It's being called "Stagecoach
," "The Beast
," "Cadillac One
," and even the "Obamamobile
;" but no matter what name it goes by, the new presidential limousine is getting a lot of attention for its looks and largely secret technology. The limo's official name is the unimaginative "2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine
," it was custom-made for the Secret Service by General Motors (GM), and it is expected to go into official service starting at Obama's presidential inauguration on January 20th.
Actually, the Detroit News reports that GM is building a number of these limos, but the exact number is unknown (the Detroit News simply states, "it's believed to be fewer than 25
" vehicles). Also unknown to all but a few folks at GM and the Secret Service are the specific details of the limo's design. Most of the details are considered secret, including the limo's "curb weight
" and "even the engine size or type
." However, one of the things that GM has disclosed is that "the limo has a 10-disc CD player and hand-stitched leather interiors
." The limo also has larger windows than the custom 2006 Cadillac DTS limo that President Bush uses; and as you would suspect, the windows are bullet proof. The limo is also surrounded by armor plating that is at least five-inches thick; the inside can be sealed-off airtight from the outside; and it uses run-flat tires.
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|Click to enlarge (Credit: Daily Mail)|| |
The U.K.'s Daily Mail
corroborates these meager details, but actually goes a bit further with some more of the specifics. While the Daily Mail neither states whether the additional information it reports is fact or speculation, it is unlikely that the Daily Mail was able to garner any exclusive information that other press organization were not also privy too. But this didn't stop the Daily Mail from putting together an informative, if not somewhat amusing at times, illustration of some the limo's details, which include:
- Armor plating that is made up of "dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and even ceramic."
- Night-vision cameras
- Armor-plated gas tank with special fire-resistant foam
- On-board fire-fighting system
- Five-inch think steel plate covers the underside of the chassis
- "Kevlar-reinforced, shred and puncture-resistant [tires], with steel rims underneath," which should enable the limo to drive on the rims if it has to.
The Daily Mail also states that the limo uses a 6.5-liter diesel engine that gets roughly eight miles per gallon; which is no where near as fuel-efficient as Obama's Ford Escape Hybrid. The Daily Mail estimates that the limo costs £300,000; which is almost $460,000 in U.S. dollars. There is no word, however, as to if the limo has retractable tire spikes, can launch missiles, transforms into a submersible, or has an ejection seat.