The blast-proof limo that carries President Obama on official business is nearing retirement. The custom Cadillac has thick armor plating, a sealed interior and bulletproof windows. It is fitted with run-flat tires.
The government has put out a request seeking proposals for a new design, and hopes to launch the replacement limousine in time to carry the next president in 2017. Writes David Shepardson of the Detroit News:
The newest presidential limousine, nicknamed "The Beast," made its debut just before President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. It has shiny 16-spoke wheels and a distinctive Cadillac grille complete with the GM brand's crest. The president on weekends for personal business typically travels around in an armored Chevrolet Suburban.
GM said last year it was proud to work on the car.
"There's more security around the development of a presidential limo than any of our products," GM vice president for design Ed Welburn said in a Detroit News interview in September. "It takes a number of years to develop the car. It's a great project to work on. This particular one, more so than any of them in the past. In the past, they were retrofitting existing vehicles — with this, this is really from the ground up a new vehicle, and we really do it right."
Only American automakers are eligible to bid on the project.
Shepardson joins The Daily Circuit to talk about the president's car.