The Department of Homeland Security plans to replace the presidential limousine by 2015.
“We at Cadillac consider it a great honor and responsibility to carry on the tradition of presidential cars,” said Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell. “But there’s absolutely nothing we would say directly about the future.”
The Commander-in-Chief’s current ride, also known as Cadillac One or The Beast, which weighs around 15,000 pounds, is to be replaced by 2015. The Beast, which was designed to resemble a 2008 Cadillac DTS, is in fact a hybrid which brings together Cadillac components and the Chevrolet Kodiak commercial truck, plus tons of heavy armor.
The New Design Armored Limousine “will include concept development, armor design, initial automotive component selection and chassis development, material testing, armor system modeling and simulation, and armor system fabrication and testing (live fire),” according to the request for information posted on FebBizOpps.gov.
According to anonymous sources the new presidential limousine will be fitted with night vision system, the stock door handles will be replaced by special lopes allowing the Secret Service agents to hold on to them while running along the car, the special tires will be provided by Goodyear, the armor will consist of 8-inch plates serving as wall even against improvised explosive device and also 5-inch multi-layer windows. The car will be sealed to protect against biochemical attacks and in the truck there will be a blood bank with the President’s blood type. The car will be driven by Secret Service agents trained in evasive driving techniques, among which the J-turn maneuver, which turns the vehicle 180 degrees in several seconds.
Since 1939 the automakers which provided Presidential limousines were GM, Chrysler and Ford, with Franklin Delano Roosevelt having the “Sunshine Special,” based on a Lincoln K-Series chassis with a V-12 engine. Teddy Roosevelt was the first president who commissioned a government-owned car, which was a white convertible Stanley Steamer.
Politicians loved convertibles, as they loved to be seen by their constituents. But this as to be changed after Kennedy’s assassination in his midnight blue 1961 stretched Lincoln Continental. Since then Presidential vehicles would feature body armoring and bulletproof hardtop. But problems can still appear, taken the example with President Barack Obama’s limo which broke down in Israel after the driver filled the tank with the wrong type of fuel.