The 35th President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 during a presidential motorcade. His ride? An open top Lincoln limousine. Times have changed drastically post the incident and the current President of the USA, Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th person to occupy the throne of world’s most powerful country, travels in one of the safest rides in the world, the armored Cadillac limousine called “The Beast”. And the President of the USA would be travelling in his armoured Cadillac in India on the occasion of the Republic Day on January 26.
So let us understand the vehicle in detail. The Beast takes safety standards to a whole new level. Each and every item on the car has been sculpted to withstand some serious firepower. In terms of dimensions, this armoured Cadillac is 18 feet long and 5ft 10 inches high. The body of the car has a military grade armour. A reinforced steel plate runs under the car to protect the occupants from bombs and grenades that could be placed underneath the vehicle.
The driver’s chamber, along with the standard equipment, also contains a communication system and a GPS tracking system. The windows can withstand armour piercing bullets and can be lowered by only 3-inches. The driver too has been provided with special training by the Secret Services to evade dangerous situation. Topping the safety chart are a set of features such as Night Vision Camera, Pump-action Shotguns and Tear Gas. In fact, the car also carries bottles that are stored with blood types of the first family.
The President’s chamber receives a foldaway laptop with wi-fi and satellite phone that directly connects to the vice-president and the Pentagon. The space can occupy four people and the partition glass in the car can only be lowered by the President. The armour plating on the doors is 8-inches thick and weighs as much as a cabin door on a Boeing 757 Jet!
The boot of the car holds an oxygen supply tank and firefighting equipment. The fuel tank receives a specially designed foam which prevents it from exploding, even in case of a direct hit. As the standard tire of the U.S. Secret Service, the Goodyear tyres on the vehicle are Kevlar-reinforced, shred and puncture proof. As with military combat vehicles, the presidential limousine runs on standard tires, but the rims contain a run-flat device that enables the vehicle to be driven even with zero air pressure in all four tires. The Goodyear tires fitted to the presidential limousine are actually truck tires in a 285/70R19.5 size, necessary due to the vehicle’s extra load that includes a heavy-duty chassis, extended length and armored material
The car, with all the equipment and armour, tips the weighing scale at 8 tonnes and requires some serious power to move. The duty is performed by a 6.5-litre diesel engine that can achieve speeds of upto 60 miles per hour. Not too fast but who is going to complain about world’s most powerful man coming late.
The Beast can be seen on Delhi roads during Obama’s visit to India. Do share your thoughts and opinions with us through comments section below. Stay tuned to Motoroids for more updates from the motoring industry.