The 2017 Election will bring not only a new President but a new, decked -out Presidential limo as well. Ever since the 1890’s, our presidents have been traveling around in American made vehicles and a proposal request is hoping to find a suitable replacement for the current Caddy.
A Packard Twelve, Ford Thunderbird, and even the first Ford coming off the lines after the WWII shutdown have all been called to serve as presidential limos. Droptops were common before their elimination at end of the Kennedy administration, for obvious reasons. William Taft’s Cadillac Model G was his choice for official travel, but an electric Baker was his one of his pride and joys. President Barack Obama even traded in his Chrysler 300C for a Ford Escape Hybrid, just before his first presidential race.
An electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S could be an interesting option for the next President, and with the recent focus on our national conversion to electric travel, leading by example may help consumers to get in on this green trend. While Tesla Model S’ unprecedented scores in crash testing may seem like an important feature , any car’s crash ratings will inevitably be increased with the 5,000+ lbs of armor plating integrated into the final version.
Unfortunately, the all-electric nature of the Tesla makes it unfit for carrying the President. Compare it to the high-flying version of a presidential limo, Air Force One, which has the ability to refuel midair indefinitely. While it’s extremely unlike for the President to be in a long term, high-speed chase, it’s important for the president to be able refuel at a moment’s notice. Quite frankly, not even Tesla’s 30 minute Superchargers meet this need
The current presidential pusher, nicknamed the Beast, is an extended Cadillac truck platform that looks like a stretched (and discontinued) DTS. Each of the, supposedly, 12 identical vehicles weigh in around the 10,000 lb mark and get 3.7 mpg. Obviously, fuel efficiency isn’t a decision maker here. Over the past 75 years, only Ford, Lincoln, and Cadillac brands have been selected for this prestigious position; Chrysler has already said they are not seeking out the contract.
The American automotive industry helped build this country and when choosing a replacement vehicle to carry our chosen leader, it’s important to support it. Any company that submits a proposal must be USA based, so many ultra-tough options like the $500,000 Marauder or the $200,000 Dartz Kombat are out. Even the Ford powered Conquest Knight XV is out of the picture with its Canadian origins. Also there’s the whole “dictator” look these vehicles put forth.
Luckily, companies like Texas Armored Car make factory protection a null point, as any car can be outfitted with the 5-inch thick glass and 8-inch thick door panels found on the Beast. Electronics and interior features would also be completely customized meaning once again these features are relatively unimportant.
So what car to choose? What would make a perfect new transportation for our Commander-in-Chief? Here’s my proposal; none. Why do we need a replacement? If we have 12 limos that are up to the standards of our current president, why don’t we keep them? Update the electronics inside, bump the fuel economy up to an even 4 MPG, and call it a day. With our current economical standpoints and a cost of $1.5m per limo, that’s $18m we can cut out of our budget. Maybe, I’m just cheap, but the greenest car is usually the one already on the road.
Think you have another option? Let us know in the comments.