We all need to get around – presidents and dignitaries included. But while we might hop into a hatchback or even use public transport, they use somewhat different methods.
Stunning cars are synonymous with politicians, almost as much as the suits and speeches. Here are some of the best:
“The Beast” – President Bush onwards
American presidents might be known for jetting around in Air Force One, but another vehicle is just as much a part of presidential legend – The Beast.
The public knows precious little about its specs, but we can say for sure that it’s a Cadillac, and that it’s huge, weighing around 10 tonnes.
It also has a raft of special features that wouldn’t seem out of place in the next James Bond movie. Amongst other things, the 2009 version driven on President Obama’s inauguration day contained a tear-gas cannon, infrared smoke grenades, and 2 pints of the president’s blood type in case of an emergency.
Jaguar Land Rover XJ Sentinel – UK prime minister
The UK’s prime ministerial car may not be as big as its American counterpart, but it’s every part as slick. However, despite what it gives up in size this motor still has speed to match The Beast – and then some. Its top speed is actually 121mph, which is double that of the President’s car. It’s also got similar protective upgrades, alongside some that are just for pleasure. Forget the gun ports and the run-flat tyres – we want those heated and cooled rear massage seats and the high-definition television!
Various vehicles known as “the Popemobile”
While the Pope isn’t technically a politician – and his vehicle of choice not a traditional supercar – the “popemobiles” are still closely associated with the role. The image that comes to most people’s minds is a vehicle with an enclosed glass room through which the Pope waves to crowds, but the worldwide leader of the Roman Catholic Church has had many modes of transport over the years, from a standard open-top car in 1929 to the current Pope Francis’ penchant for public transport when he was Cardinal.
The Pope’s most recent vehicle of choice is in keeping with his “no frills” papacy – a Fiat 500L. Though it has just a 1.6L engine capacity and none of the mod-cons favoured by his international counterparts, recent Popemobiles have been fitted with bulletproof glass windows to guard against gunfire, explosions and the like.
Project Kortezh – Vladamir Putin
The motivation for this project came from Russia’s dwindling production of luxury cars in 2010. Out of a desire to create vehicles that could compete with more popular Western models, the Russian government began the Project. Resources were pooled from both the state and private companies to create a Bentley-like saloon car and a presidential limousine (which, as we’ve seen, is a must for any modern head of state).
The saloon – known as the Auras Senat – was officially introduced at President Putin’s fourth inauguration in 2018. A camouflage version was later seen being test driven in snowy conditions, putting its four-wheel drive to very good use.
Again, many of its details remain a secret – but we know it boasts V-12 turbocharged engine and a cabin that’s Kevlar-reinforced. Whether it’ll spark a Russian car renaissance still remains to be seen…
Lexus Landaulet– Prince of Monaco
Finishing off our list is what surely qualifies as the best wedding gift ever. That’s right – though Prince Albert seemingly has everything he could want, this stunning car was given to him in celebration of his wedding to his then-fiancée Charlene Wittstock.
It has a transparent, retractable bubble roof, made using aerospace technology but utilised here to allow the couple to wave to the crowds. Notably, it’s also a hybrid – meaning the couple travelled with zero-emissions on their big day.
What do you think of our list? Which one of these cars would you most like to own? Are there any famous cars from politicians or statespeople that we missed out? Let us know in the comments!