Celebrity Cars

Meet The Beast, the U.S. President's heavily armored limousine

A motorcade carrying U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe arrives at a restaurant where they are due to have dinner on May 26, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

Photo by Getty Images

The U.S. President's state car is known as The Beast. It's a massive Cadillac that travels around the world with the President serving the protected transportation needs of whomever the President is.

Much of the limousine's engineering is kept on the down low for security purposes but there's some solid information AutomotiveMap was able to put together.

There are two different versions of The Beast.

Trump Vietnam 2017 Cadillac limo

The convoy transporting U.S. President Donald Trump passes by on Nguyen Van Linh Road on November 10, 2017 in Danang, Vietnam.

Photo by Getty Images

The U.S. Secret Service has used two different versions of The Beast to transport current U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Beast is built by General Motors

In 2014, General Motors was awarded three contracts to develop the next-generation Beast. Ford elected to not bid on the vehicle. It has been reported that the car rides on a modified platform from a Chevrolet Kodiak.

It cost millions.

U.S. taxpayers shelled out millions of dollars for the presidential limousine. The price tag includes development, testing, building, and delivering a vehicle unlike any other in the world.

It's a Cadillac.

A new version of The Beast hits the streets in the U.K. during President Trump's visit in 2019.

Photo by Getty Images

The Beast is a luxury limousine that is branded a Cadillac. It features similar design features as the Cadillac CT6, the automaker's luxury large car with familiar headlight and taillight signatures, grille, and hood design. When it's not called The Beast, the car is often referred to as Cadillac One.

The Beast weighs around 20,000 pounds.

Various sources put the weight of the car around 15,000-20,000 pounds. The heaviest SUVs on the market today weigh around 6,000 pounds. Why does The Beast weigh more? It's lined with a host of bullet resistant armor and weighed down with advanced technology.

The car's armor is made of layers of materials.

The car features layers of thick armor that are made up of aluminum, ceramic, and steel according to NBC News. Its exterior is eight inches thick and windows are multi-layered and five inches thick. The doors are each believed to weight around 40 pounds.

The Beast (allegedly) seats seven.

Baron Trump looks out the window of The Beast as it rides down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Photo by Getty Images

Riding inside with the limousine with the President are secret service agents, members of the President's staff and family, and other elected officials. The Beast needs to have room for them all.

The car's cabin isn't quite outfitted like a traditional vehicle.

The area where the President sits is covered in a dark blue cloth rather than traditionally luxurious leather. It has seat belts that start at the center of the vehicle and latch at the exterior, which is likely a safety measure and allow agents to buckle/unbuckle the passengers in the event of an emergency without having to reach across, savings precious seconds.

It travels in style.

The Caddy flies all over the world in a C-17 Globemaster plane. The C-17 is a strategic military transport aircraft that was designed for use by the United States Air Force by McDonnell Douglas.

The Beast doesn't travel alone.

The Beast goes down Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade in celebration of President Trump's inauguration.

Photo by Getty Images

You're likely to never see The Beast on the streets by itself. The limo is usually flaked by a Suburban and other military and police forces surrounding the car. There's also frequently protective service members running alongside the vehicle in slow speed situations.

There's a refrigerator full of blood.

According to NBC News, The Beast has a range of medical supplies on board, including a refrigerator full of blood that matches the president's blood type.

It can protect the President from a biological attack.

The Cadillac is hermetically sealed, which can prevent air, oxygen, or other gases from passing into the cabin. This is especially important in the event of a biological attack.

It has other nifty technology too.

Numerous reports point to the fact The Beast has Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear run-flat tires, night-vision technology, and deployable smokescreens and oil slicks. The car's door handles can be electrified to deliver a shock if someone outside the car pulls on them. There is also world-class communications equipment that helps keep the President connected to the world any time he's in the car.

The President doesn't always use The Beast.

Trump Palm Beach Suburban

U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he is driven away after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend Easter weekend at Mar-a-Lago resort on April 13, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Photo by Getty Images

When it makes better strategic sense, the President travels in a fortified vehicle like a Suburban instead of the Cadillac limo.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is an off-road ready family hauler.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Pathfinder is the company's three-row crossover, sitting below the Armada and above the Rogue in the company's lineup. It's a rival to the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. Check out the Nissan's most compelling features by scrolling down.

Every Pathfinder comes loaded with safety technology.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver assist technology comes standard on the Rogue. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, land departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Additionally, the company's Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert technologies are standard.

ProPilot Assist takes the wheel.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology doesn't allow for hands-free driving and it's not self-driving, but it does fuse together many functionalities that make daily drive functions easier, especially when your children are doing their best to distract you.

ProPILOT Assist combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration. It can be used in heavy traffic and on open highways.

