The specifications of Barack Obama’s limousine – “The Beast” – which are kept secret due to national security, have been made public.
It’s known that the limo is heavily armoured, with 8-inch thick doors, for example. The superstructure is made of titanium, ceramic, steel, and aluminium, Discovery News reported.
It has its own oxygen supply, an advanced fire-fighting system, night-vision cameras, tear gas cannons, Kevlar-reinforced run-flat tires, and steel wheels that work even without a tire.
On top of all that, the limo also contains a supply of the President’s blood for emergencies, an unspecified number of pump-action shotguns for defence, and the ability to lock down the cabin like a nearly-impenetrable panic room.
“The Beast” is sealed to the environment, mitigating or eliminating the threat of biological attack.
All the armour-plating and environmental seclusion means almost no sound enters the cabin. To hear sounds outside the vehicle, it’s equipped with microphones on the outside and speakers inside.
Further communications equipment enables The Beast’s occupants to converse with several of the specialized vehicles that are part of the 45-vehicle motorcade that travels with the President in the US, or the handful of vehicles that accompany on trips outside the US
Full command and control communications are possible through relay to the White House Communications Agency Roadrunner vehicle, which transmits encrypted duplex radio and video through military satellites.
Unverified features of The Beast include the ability to fire infrared smoke grenades as a sort of chaff to screen the vehicle from attack by rocket propelled grenade or missile.
Up front, the driver is thought to have a special video system to enable driving even in blackout or whiteout visibility conditions (smoke, complete darkness, weather).
The vehicle, built by GM and nominally a Cadillac, is based on the industrial-duty GMC TopKick truck platform. Thanks to its massive size and heft, The Beast drinks fuel at a rapid rate, scoring just 8 mpg.