Ceremonial Vehicles of Government Officials Worldwide
Some Come Standard with Oxygen Systems, Tear Gas and Pints of Blood
It’s time to travel in style with presidential cars around the world! We’ve gathered the official state car options of royalty, chancellors, prime ministers, and, yes, presidents. Armored cars from Audi sports cars to the humble Beetle to a tank-like “Beast” drive around the world’s leaders. The vehicles are almost as diverse as they are. Check out our infographic list of presidential vehicles from countries around the globe and see who’s rolling out in a-rockin’ way!
The Official and Ceremonial Vehicles of 45 World Leaders Transcript
|Country + Leadership Position||Car||Known modifications/cool facts|
|Afghanistan, President||Toyota Land Cruiser J200||Armored, No registration plates|
|Argentina, President||Mercedes-Benz Vito||Armored, Bulletproof|
|Australia, Prime Minister||BMW 7 Series||Ballistic- and bulletproof, 10-cm-thick overlapping armored plates, 6-cm-thick polycarbonate windows, Each door weighs 250 kg, enough to crush bones, Toxic gas sensors, two hours’ supply of oxygen, License plate is C1, meaning “Commonwealth 1”.|
|Brazil, President||2012 Ford Edge||Armored, Canadian-built|
|Canada, Prime Minister||Cadillac DTS||Armored|
|Chile, President||1966 Ford Galaxie XL||Given as a gift by Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Chile|
|China, General Secretary||Hongqi L5||The most expensive car model produced in China, “Hongqi” translates to “red flag,” a symbol of the Chinese Communist Party., 3 tons, 20 feet in length, Jade door handles|
|Costa Rica, President||Land Rover Discovery 4||Armored|
|Czech Republic, President||Škoda Superb||Armored, High-end Laurin & Klement trim|
|Dominican Republic, President||Toyota Land Cruiser 200||Bulletproof, 0-1 plate number|
|Egypt, President||2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class||Armored, Black number plate with presidential crest|
|Estonia, President||Mercedes-Benz S350dL||Estonia coat of arms license plate, Escorted by an Audi Q7|
|Finland, President||Mercedes-Benz S600L||Armored, Finland coat of arms license plate|
|France, President||DS 7 Crossback||Personalized with an opening roof, DS is the official car manufacturer for the French presidency|
|Germany, President||Mercedes-Benz S600||Armored, License plate 0-1|
|Hong Kong, Chief Executive||Lexus LS 600h L||Bears the Emblem of Hong Kong|
|India, Prime Minister||BMW 7 Series (F01)||Self-sealing fuel tank prevents explosions, Fire-fighting system, Emergency exit, Undercarriage armor plates to withstand mines and bombs, Can travel several miles on flat tires, Decoy car|
|Ireland, Prime Minister||BMW 7 Series||Driven by specially trained Garda Special Detective Unit members, Politicians in Ireland usually sit in the front of the vehicle.|
|Italy, President||Lancia Thesis||Armored, Several identical backups exist.|
|Japan, Emperor||Toyota Century Royal||One-off $500,000 custom car, Bulletproof, Granite entryway|
|Kenya, President||Mercedes-Benz Pullman S600||Armored, Kenyan coat of arms license plate, Blast-resistance meets Directive ERV 2010 requirements|
|Mexico, President||Chevrolet Suburban||Armored, Fleet of 30|
|Monaco, Prince||Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet Hybrid||Specially created for the wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock|
Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
|The royal fleet includes Range Rovers when the king visits mountainous regions.|
|Netherlands, Prime Minister||Mercedes-Benz S-Class||Armored, Owned by the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service (DKBD)|
|Nigeria, President||Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2016||Armored, Escorted by 10 cars and 10 motorcycles|
|North Korea, Supreme Leader||Mercedes-Benz 600 Landaulet||Armored, Imports of luxury goods such as a Mercedes constitute a breach of UN sanctions.|
|Norway, Prime Minister||2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 L||Armored, Escorted by BMW X5s|
|Pakistan, Prime Minister||Mercedes-Benz W222||Armored, Motorcade includes up to seven decoys, Convoy comprised of 20 to 100 vehicles depending on destination|
|Philippines, President||Mercedes-Benz W221||Bulletproof, Motorcade often involves as many as 25 vehicles|
|Poland, President||Audi A8 L Security (4H)||In 2016 and 2017, both the president and prime minister’s vehicles were involved in serious accidents.|
|Russia, President||Mercedes S-Class stretched limousine||Armored, A new Russian-made state car codenamed “Kortezh” is being rolled out between 2017-2020.|
|Singapore, Prime Minister||2013 Lexus LS460L||Accompanied by an unmarked white Volvo XC90|
