Most of us now know that the POTUS (President of the United States) flies in a giant of an aircraft called Air Force One. Not many (at least I think) would have known that any vehicle – on road, water, air, the POTUS or Eagle travels gets the call sign ONE. This is one of those ONES – Cadillac One – the car that the President Of USA travels. In short – this is a tank that thinks it is a car!!!!

Obama’s India tour had its highs and lows. There were moments of awe: Air Force One touching down at Mumbai’s airport; the black-clad secret service officers accompanying the First Couple we only saw in movies; but one feature, indeed one of the most crucial, that escaped the limelight was Obama’s Cadillac.

What’s so great about the car, you might ask. Well, Obama’s limousine is special, very special.

For starters, it’s been nicknamed ‘The Beast’ – one look at its enormous size, and there’s no doubt why. Because the Secret Service keeps details of the limo understandably private, even the most knowledgeable security experts don’t really know how much gadgety tech is being installed in the ride. But it’s not stopping them making a few informed guesses.

In an interview with CNN, security expert Ken Lucci says rubber gaskets likely protect the car against chemical weapons and that the body is made out of a tougher material than before. The most recent limo used by President Bush used some combination of a dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium and even ceramics to break up possible projectiles. And there are usually steel overlaps that cover any gaps a door might leave.

Despite the immense secrecy, reports have leaked that the limo also comes with a 10-CD changer, which will inevitably end up playing Obama favourites like Steve Wonder and Bob Dylan.

Add to that all the cool features that the limo actually has, no wonder it’s touted as the coolest car on the planet.

Read on to find out why Obama’s Cadillac is actually a tank that thinks it’s a car.

Fact File

Price: Rs 2.15 crore
Length: 18ft
Height: 5ft 10inches
Engine: 6.5-litre diesel
Max speed: 60 mph (100 km/h)
0-60mph: 15 sec
Mileage: 8mpg (3.4 km/l)

Chassis

A reinforced five-inch steel plate runs under the car for protection in the unlikely event of a bomb placed underneath.

Bodywork

Combination of dual hardness stell, aluminium, titanium and ceramic to break up possible projectiles.

Doors

Armour-plated, eight inches thick and heavier than a cabin door on a Boeing 757 jet. A lock safety mechanism seals the car like a bank vault in case of an emergency.

Tyres

Kevlar reinforced, shred- and puncture-resistant with steel rims underneath enabling the car to escape at speed even if tyres are blasted away. The car runs on 19.5-inch Goodyear RHS tyres (same as super tough trucks).

Petrol Tank

Armour-plated and filled with a specially designed foam which prevents it from exploding even if it suffers a direct hit.

Boot

Holds an oxygen generating system and a firefighting system.

Defence Accessories

Equipped with night vision cameras and pump-action shotguns. Also armed with tear gas cannons. Bottles of the president’s blood kept on board in case he needs an emergency transfusion.

Driver’s Window

Tough enough to withstand armour-piercing bullets. The only window in the limousine that opens – by just three inches – so the driver can pay toll or talk with sercret service agents running alongside.

Driver’s Compartment

Standard sterring wheel, but dashboard contains a communications centre and GPS tracking system.

Chauffeur

Trained by CIA to cope in most demanding of driving situations.

Rear Seats

Obama’s seat has an executive package featuring a foldaway desktop, laptop computer with wi-fi, state-of-the-art satellite phone and a direct line to the vice president and the Pentagon.

Rear Compartment

Seats four passengers with a glass partition – only Obama has a switch to lower it. Windows are larger than on previous presidential cars and a panic button has been installed for Obama to summon help.

Windows

According to Presidential vehicle experts, the limo is a beast-like General Motors truck-based Cadillac that is so tough it’s like a ‘rolling tank with windows’ – 5-inch-thick windows at that!

No wonder this is called THE BEAST!!!!

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