Hail to the Beast: There's a New Presidential Limo

The nature of our product line generally allows us to politely refrain from commenting on matters inside the Beltway but when the commander-in-chief scores a new ride, we’re going to weigh in. As you’d expect, along with the highest office in the land, you get the biggest-dog limousine in the land. This is no stretched Chrysler that kids take to prom nor is it some Uber-spec Suburban that shuttles around the more plebeian public servants like senators and cabinet members. Weighing in at nearly ten tons, the presidential limo is a $1.5 million, custom-built to top-secret spec rolling fortress. It is called The Beast.

Built by General Motors and wearing Cadillac livery, The Beast starts life as modified commercial truck chassis and contains a host of features not available to civilian customers such as a self-contained oxygen supply for its occupants and a couple if spare pints of the president’s blood type, just in case. Most of the car’s specific details are kept on the hush but it’s rumored that the armored doors are a foot thick and have super-trick opening mechanisms that only the secret service agents get to know how to operate.

Inside, the seating layout is fairly standard limo-fare: two up front and five in the back. The rear-most two seats are heated and reclining with a massaging function- pretty typical of modern luxury sedan- but they’re upholstered in a blue fabric rather than leather. In Japanese luxury culture, velour upholstery is preferred to leather in ultra-executive rides since the fabric isn’t as noisy as cow hides when you move around but we still haven’t gotten word on why that choice was made here.

Despite its relatively modest upholstery appointments, The Beast comes fitted with some serious anti-attack measures. Its floor is lined with a thick steel plate to protect it from ground explosions and the glass is a five-inch thick multi-layered affair to shield the president and his posse from a ballistic attack. Stealing a page from a James Bond novel, the presidential limo also features night vision, provisions to deploy a smoke screen and an oil slick, and can launch tear gas. Remember those trick door handles? They can even be electrified to shock anyone trying to get in that shouldn’t.

Powertrain specifics are understandably classified but previous versions of the presidential limo were motivated by large, gasoline-powered V8s. Fuel was delivered via a carburetor and sparked by an analog points and condenser ignition system. As comically obsolete as this setup is, the lack of any computer control modules would allow The Beast to keep running even after being exposed to a high-energy electromagnetic pulse. EMPs are the sorts of things emitted from a class of high-tech weapons as well as nuclear explosions that can cripple digital electronic circuits as well as what they used to disable the Sentinels in The Matrix.

The presidential limo was ordered back in 2014 and was intended to be ready for the inauguration in January of 2017 but, for whatever reason, development delays pushed its release back to Sunday of this week to shuttle the president around New York City for his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly. Twelve such limos were ordered so that vehicles may be sent ahead to the president's future destinations. Additionally, two limos travel in the presidential motorcade, the second to presumably serve as a backup and/or confuse potential attackers. For those of you hoping to pick up one of the old limos at a government auction, their traditional retirement ceremony involves a public destruction by the secret service in an effort to both show off the car’s strength as well as protect the design secrets of the vehicles.

Unfortunately, the government won’t release the suspension specs to us so we are unable to develop a lift kit for the presidential limo. We do, however, feel like an off road version of The Beast would not only look really cool, but be an excellent asset for the commander and his entourage when travelling in less-developed areas of the world.

Stay tuned for new product releases and odd-ball automotive news. Check out our YouTube channel for technical tutorials and exciting updates.

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