The new presidential limousine — and an identical one called a “spare” that travels in President Donald Trump’s motorcade for added security — was spotted this week on the streets of New York. This new “Beast,” like so many before it, is a Cadillac.
But this time, the heavily armored vehicle produced by GM is designed after the Cadillac CT6. (Although if you look closely there are some Escalade influences in there.) The last version of the presidential limo used during the Obama administration was modeled after a Cadillac DTS.
The Secret Service dictates much of the design of the presidential limousine, such as a heavy-duty chassis and armored material. There are other accoutrements inside the vehicle, which is based on a GM truck platform. GM didn’t provide many details however, citing security reasons.
“It’s GM’s honor to develop and build the presidential limousine, a great American tradition,” a GM spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TechCrunch. “Continuing a rich history of Cadillac limousines that have served many U.S. presidents, the new car embodies Cadillac’s style and craftsmanship. The limousine, which was designed and built in Detroit, proudly resembles the Cadillac CT6 sedan. This being a secure project, we cannot discuss further details.”
GM won federal contracts worth $15.8 million to develop two phases of what the government describes as a “next-generation parade limousine program.” GM has other multi-million dollar contracts with the Secret Service to supply the agency with services and vehicles.
Here’s what we do know: the custom tank-like Cadillac CT6 appeared for the first time in public on Sunday. The Secret Service even tweeted an image promoting the vehicle ahead of this week’s United Nations General Assembly meetings.
If this presidential Cadillac CT6 is anything like its predecessors, the vehicle is outfitted with everything you’d need to stay alive in the midst of an attack, including bullet-proof glass, a supply of the president’s blood type and an independent air supply to thwart a chemical attack.
The last Beast, a 2009 custom Cadillac DTS, was unveiled on former President Barack Obama’s inauguration day. The vehicle, which featured 19.5-inch wheels and seating for five, was in production for two years. The interior included a fold-out desk for the president.