Transporting world leaders from A-to-B is a complex endeavor, usually accomplished using motorcades, escorts, roadblocks, and all sorts of bullet and bombproof vehicles. Incorporating that level of technological sophistication into a stylish vehicle worthy of transporting and head of state is no easy task.
Today’s graphic looks at official state vehicles, from the unparalleled Cadillac One that transports President Trump, to the understated ’87 Volkswagen Beetle driven by former Uruguayan president, Josè Mujica.
THE OFFICIAL OFFICIAL VEHICLE
According to data from TitleMax, the overwhelming favorite car brand for world leaders is Mercedes–Benz, particularly the S-Class.
Many countries use luxury brands such as Mercedes–Benz and BMW to transport their heads of state, though it’s also a popular move select domestic brands for such an important and highly symbolic task. The United States, Japan, China, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Sweden are all examples of countries that chose vehicles made by domestic brands.
The United States spares little expense in keeping the president safe, and President Trump’s Cadillac One, nicknamed “The Beast“, is no exception.
As one would expect, the vehicle is heavily armored, with doors that weigh as much as the ones on a Boeing 757. There are also some unique features packed into the vehicle, such as tear gas launchers, and pints of blood that match the president’s blood type.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, rides in a BMW 7 Series that boasts some impressive safety features, including on-board oxygen supply and toxic gas sensors.
OLD SCHOOL COOL
While many nations fleets consist of modern luxury vehicles, some heads of state opt for vintage rides.
The former King of Tonga, George Tupou V, preferred traveling in vintage cars, such as a 1949 Humber Pullman and his customized London taxi.
An English taxi is extremely easy to get in and out of wearing a sword, a spiked helmet or spurs.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom IV is, in some ways, the quintessential vehicle for pomp and circumstance. Only 18 of the vehicles were made between 1950 and 1956, and all were purchased by royal families and heads of state. Three of these historical vehicles are still in use by the Spanish head of state for ceremonial occasions.
During special events, Chilean leaders cruise in a 1966 Ford Galaxie. The car, which has been in use for decades, was a gift from the Queen Elizabeth II.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, occasionally ditches his Mercedes–Benz S-Class to ride his bike to meetings. That may seem unusual in some parts of the world, but not in the Netherlands where nearly a quarter of the country’s population rides a bicycle on any given day.