A new advanced version of ‘The Beast’, the heavily armoured bomb-proof limousine of the US President, has been spotted undergoing secret tests so that it is ready for Barack Obama’s successor.
The Department of Homeland Security began the process of commissioning a new presidential limousine in 2013, and now a camouflaged prototype of the next generation machine has been spotted for the first time.
Although the current vehicle is designed to look like a Cadillac sedan, it is understood to be a heavily armoured machine built on a medium duty diesel-powered truck chassis, but its detailed specifications remain a national secret, the Fox News reported.
The vehicle, seen in a spy photo published by Autoblog, is dressed unmistakably like a Cadillac. It appears to be the same size and shape as Obama’s car, while featuring the brand’s latest grille and headlight design. Public records indicate that General Motors (GM) has been awarded three contracts for the project.
President Obama, talking about his car, recently told comedian Jerry Seinfeld that it is “a Caddy, basically on a tank frame”. Its nickname is ‘The Beast’.
The US Secret Service reportedly maintains a fleet of 12 identical limousines that are used in Washington DC, and transported around the world to support the President’s activities.
The specific cost for each vehicle is undisclosed, but has been estimated to be USD 1-1.5 million. So far, the total paid to GM for work on the 2017 model is USD 15,800,765, the report said. The new car will likely make its public debut on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.