Armoured Style - What do world leaders get chauffered around in?
From 8-tonne beasts to hum-drum Volkswagen Beetles, presidents get driven in a lot of weird and quirky cars. Here are some of the best
Ever since the invention of the automobile, presidents had to inevitably be driven around in a car, but evidently not everything was going to cut it. One of the earliest examples of this is Roosevelt: He owned the first official vehicle, but it wasn't until William Taft set his White Model M Steamer as the official presidential vehicle that the world would know what a presidential car was. On a side note, Taft also owned a Baker Electric as his daily driver. Without further ado, let's get going with this post!
United States of America - Donald Trump - Cadillac "The Beast" One
That's as american as it gets... it has pump-actoin shotguns at the back...
8-tonnes, a cannon that shoots tear gas, night vision cameras and a staggering top speed of 97.5 kilometres per hour achieved in a neck-breaking 15 seconds. What's not to like? "The Beast" first got introduced in 2009, during Obama's step-in to presidency's parade. It's now being used in Trump's administration, and rumours suggest that a new one is being cooked up for late summer 2018, according to Secret Service statements.
Russian Federation - Vladimir Putin - Aurus Senat Limousine
It seems as if the front was a bit inspired by Rolls-Royce
Specially commissioned for Vladimir Putin's swearing-in ceremony, the Aurus Senat is the child of a joint collaboration between Russia's NAMI and... Porsche?!? The German masters provided the engine (a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 with near 600hp), meant to haul the 6-tonne, 23-feet long behemoth around. Based on different reports, the Senat can automatically move the seats to a safer position in case of an inevitable crash, that's what I'd call "How to cheat on a crash test 101". After those small details, info is scarce on the armoured machine.
United Kingdom - Queen Elizabeth II - Bentley State Limousine
The State Limo in its first official outing - 2002
Built for ocassion of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee, this large-but-not-that-large Bentley is based off of the ex record-holder Bentley Arnage, except this is 2.7ft longer than the Arnage... and costs considerably more: 10 million Great British Pounds. That cost can be justified when you consider the doors, which open in a 90-degree angle, the special bodywork built by Bentley's Mulliner division, and the lambswool sateen interior. Another thing about the State Limo is that only two were built, and they were most recently converted to run on biofuel.
North Korea - Kim Jong-Un - Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard
6.5 meters of armoured goodness
Used by North Korea's memeful dictator, Kim Jong-Un, this 5.1-tonne monster tops out at 155 kilometers per hour, a measly 100kph off of the 155mph we're used to in German machinery. The "Guard" moniker denotes the VR9 level of protection (the highest level of ballistic protection). This extra weight comes at an expense: The doors are so heavy that hydraulic actuators are put to aid with the opening or closing. Having a 18.5in screen probably doesn't aid with weight in the slightest. Fancy one? You'll need a small loan of 1.4 million Euros, no lowballers, please.
República Oriental del Uruguay - José Mujica - Volkswagen Beetle
Sometimes less is more
Right, so even though Mujica's time in presidency has ended, I just couldn't ignore this one. Mujica was a president known for two things: Being a commie, and being very, very humble. Even though his whole service insisted on driving him around a fancy Mercedes SUV, he refused and stuck to his old trusty Beetle. After he got replaced by Tabaré Vázquez, he received an offer of 1 million dollars from an Arab Sheikh asking for the car. He declined, and said that even if he did get the money, he would donate it all towards charity. Maybe the "World's poorest president" nickname was actually fit enough for him, but let's not talk about him being fit...
China - Xi Jingping - FAW Hongki L5
Hong Ki translates to "red flag"... see where I'm going?
This retro-styled luxobarge is built to haul Xi Jingping, the leader of the communist party ("red flag"...) whenever there's a parade or to go from one expensive historical building to another, in classic China fashion. Powered by a 6-litre V12 engine churning out 408 horsepower and 550nm of torque. This powers the 3150kg car, that is also driven about quite nicely, thanks to the AWD drivetrain it boasts of. It's also the most expensive car ever produced and sold in China, with an asking price of over 1 million dollars.
Japan - Akihito - Toyota Century Royal
To think there's a hearse version of this...
Built to replace the ageing Nissan Prince Royal, the Japanese Imperial Household Agency contacted Toyota and asked for an even higher-spec Century, to which they had to oblige. The Royal-spec Century features granite steps, rice paper that headlines the whole car and wool cloth upholstery. This is powered by the land of the rising sun's one and only V12: The 1GZ-FE, belting out 276bhp (Not even the royalty escapes the Gentleman's Agreement) and 460nm of twist. The Agency originally asked for five of those very special cars to be built, but after seeing the individual cost of each (851.445USD p/u) they settled with four. It debuted as the state car in July 7th, 2006, and has been shuttling Akihito for almost twelve years now.
This was Drivetriber Agus García, and until then, peace out! Drop a comment if you liked it, feeback is always welcomed.