Stagecoach: The President’s Cadillac

As the votes from the US Presidential election are counted, we cover the most important topic: the President’s limo.

When the President of the United States needs to be driven around, there’s only one car they’re allowed to travel in.

Officially named ‘Cadillac One’, the President’s limousine is less of a car and more of a tank, thanks to its significant armouring and defensive measures.

The US Secret Service has given the codename of ‘Stagecoach’ to the vehicle, but it’s often known by its nickname: ‘The Beast’.

While the Presidential limo is styled not unlike a stretched Cadillac CT6 with an Escalade face, the chassis actually comes from a Chevrolet Kodiak – a rigid truck normally used for furniture moving vehicles and school buses.

Power is thought to come from a big block 8.1-litre petrol V8 producing up to 410kW and 936Nm. Weighing in at approximately 10,000kg, fuel consumption is estimated to be 29 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway, and up to 64L/100km in the city.

The Secret Service does not release exact details of Cadillac One, for obvious reasons, but it’s theorised the body of the vehicle is around 13cm thick thanks to its military-grade armour plating, composed of dual hardness steel, titanium, aluminium, and ceramics.

Doors are around 20cm thick, creating an airtight seal to protect against chemical attacks, and are said to weigh as much as the doors found on a Boeing 757. Windows use five layers of polycarbonate, but only the driver’s window can be lowered – to an 8cm crack.

The vehicle’s truck tyres are thought to be kevlar-reinforced to protect against puncturing, potentially with run-flat inserts on steel rims, while the fuel tank is armoured and filled with a special foam to prevent explosions.

If attackers can get past the perimeter of armed and highly-trained agents, the President’s limo can deploy its James Bond-esque defence systems.

These include a smoke screen and tear gas cannons at the rear, tear gas grenade launchers up front, and doors that can reportedly be electrified to deter intruders.

The cabin has its own oxygen supply in case of emergencies, and should the President be hurt, there are a few spare bags of type-matched blood stored in a refrigerator on board.

As you would expect, the vehicle is fitted with a suite of high-tech gadgetry, from secured direct phone lines with the Pentagon and Vice President, to external communication jamming devices.

Two identical Cadillac One limousines travel with the Present wherever they go, transported ahead of arrival. All Stagecoach limos sport Washington DC number plates ‘800-002’.

At around US$1.5 million each (AU$2.1M), and with 16 identical limousines in the Secret Service garage, the President can lay claim to one of the most expensive car collections in the United States.

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