• President Donald Trump’s New Presidential Cadillac Limo "Beast" is Finally in Service

What, no orange paint job?

The new presidential limousine, loosely similar in appearance to the Cadillac CT6, is finally in service and was first seen in public in New York earlier this week where the UN General Assembly gathered. It is the first new presidential limousine in almost a decade.

No other president’s means of transportation is as famous as that of the president of the United States. Commonly known as ’The Beast’. The introduction of the automobile as the president’s means of transportation didn’t happen right away, though, the first president to have a fleet being William Howard Taft in the early part of the last century.

As time went by, the limousines grew in both size and weight when it was decided that bulletproof glass and bodywork is a necessity. Nowadays, the presidential limousines, codenamed ’Stagecoach’, run on truck underpinnings and their specifications are secret.

The fact that President Donald Trump was getting a new limousine was, though, an open secret with the car having been seen testing in camouflage back in April. The previous state car, which debuted back in 2009 under President Barack Obama, was also a Cadillac-badged vehicle.

Keep reading to find out more about President Trump’s new limo.

What Makes It Special

The presidential limousine, which is also known as "Limousine One," is a very important part of a president’s image and the centerpiece of the motorcade. That’s why, with the 2009 model getting long in the tooth, people expected a new, even more impressive, machine to arrive. That previous model, which was based off the DTS, first appeared in public for President Obama’s inauguration. It could seat up to five occupants and featured a folding desk inside for the president to use.

General Motors won the $15,800,000 contract to build the car back in 2014, a project that was known as "Next Generation Parade Limousine Phase 2 and 3."

A prototype was seen on the road in April when the Secret Service responded to a Fox News inquiry that "the program to build and deploy the next generation of Presidential limousines is on track and on schedule — both in terms of vendor production and internal Secret Service post-production requirements."

This explains why it takes so long to build a new "Cadillac One" since it has to be built to the highest of standards, incorporate state-of-the-art security equipment and then be further readied by the Secret Service. The new limo came at a time when both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping received new cars. The U.S. presidential limousine is, though, the most advanced.

It features a thick body shell covered in different types of armor, which protects the occupants from a whole range of weaponry, a modified undertray which is made to sustain mine explosions, and almost impenetrable glass. You can have an idea of how tough the car is built by looking at the sheer size of both the A-pillars and the C-pillars.

President Donald Trump's New Presidential Cadillac Limo "Beast" is Finally in Service
- image 797442
The heavy-duty chassis is sourced from GMC and the whole car weighs somewhere in the region of 15,000 pounds.

Aesthetic elements are inspired by the current line-topping CT6 full-size sedan although the headlights themselves are apparently from the Escalade.

The interior premises of the limousine are basically shut off from the rest of the world via an Army-developed environmental system that should keep the air inside breathable even in case of a chemical attack or nuclear radiation. The driver can also make use of a night-vision mode while the whole cabin benefits from a fire suppression system. Also, the tires are made out of kevlar to stay inflated in dire situations.

In spite of all these defensive systems, the car was conceived to be agile for its size and high center of mass. Heavy duty suspension and gearbox, coupled to a powerful engine make it quick - although performance figures are unknown. It’s part of the folklore that the car has many other means to defend its occupants such as the ability to deploy a smokescreen or disperse teargas. Basically, it has at least some of the things we see on the Q Division-developed Bond cars.

President Donald Trump's New Presidential Cadillac Limo "Beast" is Finally in Service
- image 797446
Of course, the presidential limousine, of which 12 will be made, is only an element in the elaborate motorcade that carries the president on the ground.

But it is the most important because it is the vehicle that transports him. Besides the cars that make up the motorcade, the success of such a mission is ensured by the cooperation between the Secret Service, the local law enforcement, as well as the aerial support. Planning for any drive is elaborate as it includes assessment of potential dangers along the way, clearing the finalized route and the safety of the journey itself.

The ’Cadillac One’, as well as the other vehicles that are part of the motorcade, are also transported to certain locations around the world where the president has to go. This operation has been going seamlessly for years with very few incidents recorded involving the motorcade. One such incident took place in 1975 when a car struck President Gerald Ford’s limousine which was traveling towards the airport in Hartford, Connecticut. James Salamites, the man driving that car which went through an intersection that wasn’t blocked by local police, was not taken down by waves of bullets, rather questioned then released since the President itself was barely delayed half a minute due to the incident.

Salamites, though, had a tough few years thereafter, being chased by the press which tried to have him as the guilty party following the incident. What is more, his Buick LeSabre was wrecked and he gave up driving at the time. Nowadays, you’d probably end up even worse if, somehow, you managed to get in the way of Trump’s bigger-and-bolder Cadillac.

Further Reading

2017 Cadillac CT6 High Resolution Exterior
- image 707955

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CT6.

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: