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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Cadillac will be the first brand with Ultra Cruise

General Motors

Tesla has been in hot water for a while now for shenanigans pulled by owners abusing the automaker's advanced cruise control functions. While the company's Full Self Driving (FSD) tech isn't quite ready for primetime, other automakers are catching up – quickly. Today, General Motors announced Ultra Cruise, its advanced driver assistance tech that promises to allow hands-free driving in 95 percent of driving scenarios.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will build on Super Cruise functionality.General Motors

GM notes that its goal is to eventually roll the service out to all paved roads in the U.S. and Canada. When it launches, the service will work on over two million miles of roads, which could nearly double as the program expands.

Ultra Cruise will offer a host of automated driving features that build on Super Cruise:

  • Dynamic display system
  • Ability to react to permanent traffic control devices
  • Follow internal navigation routes
  • Maintain headway and follow speed limits
  • Support automatic, on-demand lane changes
  • Support left and right turns
  • Support close object avoidance
  • Support parking in residential driveways

The system uses LiDAR, radar, and cameras to build a 360-degree, three-dimensional picture of the world around it. An additional LiDAR unit is located behind the windshield. GM notes that a big part of the system is its Human Machine Interface (HMI), which communicates with the driver to alert them when they need to take control. Ultra Cruise-equipped vehicles will do this with a head-up display that helps drivers stay focused on the road, and will use the same driver monitoring cameras that are used in Super Cruise.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will enable hands-free driving in the majority of driving scenarios.General Motors

Ultra Cruise will first be available in Cadillac vehicles starting from 2023. There's no word on pricing or specific vehicle availability at this time.

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Family vehicles

Two minivans that make family hauling fun

The latest minivans are actually quite desirable.

Toyota

There are people who wouldn't be seen dead in a minivan and then there are people who are lying. That's the long-held mentality around America's most useful but most maligned family-hauling vehicles, but the latest offerings from Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Chrysler are out to prove the old way of thinking wrong. Two of them, the newly redesigned Toyota Sienna and brand-new Kia Carnival are truly compelling vehicles that bring style and substance to the category. Here's a look at what makes them so cool.

2021 Toyota Sienna


2021 Toyota Sienna The new Sienna features sharper styling and comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain.Toyota


Toyota overhauled the Sienna for 2021 with an all-hybrid powertrain across the board, sharp style, and a gorgeous interior. The Sienna's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine pairs with two electric motors for a total output of 243 horsepower. The van is offered with all-wheel drive, which adds a third electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Though it won't win any drag races, the Sienna makes up for its leisurely acceleration with great fuel economy that can reach 36 mpg city with front-wheel drive and 35 mpg city with all-wheel drive.


2021 Toyota Sienna Toyota's 2021 updates to the Sienna include a more upscale interior.Toyota


Along with its new, efficient powertrain, the Sienna got a refreshed interior that is both comfortable and easy on the eyes. The Toyota does lack some of the clever seating features that make such a difference for families in rivals such as the Chrysler Pacifica, but the van does carry sliding second-row seats that can move a little over two feet forward and backward to allow for more legroom when needed. The top two trims also offer optional reclining seats with fold-away ottomans and an available built-in vacuum cleaner.

2022 Kia Carnival


2022 Kia Carnival Doesn't look all that much like a minivan, does it?Kia


The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival should be viewed as a defining vehicle in the minivan segment. It doesn't exactly look like a minivan, with styling that more closely resembles a stretched SUV than a blobby family-hauler. The Carnival is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Acceleration is strong and the powertrain is refined, but unlike the Toyota there's no all-wheel drive option.


2022 Kia Carnival The Carnival's interior is truly luxurious and looks great.Kia


Where the Kia truly sets itself apart is its interior. The top SX Prestige trim offers soft, luxurious leather upholstery and reclining seats with footrests like the Toyota. The available panoramic sunroof opens far enough to allow air over the second-row seats and the Carnival's interior finishes are among the best in its class. An optional dual 12.3-inch display covers a large portion of the dash, and offers a responsive, intuitive infotainment experience. The SX and SX Prestige trims both come standard with a rear-seat entertainment system as well.


2022 Kia Carnival The Carnival is sleek and stylish - two things not commonly associated with minivans.Kia

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