Beast mode on the open road: New presidential limo close to delivery
Signs of the Beast have been seen on the open roads around Milford, Mich., home of GM’s Proving Grounds. The Beast, in this case, being the nickname for the next-generation presidential limousine.
We’ve seen this car previously in spy shots while parked or driven, going back to January 2016. This is our spy photographers’ latest look at the vehicle, and the first on public roads. Which may be a sign that it is almost ready for delivery.
It replaces the current Beast, which has been in use since 2009. And “car” isn’t exactly the right word for this rig, as it’s actually a unique vehicle with Cadillac styling cues custom-built atop a medium-duty truck frame. There may possibly be more than one Beast 2.0 delivered, because two limos are sent anywhere the president goes, to provide a backup or decoy.
The grille has touches of the Cadillac Escala concept car, which is heavily influencing Cadillac’s evolving future look. But it’s what’s inside that intrigues everyone.
Here’s what we know, or at least has long been rumored, about the current Beast and the new Beast 2.0.
1. It has its own airplane. It and its twin follow the president around the globe aboard a C-17 Globemaster cargo plane.
2. It’s heavily armored, with 5-inch-thick glass, 8-inch-thick doors that weigh as much as a commercial aircraft door, and its components include titanium, ceramics, and a bombproof plate that covers the underside. As such, the old Beast was estimated to weigh between 14,000 and 20,000 pounds. You can therefore imagine how it got its name.
3. It’s equipped like the Batmobile or the Green Hornet’s Chrysler Imperial Crown, with run-flat tires and night-vision gear. It can fire gas canisters out the front bumper.
4. It has a diesel engine because of its weight and size (see the gallery below for a sense of scale). And of course, diesel is less flammable in a firefight. The old Beast supposedly gets 8 mpg.
5. Its Secret Service codename is Stagecoach.
6. There’s a shotgun by the driver and God-knows-what in the trunk.
7. It supposedly has a stock of blood in the president’s type, along with a defibrillator and other emergency gear.
8. And it’s pretty nice inside, by all accounts. Since this is not Trump’s own personal vehicle and may well serve his successor, let’s assume the gold leaf has been kept to a minimum and it’s done up in tasteful leather and wood.
But then again, who really knows, outside of the Secret Service and a handful of GM engineers.
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