Politicians are leaders who are skilled and experienced in the art of administration of the government. They are highly respectable people as they influence the general public and rule the government. They enjoy a high profile life by living in plush houses, guarded by top-notch securities, and drives in lavish cars. From Asia, Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, there are many political personalities, who ride in the best cars available in the world.
A Cadillac for the US President, a BMW for Indian Prime Minister and a Lexus for Japanese Prime Minister. Politicians prefer nothing less than BMWs, Jaguars, and Mercedes to ride on the road. Even though, due to security purposes these high profile politicians are not allowed to drive by themselves, but that doesn’t stop them from riding in a chauffeur-driven luxury cars packed with top security features. So, here’s a look at the powerful cars that transport the world’s most powerful people.
- Barack Obama-US President
The Presidential state car is the official state car used by the United States President. The present President of the United States, Barack Obama uses the General Motors Cadillac. Before becoming the US President, Obama owned a luxurious 2005 Chrysler 300C with a V8 engine and later switched to an environmentally friendly car, a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid.
- General Motors Cadillac-
Obama’s Cadillac limousine, or ‘The Beast’, as nicknamed by the US Secret Service, is fitted with a special night-vision system, tear gas cannons, an advanced fire-fighting system, Kevlar-reinforced run-flat tires, steel wheels that work even without a tire, a blood bank holding the President’s blood type and its own oxygen supply. The vehicle is made of titanium, ceramic, steel and aluminum, and has an 8-inch thick armor-plated doors that weigh as much as the cabin door of a Boeing 757 jet. The windows of Cadillac are 5-inch thick bulletproof that shields the President from all threats even chemical attacks. To wipe out the possibility of any explosion, the fuel tank of the vehicle is covered with special foam.
Since 2003, after the assassination of President John F Kennedy who was riding an open top Lincoln Continental, the country has turned more attentive towards the security of the President by making the Presidential vehicle virtually impenetrable. The limousine is based on Cadillac DTS and the first Presidential limousine not to have a specific model name. The vehicle is a combination of features sourced from different vehicles under the General Motors brand with its chassis, doors, headlights, side mirrors and door handles having different origins.
The Prime Ministerial Car refers to a number of British manufactured vehicles used by the Prime Minister of United Kingdom. The current Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David William Donald Cameron uses Jaguar XJ Sentinel. These cars are driven by specially trained UKSF close protection drivers, and are escorted by unmarked Range Rovers and Protection Command officers. Although due to security reasons, David Cameron is not allowed to drive his personal car, but he owns a Honda CRV.
- Jaguar XJ Sentinel-
Armored, custom built Jaguar XJ Sentinel supercharged 5.0-litre V8 models are used by the Prime Minister of the country. These vehicles come with a number of security features, including a 13 mm explosive resistant steel plate underneath the body, titanium and Kevlar-lined cabins, armored windows with bulletproof polycarbonate toughened glass, run flat-tires and ‘gun ports’ to enable bodyguards to return fire at any attackers. These cars also have an independent, self-contained oxygen supply to protect the Prime Minister and other passengers against chemical or biological attack.
The car features state-of-the-art communication and conferencing systems, high definition televisions, night vision, as well as adjustable, heated and cooled rear massage seats, and a Bowers & Wilkins 1200-watt, 20-speaker Dolby 7.1 surround-sound system. The vehicle is B7 level armored, and is capable of withstanding the blast of 15 kg equivalent TNT and sustained attack by a variety of other armor-piercing weapons.
India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi uses Special Security Edition BMW made BMW7 Series. It is the 760Li High Security edition with the looks identical to 745Li. Being a low weight car, its maneuverability is easy. In 2003, India’s former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the decision to replace the Hindustan Ambassadors with BMWs. Since then, India’s Prime Ministers has used version of this car that can withstand attacks from blunt objects, handguns and AK-47s. Under the guidance of highly experienced instructors in the security field, BMW teaches professional drivers to drive these vehicles.
- BMW 7-Series 760Li-
Mr. Modi uses BMW 7-Series 760Li High Security edition that is powered by a V12 engine that puts out 544hp of power at 5250rpm and 750Nm of torque at 1500rpm, paired to an 8-speed transmission. The car has a bomb-proof and self-sealing fuel tank that doesn’t explode under any circumstances. Under threats of gas attacks, the cabin seals and isolates itself from the surroundings and turns into a gas proof chamber. Even the floor of the car is protected and reinforced against explosions. The car also comes with a high density polycarbonate safety glass that is over 6mm thick. The inner layer of polycarbonate protects the interior from the entry of broken glass in case the first layer gets damaged. As additional safety features, the car has an attack alarm, run-flat tires and an intercom system, which allows the occupants to communicate with the outside world without leaving the vehicle or opening the doors or windows.
The Japanese Prime Minister travels in a Lexus LS 600h L, or an unmodified Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade of numerous Toyota Celsiors. Century is a large four-door limousine manufactured mainly for Japanese market comes with a Japanese built V12 engine. Since its introduction in 1967, the exteriors of the century remained more or less unchanged.
- Lexus LS 600h L-
Generally, the Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Lexus LS 600h L, the official transport for the head of government. Ls 600h L comes with a 5.0L V8 petrol engine that produces output of 389hp and 385pound-feet of torque, which is coupled to two electric motors that enhance output to 438hp. It is an honest luxury car that is equipped with advanced technologies and that definitely suits the Prime Minister of Japan.
One of the hugely popular politician and the most powerful man in Russia, Vladimir Putin owns a fleet of cars. Putin has been Russia’s President since 2012 before that he has even served the country as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000. The first car owned by him was a Zaporozhets. The Russian President now is a proud owner of many Russian cars such as Lada Kalina, the Niva, Volga GAZ-21, along with other cars such as Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard Pullman, Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen.
- Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard Pullman-
Mercedes-Benz has always been appreciated by the Governments, heads of state and royalty all over the world for the cars they have created for them and the S600 Guard Pullman is one such example. The luxury limousine is featured with all the communications and entertainment equipment required but also has enough and more space for discreet meetings. It is based on the flagship Mercedes Benz S 600 L Guard model and under the hood is a 5513cc, twelve-cylinder biturbo engine which produces 517bhp and a peak torque of 830 Nm. Both the chassis and the body are new developments to add to the stability, given the fact that it has an extra-long wheelbase.
As far as security is concerned, the S 600 Guard Pullman is equivalent to resistance level B6/B7, as tested and certified by state-approved organizations. Its armor resists military-standard small-arms projectiles and provides protection against fragments from hand grenades and other explosive devices. Additional safety features include run-flat tires, a self-sealing fuel tank and a fire-extinguishing system. The limousine is bulletproof, has solid rubber tires, and carries an array of communications equipment. On Putin’s state visits, it is airlifted to the destination using an Il-76.
Even though the Chinese officials have always been fond of German automakers, the current President of China, Xi Jinping drives in the domestically manufactured Hongqi cars. These cars are used as the official government state car and are also open for sale for the people of the Republic.
- Hongqi L5-
Hongqi that means “Red Flag” is the China’s only domestically manufactured luxury car. The President of the PRC drives in a Hongqi L5 limousine, which is a Chinese car with a chrome front grille and Rolls-Royce interiors. Weighing nearly 3.2 tons, it is propelled by a 300kW 6.0L V12 engine, and burns 20L of gasoline per 100km. This limousine comes with oriental history visible from its emerald color door handles, fine leather interior and hand-carved wood trims.