What is Trump's new presidential limousine set to debut this summer?
When Obama first became president back in 2009, he was presented with a brand new transport vehicle, which he described as “a Caddy, basically on a tank frame.” So when President Trump arrived at the White House, it was quite a surprise that he did not receive a newer, upgraded fleet, but simply took over the keys to the previous version. Turns out, Trump's “Beast” (affectionately dubbed as such by the Secret Service) was just not quite ready. It is now so close to completion that pictures of the nearly finished product have been captured and leaked, and it is tentatively set to make its first official appearance this coming summer.
The vehicle's details AND exterior (for now) are a closely guarded national secret, but the former model was designed to withstand explosive, ballistic, and chemical weapon attacks, so it stands to reason that the newer model will do the same and more. The photos of the prototypes currently floating around are greatly obscured by black and white camouflage, but it appears the new limousine has styling elements similar to the Cadillac flagship CT6 sedan. The current CT6 boasts a semi-autonomous Super Cruise system that allows for hands-free driving. However, despite the stylistic similarities, the president's new ride will NOT have the same self-driving capabilities because it will always be driven by a highly-trained agent.
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Cadillac has been the creator of all presidential limousines since 1993 and has yet to face any competition for this iconic contract. The president's limo accounts for one of the dozen or so vehicles that General Motors is set to create under their $15.8 million contract. According to Cadillac president, Johann de Nysschen, “We've completed our task and we've handed over the vehicle to the customer.” So at this point, the president's vehicle, along with the others, is officially in the possession of the United States Secret Service, being tested and prepared for the great unveiling. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service went on record to say 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. The public can expect to see the new vehicles put into operational use late summer of this year.”
Ironically enough, this news just barely preceded the announcement made by Russia's Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov, that president Vladimir Putin is set to receive a new fleet of vehicles as well, and his may be ready in as soon as a few weeks, possibly even in time for Putin's May 7th inauguration. Unlike Trump's highly specialized limousine of which only a dozen will be made under the GM contract, Putin's car will be one of thousands of Russian-made vehicles developed to eventually replace imports currently utilized by the nation's government officials. This is all part of a state-run project called “Kortezh” created back in 2012 to show that Russia is capable of domestically producing automobiles with the highest level of quality, security, reliability, and design. Although officials have been utilizing domestically produced cars like ZIL-41047 for official state purposes, since 1991, the vast majority of government in Russia have been imported from Germany. Moscow considers this project as a point of pride in which they can showcase what they are capable of creating domestically, and plans to offer up the rest of these new fleet vehicles next year for purchase.
If the Russian announcement is accurate, we can expect to see Putin in his new vehicle before Trump is able to unveil his. This is not necessarily politically important, but can absolutely be seen as a bragging point for whichever administration is first. Regardless of who wins this “presidential car war,” as auto enthusiasts, here at A1 Auto Transport, we cannot wait to see the new fleets in action and will be following the story closely in preparation for the big reveal.
Standard version of new Russian car as appearing in patent application