Facts About the New 2017 President’s Limo, aka “The Beast”
The Beast is definitely a sight to behold, and there are few times it is better showcased than during an Inaugural.
Not much is actually known about The Beast since it falls under the Secret Service’s classified motor pool, but a few specifications and secrets have leaked out over the years.
Below are 9 things worth knowing about Limo One or “The Beast” as follows.
1.It is not a Cadillac: Unlike any Presidential state car before it, The Beast shares little in common with a standard production car. Its chassis, diesel engine and transmission are based on those used in the Chevrolet Kodiak, a rugged commercial vehicle, headlamps from an Escalade and tail lights from the STS keep it looking Cadillac-like.
2.It has its own airplane:The Secret Service makes use of a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to haul The Beast, a 2nd limo and a heavily armored Chevrolet Suburban communications vehicle, any time the President is traveling. The Suburban is nicknamed Roadrunner and it is said to be a rolling communications office directly linked to a military satellite, hence the SATCOM dome attached to its roof
3.Armored is an understatement: There is probably not a better-armored vehicle with windows on the planet than The Beast. Its armor plating is said to be 8 ins thick and its doors weigh as much as those on a Boeing 757. 5-inch thick bulletproof windows contain at least 5 layers to put a damper on any effort by subversives. And those bus-size Goodyear tires are Kevlar-reinforced run-flats capable of keeping The Beast on the road for quite some distance if needed. The interior is sealed off from the outside world to reduce risks of a chemical attack, while a special foam surrounds the fuel tank to insulate it in the event of an impact.
4.It is very well-equipped: Open The Beast’s trunk and it is said that you will find everything from firefighting equipment and oxygen tanks to a cache of the President’s blood type. There are tear gas canisters, shotguns and, supposedly, grenade launchers, integrated into The Beast.
5. The Beast holds 7 passengers: At the least The Beast has 3 passengers aboard – the driver, the President’s lead Secret Service protective agent in the front passenger seat and the President himself. However, 4 additional seats in the back are available, 3 rearward facing spots on a bench and one 1 next to the President for a guest. A folding desk separates the President from his guest. Shoulder belts that retract toward the center of the bench and buckle into the outboard corners – the reverse of a normal rear seat are included.
6. The Beast is not alone:The Secret Service actually has a few Beast-like vehicles. Although it’s not known whether they are all functionally identical, some look more like a Cadillac DTS than The Beast. The other limousines are used for high-ranking foreign officials and VIP guests when they are in Washington, DC. The President sometimes travels in a heavily-armored Chevrolet Suburban or a modified Prevost bus known as Ground Force One rather than The Beast.
7. It runs on diesel fuel. The Beast is believed to use a Duramax diesel engine closely related to that featured under the hood of Chevrolet and GMC’s full-size heavy duty pickup trucks. Aside from the durability associated with diesel engines, the fuel has a low volatility that reduces the risk of it exploding, and it can be found everywhere in the world, unlike high quality unleaded fuel.
8. Its pilot is a trained a driver: Even though The Beast has more in common with a school bus than a sports car, its highly-trained drivers can execute tight J-turns and other police-style evasion techniques in the event of a situation gone South. The Secret Service drivers have undergone extensive training on a secluded site with input from GM engineers and test drivers.
9. Its specs may not impress: Burdened with moving the 20,000 lb Beast around, the diesel engine is not a rocket. Hitting 60 mph from a complete stop takes about 15 secs, which is more than just about any new car we can think of, and the big car’s top speed is said to max out at 60 mph. It gets 8 mpg.
Have a terrific weekend.