Thursday, January 15, 2009
Presidential limo revealed
With president-elect Barack Obama soon to be sworn in as the nation’s leader, a new presidential limousine was in call for and once again General Motors was assigned the task of building it. Nicknamed ‘The Beast’, the limo is based on a number of GM platforms and shares components with several different vehicles.
Safety and high-tech features include 8in thick armor-plated doors (each weighing the same as a cabin door on a Boeing 757), an independent oxygen supply and advanced fire-fighting system located in the boot, pump-action shotguns, night-vision cameras and tear-gas cannons, Obama’s own personal storage of blood, Kevlar-reinforced tires that are puncture and shred-resistant, and special steel wheels that can drive without the tire attached.
The panels are comprised of dual-hardness steel, aluminum, titanium and ceramic material to help break up projectiles aimed at the car.
All of this comes at a heavy weight penalty, with top speed rated at 60mph (96km/h) and fuel-economy expected to be about 8mpg.
Obama will first use the limo when he travels along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington after his inauguration.