New US President limo seen undergoing secret tests
A new and advanced version of the bullet-proof, bomb-proof "Beast", the limousine currently being used by US President Barack Obama, was spotted undergoing secret tests.
Although public records indicated that General Motors had been awarded the contract, GM spokespersons refused to comment.
The new Cadillac limousine is expected to make its debut for the new US President on Inauguration Day on 20 January 2017.
21 Jun 2013: US government 'shopping' for new limo
The US Department of Homeland Security opened bidding for the contract for armor system development for a new presidential limousine.
According to information posted on FedBizOpps.gov, Phase 1 in the development of the limousine would "include concept development, armor design, initial automotive component selection and chassis development, material testing, armor system modeling and simulation, and armor system fabrication and testing (live fire)".
12 Mar 2014: Work on presidential limo moves forward
The Department of Homeland Security opened bidding for the contract to develop and produce the actual vehicle.
According to the information posted on FebBizOpps.gov, the US Government was looking for "major domestic US automobile manufacturers" to "include integration of the armor design developed during Phase 1 of the program."
The contract would also include Phases 2, 3 and 4 in the limousine's development.
Phases : Phases 2-4 in the development of presidential limo
According to FedBizOpps.gov, Phase 2 would include "selection and integration of final automotive components, chassis, interior, exterior, and test vehicle fabrication and automotive component testing."
Phase 3 would be focused on "automotive validation", whereas Phase 4 would involve the actual "production of vehicles".
The contracts for Phases 2-4 for which bidding opened in March 2014, were to be awarded by 29 August 2014.
Specs : The general specifications of US presidential limos
Since 1939, every US President's limousine has either been a Lincoln or a Cadillac.
While the exact specifications for the presidential limousine are kept classified for security purposes, it is widely believed that limos are built on medium-duty truck chassis.
They are capable of carrying around thousands of kilos of armour, bullet-proof glass, and spare oxygen supplies to protect the President from every threat.
28 Jan 2016: New US President limo seen undergoing secret tests
Fact: The cost of a presidential limo
The cost for a presidential limousine is estimated to be $1-1.5 million. According to UsaSpending.gov, three contracts worth $15,800,765 were awarded to General Motors by the Department of Homeland Security in 2014-15, leading to speculation that GM was involved.