|South Korea, President||Hyundai Equus VL500 (550) limousine||Armored|
|Spain, Royal Family||Rolls-Royce Phantom IV||Rebuilt with armored protection and other modifications costing more than €360,000|
|Sweden, King||Volvo S80||Escorted by Swedish Security Service in BMW X5, BMW 5 series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicles|
|Tonga, King||1949 Humber Pullman||Tongan royalty are known for driving modest, classic cars.|
|United Kingdom, Prime Minister||Jaguar XJ Sentinel||Armored, Often escorted by Range Rover and Land Rover Discovery vehicles|
|United Kingdom, Royal Family||Bentley Arnage R||Interchangeable hood ornaments include the queen’s personal mascot of St. George slaying a dragon., Kevlar-reinforced tires|
|United States, President||Cadillac One||Custom-built based on a GMC Topkick platform, Gas-proof chamber, The U.S. president is always accompanied by a full motorcade, transported using a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.|
|Puerto Rico, Governor||Chrysler 300||Chosen from the government’s pool of vehicles confiscated from criminals|
|Uruguay, President||1987 Volkswagen Beetle||Former president Jose Mujica was offered $1 million to sell his Beetle; he turned it down because he didn’t want to offend the friends who gave him the car.|
|Uzbekistan, President||2010 Range Rover Supercharged||Bulletproof windows|
|Vatican, Pope||Mercedes-Benz M-Class||Pope Francis prefers open-air Popemobiles to get closer to people.|
|Yemen, President||Peugeot 508||Ministers generally travel in a Toyota Prado.|
What Is the Car of the President of the United States?
It’s a Cadillac One for President Trump. Car options certainly might get more glamorous, but this Cadillac has a lot more than meets the eye. There are several reasons why it’s earned a strange president’s car name: “the Beast.” The US president, car or no car, needs an intense amount of protection at all times. The president’s “Beast” is equipped with eight-inch-thick doors and an oxygen system and can survive a hit from a roadside bomb. It carries a night-vision camera, tear-gas bombs in the front, a handy shotgun, and pints of the president’s blood type in the back. It’s also bulletproof, of course. It’s functionally a tank. We’d expect nothing less for the car of the president of America.
What About the Other President Cars?
Other countries might be protective of their leaders, but not much can compare with “the Beast.” For instance, for the Russian president, car features include considerably less protection than its Western peer. In fact, one of these vehicles has experienced being in an intense head-on crash that killed his favorite chauffeur. On the other hand, Vladimir Putin’s cars are a fleet rather than one super-powered car, and a new prototype called the “Kortezh” is being produced.
Here’s a handy list of some of the other major official government vehicles of presidents around the world:
- Australian Prime Minister: He drives a BMW 7 series that’s bulletproof, has an oxygen supply, and is very similar to the US president’s armored car all in all.
- Chinese General Secretary: The leader of China drives a Hongqi L5, which sports jade door handles and weighs in at 3 tons. It’s a bit more expensive than many others on this list.
- French President: In France, president car specifications are a little more relaxed. He uses a DS 7 Crossback with an opening roof.
- Indian Prime Minister: Car specifications for this BMW 7 series include undercarriage armor, emergency exits, and a fire-fighting system. This Indian “president” car also often travels with a decoy.
- German President: The leader of the homeland of great cars drives, of course, a Mercedes-Benz S600.
- North Korea Supreme Leader: Another Mercedes driver, the leader of this communist nation drives a 600 Landaulet, despite the fact that the import of luxury goods like this car would constitute a breach of UN sanctions.
Other important world leaders have cars that are as valuable as the car of USA President Trump, if not more. For instance, there’s the Bentley Arnage R of Queen Elizabeth II. The queen has invested 10 million pounds (about $14 million) in her car collection. At the opposite end of the spectrum, other royal cars include the 1949 Humber Pullman of the king of Tonga, whose family is famous for driving modest cars. Another famous vehicle worth noting is that of the pope. Car choices vary for him, but for public appearances, Pope Francis often rides in a specially made Mercedes-Benz M-Class that has a higher area for him to sit and wave at the public.
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