Washington, Jan.7 (ANI): The US Secret Service is expected to unveil the new limousine that incoming President Barack Obama will travel after he assumes office as the 44th head of state on January 20.
According to CNN, Obama will climb into a Mother of All Hybrids -- part car, part truck and, from the looks of it, part tank. The Secret Service will place the brand new presidential limousine into service January 20 to drive the new president on the two-mile jaunt down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade.
The presidential vehicle is built to precise and special specifications, undergoes extreme testing and development, and also incorporates many of the top aspects of Cadillac's 'regular' cars -- such as signature design, hand-cut-and-sewn interiors, etc."
For much of the country's history, the Secret Service didn't even drive the president. In the post-Lincoln horse-and-buggy era, it was customary for a security detail to closely trail the president, according to a Secret Service history.
With the advent of automobiles, the Secret Service acquired a 1907 H. White Steamer to follow Theodore Roosevelt's horse-drawn carriage.
White House chauffeurs drove later presidents, until the Secret Service assumed many of the driving responsibilities after Franklin Roosevelt's death in 1945.
In 1965, Lyndon Johnson was the first president to ride in a bulletproof limo in an inaugural parade, less than two years after his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, was shot and killed while riding in an open car.
According to The Times, the "Obamobile" will be a monster gas-guzzler made by General Motors, the troubled car giant.
It will look like a black Cadillac but is built like a tank. The armour-plated car, which has a raised roof, windows up to five inches thick, extra-strength tyres and a body made of steel, aluminium, titanium and ceramics, is thought to be based on a GMC 2500 truck that gets less than 10 miles to the gallon.
Three cars are believed to be in production so that two can serve as decoys.
While security is paramount - the car is built to survive roadside bombs as well as gunfire - there are hybrid four-wheel drives on the market, such as Ford's Mercury Mariner, which some critics believe could have been adapted for the president.
Spy photos taken at an undisclosed location, and obtained by FOXNews.com, show a vehicle undergoing testing that is believed to be the next version of "Cadillac One," the unofficial code name of the President's limousine.
Eyewitnesses say the new vehicle is actually much larger, and rides on large wheels similar to those found on commercial grade GMC TopKick trucks. The vehicle was being escorted by two of those big boys at the time it was spotted, leading to speculation that the car is in fact one of them in disguise.
Photos show doors that appear to be nearly 8 inches deep, with thick, fixed windows. Only the driver''''s window has a small slot that can slide open, which we assume is for paying tolls.
With so much armor on board, it would be no surprise if GM needed to resort to using the bones of a truck to support the added weight.
A source at one of the world''''s premier security vehicle manufacturers says that armored cars of this magnitude are capable of withstanding not only armor-piercing bullets, but also attacks from IEDs.
A number of electronic countermeasures are known to exist that can do things like jam enemy communications and prevent them from detonating roadside bombs remotely, but many others remain top secret and are available only to customers at the highest levels of government. (ANI)