Not too long ago, the Secret Service ordered newly updated limousines in which to transport the president and other high-ranking officials. According to several recent reports, it appears that the “Beast,” as it is informally known, is just about ready to be delivered.
According to Car and Driver, the new Beast built by General Motors was spotted being put through its paces at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan, and appeared to be something of a mixture in design of the Cadillac Escalade SUV and CT6 sedan.
Numerous “spy photos” of the armored limo undergoing final tests were published by various automotive media outlets, but one thing about those pictures has caught a lot of people’s eyes, namely the unusual camouflage.
According to AutoGuide, that camo is not some new type of paint job, but is instead a special vinyl wrap that serves a very specific purpose — to disguise the true dimensions and contours of the vehicle from the unblinking eye of a camera, as well as the eyes of those who would be looking at pictures taken by said cameras.
The weird wrapping, which typically feature a mixture of swirls, lines, stripes, splotches, geometrical shape, and curves, works to distort the true dimensions of the vehicle by creating odd and unnatural contrasts that can trick the auto-focus feature of many cameras by alternately absorbing and reflecting light via the black and white patterns.
Obviously, the camo wrap will be removed prior to delivery, and the armored limo will most likely feature the typical glossy black finish of its predecessors.
According to AutoWeek, while the exterior of the limo has been updated, much of the interior is expected to remain similar to the previous iteration of the Beast, which was delivered to former President Barack Obama in 2009 and is still in use today.
Aside from the driver and passenger up front, the rear of the vehicle has room for five people, and it is bulletproof, bombproof and sealed against chemicals and toxic gases.
The communications equipment within the Beast has most assuredly been updated, and the vehicle is known to always have several bags of the president’s own blood on stock, in case an emergency transfusion is needed, as well as oxygen tanks, tear gas, and guns … lots of guns.
Newsmax reported that the Beast weighs in somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 lbs, due to the protective armor, and is believed to be equipped with a 8.1 liter V8 gasoline-fueled engine to power it.
Nor will this Beast be alone, as it is actually part of a fleet of about a dozen similarly built and equipped limos that the Secret Service maintains.
Hopefully the finalized Beast will soon be unveiled to the public when it is delivered and pressed into service protecting our president, his family and all others who fall under the watchful eye of the Secret Service.
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