New Limo for President Obama

Fortress on wheels

Will the incoming US president’s car look like this? Speculation about ‘Cadillac One’ has been growing on the Internet. – THE US president-elect has made it clear that the environment and energy conservation are among his priorities. But when he takes office on 20 Jan, Mr Barack Obama may find it hard to walk the talk, given his new mode of transport. Code-named ‘Cadillac One’, the new presidential limousine has been called more tank than car. Experts estimate that it gets only slightly better mileage than the M1A1 battle tank, which gets 1km on 5 litres of fuel. (A 1.6l sedan averages about 10km per litre.) But don’t blame Mr Obama. Presidential limos started looking more like armoured vehicles after the 1933 attempted assassination of president Franklin Roosevelt, who was in a regular Buick in Miami when he was shot at. Every US president gets his own brand-new armoured limo, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Beast’, and it has to be able to withstand anything from bullets to rocket-propelled grenades to bomb attacks from under the vehicle. While the Secret Service, which is in charge of a president’s security, has remained tight-lipped about Mr Obama’s ride, a photograph of what is believed to be a prototype of the new armoured car has been circulating on the Internet since last November. The vehicle is expected to make its debut at Mr Obama’s inauguration. Unlike the current president’s version, which is based on a Cadillac sedan, MrObama’s is said to be based on a commercial-grade GMC Topkick truck, motoring experts believe. Experts say that a truck chassis is needed because of the additional armour. Few details are forthcoming from Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, or from the Secret Service, Parade magazine reported. After a vehicle is built at a secret facility and delivered to the Secret Service, it is stripped down again to spot GPS, eavesdropping or surveillance devices, then reassembled. After that, the car is guarded closely. Even when a presidential limo is decommissioned from service, you won’t find it in a used car lot or museum. According to a State Department document entitled ‘Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s February 2004 Armored Vehicle Program’, armoured vehicles are often destroyed by methods including burial at sea, explosive demolition, burning, crushing, or burial on land controlled by the federal government.    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.