A Cadillac that carries a person’s blood, its own supply of oxygen, and tear gas cannons may be too much for average drivers like us--but not if you’re United States President Donald Trump.
Meet the new "Beast." This 18-feet-long vehicle weighs a hefty eight tons. Its top speed is a measly 97kph (60mph), but it more than compensates for this lackluster feature with its extra tough construction.
Also called "Cadillac One" or "First Car," President Obama once described it as “a Caddy…on a tank frame.” Its code name is “Stagecoach”, and its 15,000 pounds of pure metal, rubber, and high-grade ceramic can withstand a rocket-propelled grenade hit or IED blast like a lullaby.
The $15 million, Cadillac Escalade look-alike was created by General Motors (GM) as an armored car for the newly-inaugurated President Trump. Its seven-seater, 2+3+2 layout is designed to carry not just the President, but also his entourage.
General Motors, which has been responsible for building U.S. presidents’ fleet of limos for over 20 years, was awarded three contracts for this project.
“It’s Cadillac’s honor to design and build the Presidential Limousine, continuing a great American tradition,” a Cadillac spokesperson said.
Here are some more interesting facts about the new Beast:
- The Beast was supposed to be unveiled during President Trump’s inauguration, but it was put off since it’s still in its production and testing phase.
- The undercarriage is protected from roadside bombs, and the diesel fuel tank is bullet- and blast-proof.
- The windows are laminated and made from polycarbonate materials and toughened glass. In case the tire gets punctured, it will maintain its form, thanks to its solid Kevlar core.
- It has a pump-action shotgun inside.
- Tear gas cannons are placed within the bumper rear to stop anyone from trailing the seven-seater limousine.
- The Beast’s armored doors are so heavy that they’re impossible to open from the inside. To give you an idea of its weight, each door weighs the same as a Boeing 747 door.
- Its bullet-proof exterior has a military-grade shield that’s eight-inches thick. It can stop any chemical or biological attacks in an instant.
- A life support machine is available should anyone get injured.
- It has a changeable suspension that can raise and lower the car. This feature may be in response to the embarrassing incident that happened to Obama at the U.S. Embassy (Ireland) while on his way to a speech in Dublin.
- This vehicle has an advanced communication system that allows the President to hold conferences using an encrypted phone and interactive video system. Even President Obama couldn’t help but gloat a bit, saying: “I could call a nuclear submarine from right here--I bet you don’t have that.”
- Reports say that the U.S. Secret Service traditionally has a fleet of 12 identical limousines for the President. The previous versions cost around $1 – $1.5 million, while the new Beast is priced at an astounding $15,800,765.
So, what happens to retired Presidential State Cars? In most cases, they are redeployed for use by other government officials, while the rest are placed at presidential libraries.
The United States Secret Service will be in charge of maintaining the new Beast, and the White House Military Office will look after the other cars that accompany the presidential motorcade.