Replacing ‘the Beast’: White House Accepting Bids for New Presidential Limo


Believe it or not the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does more than just waste travelers’ time at airports, confiscating toothpaste and books of matches. The government organization actually has a hand to play in the presidential limo, which is expected to be replaced by the time our next commander in chief takes office in 2017.

The U.S. Secret Service plans to award a contract to replace the current limo, aka “The Beast,” to an outside supplier by August 29. Surprisingly the decision on which company will win the business is based on value. Apparently the government cares about saving a few dollars.

Patriotism is running high, the proposal is restricted to “major domestic U.S. automobile manufacturers who have their primary headquarters located in the United States of America.” Naturally GM is a front-runner. The company’s Cadillac division has provided presidential limousines for more than 30 years. Ford hasn’t been in this game for decades, though the company has not mentioned whether or not they plan on throwing their hat into the ring, though it’s hard to imagine the president rolling around in an MKZ sedan.

Cadillac Presidential Limousine Rear Three QuarterThe process of building such a vehicle is divided into four phases: armor development, armor integration, automotive validation and production. Phase one is currently underway.

Today’s limo has been around since right around 2009 when President Obama was inaugurated for his first term; appropriately it’s nicknamed “the beast.”

Vaguely resembling a Cadillac DTS the car is built off a GM medium-duty truck architecture, the added robustness is probably necessary to support the weight of all its armor plating and other safety features and countermeasures. The armor is reportedly a whopping five inches thick! Additionally the interior is sealed against chemical attacks; think of it as a main battle tank with a wreath and crest on its grille. All told it’s rumored the presidential limo weighs more than 10,000 pounds.

[Source: The Detroit News]