Now here's something you don't see every day. But our good friends at Automotive News shared this with us on their website Sunday night, and here's their short report:
No, this isn't a prop from the new X-Files movie. It's believed to be the next presidential limousine, a camouflaged Caddy that's going through final testing before carrying the next U.S. president on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. It's part Cadillac, part tank; armor-plated doors are about 8 inches thick. And did that exhaust sound like a diesel? Photo credit: CHRIS DOANE FOR BRENDA PRIDDY & CO.
Whoever wins the upcoming election will apparently ride to the White House in a brand-new whip -- no word yet on wheel size, but I'm predicting 32's (and of course, with spinners). It appears Cadillac is keeping the coveted White House motor pool contract for at least the immediate future. The bottom line is that Lincoln, which often traded-off with Cadillac for this honor (and large contract and the prestige which comes with it) every few years, simply doesn't have a car suitable to do the work the Secret Service insists on, like having rear-wheel (or even all-wheel) drive and that (possible) diesel engine.
Rumors said Cadillac installed marine engines in these cars, because they can take punishment which would wear-out a gasoline engine. Marine engines get cooled by the water around them, so the development of a huge cooling system would be necessary for a car so equipped. One of the new diesels would make sense, because take-off torque is almost as critical as top-end speed for this baby. And the new diesels are cleaned-up quite a bit so the your country's chief executive driving by won't sound or smell like an idling school bus. Several of these models are kept on stand-by, at least one never far from the fleet of planes at Andrews Air Force base which accompanies the president wherever he or she may travel. It's just one of many large pieces of material which gets to a president's location before she or he actually arrives.
There's a few postings on my website about the presidential limos and also the rash of motorcycle accidents which have happened to local police running traffic control and escorting the limo. Check it out at: www.SteveParker.com and feel free to look around ...
And here's a look at the current model, in action:
I've never liked the looks of the new Caddy limos used for this job (although naturally Cadillac is thrilled to see the president getting in and out of one of their cars for several years on end). The car is too tank-like, it appears too top-heavy, a reflection of what the engineers are trying to accomplish: Shoe-horning several tons of comfort and protective equipment into a car which at least looks something like a real-world conveyance. Oh, and it better be bomb-proof, too. Here's a fun thing to try: If you're ever in the area of one of these limos, try to use your cell phone. It won't work. So no one can use a cell phone to trigger any nasty business. I sleep better knowing there are a lot of people much smarter than I who put-together wonders of rolling technology like these cars.