Wanted: Experienced automaker who can build a new armored limousine for a high-ranking VIP. Must be able to willing to partake in live fire exercises. Discretion a must.
This is the request the U.S. Secret Service posted recently as they seek a constructor for the next presidential limousine. That's right: the venerable "Cadillac One," also known as "The Beast," is due for a retirement, and the government needs someone to build a replacement.
Due to the nature of the vehicle and who will be in it, the government's request goes into little detail about the car itself, except to say that this:
"Work will include concept development, armor design, initial automotive component selection and chassis development, material testing, armor system modeling and simulation, and armor system fabrication and testing (live fire)."
The Secret Service hopes to award the contract by September 29. The limousine probably won't enter service until 2015 or thereabouts.
MotorTrend reached out to both Cadillac and Lincoln to see if they were planning on throwing their hats in the ring, but spokesfolks for both automakers declined to comment. Since 1939, all presidential limos have been Cadillacs or Lincolns.
More than likely, it will come down to one of them again. Fox News asked Chrysler and Ford if they planned to get involved with the bidding, and they told the news station they will not. (I'm guessing this is where the distinction between Ford and Lincoln comes in.)
Any other suggestions for the next presidential limo? My money's on the Acura RLX.
Photo credit AP