Joe Biden recently visited the UK for the G7 summit and accompanying him were the duo of £1.2m Cadillac ‘The Beast’. These are the same vehicles that were deployed for on-ground transportation duties of Donald Trump, the former President of the US when he visited Delhi and Gujarat in India. The Cadillac One presidential limousine chauffeuring the POTUS gets the highest grade of defensive (and offensive) security features.
Case in point, Joe Biden’s ‘Beast’ comes equipped with an armoured exterior, layered armoured windows, a top-spec communications system and Kevlar-reinforced tyres. But how much does all of this extra security cost? To shed light on how much world leaders spend on car security, MotorEasy spoke to vehicular armouring specialists Armormax who specialise in armouring vehicles for world leaders, celebrities and people with high risk jobs.
Armormax have revealed 9 security features commonly found on presidential cars and estimated how much in total it would cost to install all of the security upgrades on your own car. By installing these security features, vehicle owners could turn their humble cars like a Maruti Suzuki Swift or a high-end vehicle like Mercedes-Benz S-Class into a fortress so secure it could chauffer any world leader. However, these high-grade car security upgrades would set you back by at least $75,000 (Rs 55 Lakh).
Here’s a list of the upgrades you can get in your car to make it as secure as the Beast-
Full armouring package
Price - $66,383
Adding up to 1000 lbs of bullet proof protection, The Beast hosts manufacture the lightest opaque vehicle armour which is 10 times stronger than ballistic steel, so you can rest easy knowing no bullets will be getting through your car doors.
External listening device
Price - $684
Ever wondered if a friend or foe are planning an attack? Well, world leaders certainly have. Joe Biden’s Beast contains a communications centre with external microphones, allowing passengers inside the vehicle to listen to unaware outdoor conservations without having to lower a window or open a door. By Armormax’s estimations, installing this feature on an average vehicle would cost £485.
Ballistic Glass Windows
Price - $2,445
Ballistic glass windows will set you back approximately £1,735 per window to protect against the toughest security concerns. The ballistic glass can provide protection from smaller hand-held guns and withstand armour piercing rounds.
Electric Shock Door Handles
Price - $1,497
If an attacker gets close to ‘The Beast’, there’s little chance of them getting inside with door handles that can electrocute anyone attempting to open. Flipping a switch inside the car ensures that an attacker gets a serious jolt, giving Biden’s chauffer enough time to get away. Armormax’s own electric shock system converts the vehicles 12-volt battery power into a 120-volt current that is fed directly to the door handles with copper wire.
Smoke Screen Dispensers
Price - $849
If a presidential car is involved in a car chase, a smoke screen is one of the best defensive features used on high-risk vehicles. The smoke screen heats a oil based mixture to evaporate it then as it mixes with cool external air as it is dispensed from the exhaust, it condenses to a mist meaning you can make a discreet getaway while your chasers struggle to see.
Price - $2,374
Perhaps the most useful security feature for any driver, The Beast also features run-flat tyres that continue to operate even in the event of a flat tyre. The run-flat tyre inserts mean you can safely drive for 50+ miles at 70mph, meaning The President can escape without worry of attackers successfully slowing the car down. Armormax estimates all 4 tyres would come to £1,684.
Price - $489
Joe Biden’s Beast is reported to have defence accessories such as pump-action shotguns. With shotguns and no operating windows, The Beast will have gun ports or small openings that can be fitted so there’s space for firing at enemies without being exposed with an open window.