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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Hyundai has completely refreshed the Santa Fe for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe is getting more than just a traditional mid-cycle update for the 2021 model year. It's closer to a generational shift with new powertrains, a new platform, and more premium features.

If you're saying to yourself, "Didn't they just change it?" to yourself right now, you're not wrong. The current Santa Fe shifted generations just about two years ago as the company prepared to introduce the three-row Palisade. When the Palisade arrived, the Santa Fe was relegated to the new two-row Santa Fe and a holdover three-row Santa Fe for a year before going to just a two-row model for 2020.

The SUV has a fresh grille and headlamp design as well as new front and rear fascia.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a face that looks like a blend of the Palisade and the Vision T concept car, which was first shown at last year's LA Auto Show. Its headlights carry over the Spartan helmet-like design that first appeared on the Kona. T-shaped LED daytime running lights flow from the headlights to the sides of the grill. The lower grille eschews the crucible-shape that is on the Palisade and offers a new, sophisticated look.

Hyundai has made the car beefier looking but also gentler with posterior that's sophisticated with arrow-like taillights that are connected through the center of the tailgate by a light bar.

Twenty-inch wheels are available as part of a Luxury Package that includes front and back lower bumpers and side cladding that match the body paint color, rather than the traditional matte black.

Hyundai has already revealed that the 2021 Santa Fe will come with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants in Europe. They have not confirmed which, if either of those powertrains is coming to the U.S. More information is expected to be revealed soon.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai aimed for a premium SUV with the Palisade, to thunderous applause from industry experts and buyers, and it looks like that design mantra is holding true in the New Santa Fe. The company promotes the model as having more "space, comfort, and convenience" than the outgoing model. That's thanks in large part to the new platform the SUV is riding on.

The new third-gen Hyundai platform allows for improvements inn performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety. Additionally, it features more crash resistance. With the SUV market growing increasingly competitive, it's understandable that Hyundai would want to shift the model to the new underpinnings ASAP.

The lower half of the dashboard has been redesigned for 2021 and the cabin has been outfitted with soft-touch materials. The center console has also been redesigned and now floats and features similar instrumentation to the Hyundai Nexo and Palisade. This leaves a good amount of space between driver and front passenger for storage.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats on the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen appears to float above the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. There is not yet confirmation as to when it comes to the U.S. or what it will cost.

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Two British brands are coming together to launch a new project.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The two companies have performance-oriented contemporary design in common, but that's not all. British car company Lotus has begun working with Savile Row outfitter and bespoke tailor Norton & Sons on a new project.

For now, both companies have been relatively mum on what they're working on, but a few key details have snuck out. The first of which is that they say their creation is "For the Drivers". A clue and a tagline in one.

There are promises that the creation will, "incorporate both brands' core values of light-weighting, performance-oriented contemporary design and sporting durability." They'll make an official announcement later this year.

Lotus x Norton & Sons Norton & Sons is located on London's famed Savile Row.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus has been undergoing a brand renaissance since new shareholders and management took over in 2018. In its heyday, the company had the Elan, which was recently voted as one of Britain's best classic cars, had vehicles featured in James Bond films, and was winning at the racetrack with enough frequency to claim a level of dominance.

Recently, the company has made plans for a quick and electrified future. They announced that the Lotus Evija hypercar has enter its initial build stage.

On the more pedestrian end of the spectrum, the Evora has gotten a cheaper, more daily-driver-focused variant and Elise Classic Heritage Editions were shown for the first time.

Norton & Sons was founded in 1821 and celebrates its bicentennial next year. It has clothed some of history's most stylish and inspiring men, including Hollywood legends such as actor Cary Grant, British royalty including King Edward VII, and performance pioneers such as Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the speed of sound.

Patrick Grant, Director of Norton & Sons, said: "The year I was born Lotus won the Formula 1 Constructors' Championship. Growing up it was the definitive British sports car brand. James Bond drove a Lotus Esprit and it was the car that every kid in the playground dreamed of owning. Colin Chapman is revered as an engineering icon, a pioneer and an entrepreneur of exceptional personal style. Norton & Sons has a long tradition of making for sportsmen and pioneers, so Lotus and Norton & Sons feels like a perfect fit."

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