it truly one-of-a-kind. It’s probably a real treat after a long day of work to rest your head on one of these custom-created, hand-sewn, reclining, massaging chairs.
It’s been speculated over the years that the Presidential State Car operates with a diesel-powered Duramax 6.6-litre turbo V8 engine. Make no mistake, that’s a powerful engine right there. But given the immense weight (14,000 pounds) the Presidential vehicle has a maximum speed of 60 mph. Imagine the amount of momentum a 14,000-pound beast traveling at 60 miles per hour has. Crazy.
The “Beast” rides on a heavy truck platform, not a car’s. It could be fitted to a similar chassis of a GMC or Chevrolet hauler. If is fitted – and this is just theoretical – to a chassis similar to that of the 2016 Chevrolet 3500 Chassis Cab then the Presidential State Car’s wheelbase sits somewhere in the 160-inch to 175-inch range.
“The Beast” – with it’s V8 engine – runs on diesel because it is usually more convenient to source and use. But also, diesel is less flammable than most gasolines. Like we mentioned, there is no stone unturned when it comes to all safety precautions in the Presidential State Car. That even means using the safest fuel.
Several names for the vehicle exist. The Presidential State Car has been called “The First Car,” “The Beast,” “Cadillac One,” “Limousine One” and “Stagecoach”. But for those who ride in it most commonly – it’s probably got a much more common moniker that doesn’t sound so…regal.
For the most populous events, the presidential motorcade can consist of up to 30 vehicles in tow. In an event like this, say an Inauguration, there is likely to be multiple versions of the Presidential State Car in the motorcade, with no one in the public knowing which one contains the new man of the hour. 30 vehicles!
The vehicle, with its long wheelbase and commitment to be sedan, is actually 18 feet long and 5 feet 10 inches high. For reference, a Dodge Ram 2500. is about 19 feet long and 6 feet 6 inches high. So if you can conceive it, picture a standard Dodge Ram 2500 with the cab extended all the way to the tailgate…that’s more or less the size of the Presidential State Car.
Again, with the amazing special precautionary measures. This time, it comes in form of the interior of the gas tank. It is lined with a special foam that inhibits the fuel from igniting if it were to take a direct hit. This is a similar foam that NASCAR drivers use to protect their fuel tanks.
With all the special features we’ve discussed…you didn’t actually think the trunk was a regular storage option, did you?It’s packed to the gills with precautionary items like blood, oxygen, fire extinguishers and others. It can be easily accessed from the inside of the vehicle.
When abroad, one particular leader was known for sometimes using whichever car in the motorcade was most convenient, not always “The Beast”. This wasn’t necessarily discourage from his security team because they typically randomized his traveling car to a degree, anyways. However, he never uses a non-American governmental car in a foreign country.
The motorcade always includes “The Roadrunner,” or MCV2, which contains the tools necessary to link to a Department of Defense satellite. Whoever is most senior during a motorcade can direct an offensive move from the vehicle should an incident needed immediate action break out while he is mobile.
The driver is a specially selected member, usually of Armed Forces descent. The driver is a trained specialist in evasive driving techniques. The coolest and maybe one that could save lives is the ‘J’ turn. The Presidential State Car driver has to be able to perform the ‘J’ turn if he is to drive that car. The ‘J’ turn where the car makes a 180-degree turn while shifting from reverse to drive without stopping.
Yet again, it’s not invincible! if anything its monstrous size and weight make it susceptible to certain types of setbacks. “The Beast” broke down in 2013 when it got stuck on a curb outside the US embassy in Ireland. The curb was just the right angle and the long wheelbase of the Presidential State Car created the perfect environment to get stuck.
This is the wrapping used to disguise the newest line of Presidential State Cars before they were completed and ready to roll out. The black and white heavy-textured look is used to betray lines, size and shape of the vehicle. Also, it’s a protective wrapping for the exterior until the car is complete. This was photographed in Ohio, not too far from Flint, Michigan where the vehicle was produced.
The license plates changed from customized White House plates with the presidential seal to Washington D.C. area plates. This created a stir because the phrase, ‘Taxation Without Representation’ appears on the D.C. plates – a reference to Washington D.C.’s lack of representation in Congress.
It is customary for the Secret Service to completely disassemble each Presidential vehicle after the vehicle has concluded its service. No one knows what they do to the spare parts. We’d like to think the non-specialized parts – like headlights, windshield wipers, gauges, etc. – are used for civilian vehicles. How cool would that be to drive around a piece of the Presidential State Car and not know it.
Thing about a military-grade Humvee. You’ve got the picture in your head? The supercharged 6.5 liter diesel engine is the same type of engine in Cadillac One. The Humvee engine can be described like this, “The HMMWV has an eight cylinder, 6.2L diesel engine with a three-speed automatic transmission. The engine is fuel injected and liquid cooled, generating 150 horsepower at 3,000 rotations per minute, delivering 70 mile per hour maximum speeds. It is also available in an eight cylinder, 6.5 L turbodiesel model with a four-speed.”
Outside noise is pumped in through speakers, because no one inside can hear anything outside once inside “The Beast”. That’s how fortified it is in side of there. With 7-inch thick doors and 5-inch thick glass, no wonder you can’t hear anything inside of there. But during a motorcade like a parade or welcoming, it is important to hear the outside noise.
You may have seen photos in this list with both the U.S. flag and other nations’ flag on the front of the vehicle. That’s because when it is abroad, the Presidential State Car flies the flag of that country in alongside of a United States flag. Domestically, it flies the U.S. flag and the Presidential Standard flag. Either way you cut it, there’s two official flags on the hood which makes the car look so official.
The dashboard of The First Car contains mission-specific satellite communications information. Whatever information the highest executive needs from around the world can be delivered with little to no lag time at all. Additionally, the Presidential State Car is outfitted with the bleeding-edge GPS tracking technology, so it can never go rogue.
With all of the talk of armor and being heavily plated, you may have assumed that much of the exterior frame is made with mostly steel, aluminum, and titanium. But what you may not have thought about is that ceramic is also relied on heavily. Yes ceramic, like clay pots. Ceramic can be exposed to excessively hot temperatures and hold strong.
As mentioned earlier, the Presidential State Car has tires outfitted with Kevlar so that they never go flat. However, if the seemingly impossible happens, and the Kevlar tires do eventually run flat then “The Beast” is capable of riding on its steel rims, manufactured by Hutchinson Industries. Sparks will fly and maneuverability will be diminished, but the vehicles can still move. Amazing.
It’s heavy, it’s slow, it’s got all the bells and whistles. But what it doesn’t have is good gas mileage. And it shouldn’t if you think about it – given all the extra precautions. The First Car gets about six miles per gallon, the same as an 18-wheeler. Not great. However, with the size of this vehicle, an oversized fuel tank may be employed.
An armored Chevrolet Suburban is always within eye site of the Presidential State Car. It’s designed and outfitted with premium defensive measures meant to scare away any potential threat. When you see one you will always see the other. The Presidential Motorcade does not mess around!
Fun fact, there’s a 10-disc CD player in the vehicle in the 2009-2019 model. Even the highest level executives in the world need to listen to some music! However, expect this to be upgraded once the new versions roll out. No one uses CD’s anymore, why should the leader of the free world?
The Presidential State Car goes from 0-60 mph in 15 seconds! Wildly impressive for a vehicle of its stature. Imagine seeing the Presidential State Car take off at max speed, reach 60 miles per hour, and then hit a J-turn on the open road…how cool would that be!?