For 2021, ProPilot Assist has been enhanced. It has next-generation radar and camera technology that is designed to allow for smoother braking, better steering assist, and improved detection performance when vehicles cut into the lane.

There's a removable second-row center console.

Between the second-row captain's chairs in the seven-passenger Pathfinder, there's a thin center console (enough storage space for two cupholders and some small items) that is removable without using any tools. Removing this console allows for easier access in/out of the third-row for small children and adults. With the console in place, the seats can still be tipped and moved forward for quick ingress/egress to/from the third row.

The second row is spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Sitting in the second-row captain's chairs is very much like sitting in those that you'd find in a full-size SUV. Adults will find that hip-room is plenty big enough while children will relish the opportunity to feel like they're being treated to upscale accommodations.

Three people fit across the back seat.

Second-row captain's chairs are being offered for the first time on Pathfinder with this new model. Nissan has added rear seating flexibility with the ability to fit three across the back seat. While three adults are a tight fit in the third row, children, tweens, and some teens that don't have long legs won't likely have a problem with it.

Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has made the Rogue available with all-wheel drive. Those models also get five drive modes: Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco, and Sport. The modes are engaged using the drive-mode selector mounted on the center console. The all-wheel drive system uses new technology that is designed to respond quicker when slippage is detected.

It has a 6,000-pound towing capability.

Nissan boasts that the 2022 Pathfinder has best-in-lass available 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. That's enough to allow boats, ATVs, camp tents, or trailers to be connected out back. Trailer Sway Control is standard on the Pathfinder and allows for more towing confidence, especially when winds pick up.

Moving the second-row seat is as easy as the push of one button.

Nissan has equipped the second-row bench seat in the Pathfinder with EZ-Flex one-touch mechanics. It takes just one press of a button to activate fold and slide functionalities for the second-row seats. The button can be reached from both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle for ease.

The cargo area is plenty spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America


Behind the SUV's third-row seats Pathfinder can fit a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags - all with the third row full of occupants. The interior can also accommodate 4x8-foot plywood sheets.

The ride is sublimely quiet.

Nissan has equipped the Pathfinder with acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60-percent increase in engine noise absorption materials. The result is a vehicle that provides a quieter ride, meaning less likelihood parents will have to should to be heard by third-row passengers.

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Red light camera usage in the U.S. has declined over the last few years.

Photo by Mathieukor/Getty Images

New research shows that communities across the U.S. are not using as many red light cameras as they used to while implementation of speed detection cameras is increasing. Both have been shows to reduce the occurrence of automobile crashes.

A new checklist devised by AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) was designed to serve as a roadmap for communities that are establishing or expanding automated enforcement programs and to dispel myths surrounding the use of the cameras.

"Research by IIHS and others has shown consistently that automated enforcement curbs dangerous driving behaviors and reduces crashes," says IIHS President David Harkey. "We hope this document developed with our highway safety partners will help communities take full advantage of this tool."

From 2011 to 2014 more than 500 communities across the U.S. operated red light cameras. Today that number stands at 340. The systems are costly. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the cost as $67,000 to $80,000 per intersection. That number doesn't include the manpower hours, ticket mailing fees, court costs, or maintenance time and money associated with the ticketing. Today, the cost of the system is estimated to be in the $100,000 range per intersection.

Running red lights kills hundreds and injure tens of thousands of people every year, according to IIHS. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in red light running crashes. Most of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles and not the red light runners or passengers riding with them.

"Red light running and speeding are known killers on our roads," says Advocates President Cathy Chase. "Well-designed and implemented automated enforcement programs can deter these hazardous driving behaviors and reduce crash deaths and injuries. They can also provide an equitable, neutral option for upgrading safety. We urge states and localities to use this checklist together with road safety infrastructure improvements to help protect motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users."

Nearly one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2020 (9,478 deaths) occurred due to high speed. Crashes that occur at higher speeds tend to have more severe results.

"We know from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's research that more than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights," says Jill Ingrassia, AAA's executive director of advocacy and communications. "Automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to address dangerous driving behaviors and improve traffic safety for all road users. This new set of best practice guidelines is an excellent starting point in helping jurisdictions ensure these programs are well-designed, data-driven, transparent and equitably implemented."

Camera laws vary from state to state. Currently, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia prohibit both red light and speed cameras. Montana and South Dakota disallow red-light cameras, and New Jersey and Wisconsin have outlawed speed cameras.

The checklist features first-, second-, and long-term steps including many common sense action items including:

  • Identifying problem intersections and roadways
  • Make engineering and/or signage changes
  • Establish an advisory committee
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Utilize safety data to determine camera locations
  • Require regular evaluations
The full checklist is available now at IIHS.org.

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