US President Joe Biden has arrived in the UK for the G7 summit chauffeured in his £1.2m Cadillac ‘The Beast’.
Joe Biden’s ‘Beast’ has an armoured exterior, layered armoured windows, a top-spec communications system and Kevlar-reinforced tyres and it’s believed also has some secret offensive features to thwart or disable attackers, but how much does all this extra security cost?
The cars chauffeuring world leaders today have the highest grade of defensive and offensive security features and there are extensive back-ups on hand to protect occupants in addition to a small army of security personnel layered around them including special forces with snipers at strategic points.
To shed light on how much world leaders spend on car security, MotorEasy spoke to vehicular armouring specialists Armormax which specialise in armouring vehicles for world leaders, celebrities and people with high risk jobs.
MotorEasy 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, drivers could turn their Ford Fiesta into a car so secure it could chauffer any world leader.
- Full armouring package – £47,100 ($66,383)
Adding up to 1000 lbs of bullet proof protection, The Beast hosts manufacture the lightest opaque vehicle armour which is 10 times strongerthan ballistic steel, so you can rest easy knowing no bullets will be getting through your car doors.
- External listening device – £485 ($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 – £1,735 ($2,445)
Ballistic glass windows will set you back approximately £1,735 per window to protect against the toughest security concerns. The Beaballistic glass can provide protection from smaller hand-held guns and withstand armour piercing rounds.
- Electric Shock Door Handles – £1,062 ($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 – £602 ($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.
- Run-Flat Tyres – £1,684 ($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 puncture. 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.
- Defensive Gunports – £347 per port ($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.
“A lot of ideas for features come direct from clients – many have probably watched too many movies!
“Especially for civilians, we like to keep the approach defensive instead of offensive, but for government agencies and heads of state, the requirements are often much more substantial. Such as machine guns that are controlled from within the cabin and retract into a discreet tool chest when not being used.
“For us, however, the most affordable and one of the more effective car security features is run-flat wheels – much cheaper than some of the more ambitious products but essential for escaping a dangerous situation, especially with deflated tyres.”