Being a world figurehead, whether political or religious, can carry many risks to the individual whilst on public engagements. The security of these people is of paramount importance, and they can often be seen with an impressive entourage of security in tow.
Not only are these vehicles equipped with luxury interiors and gadgets to make any techy geek’s mouth water, the general build of these vehicles is designed to withstand attacks that are incomprehensible to the average person. We’re intrigued by the level of security that is in effect when escorting these famous figures from A to B, often wondering how exactly their cars are modified to keep these more than average VIPs safe in transit…
Also known as Cadillac One, this is the state vehicle of the President of the United States. The President’s motorcade is operated by the Secret Service, who are able to procure essentially any type of vehicle that is necessary for transporting he who is widely regarded as the most powerful man in the world. These vehicles are often referred to with “One” added to them. For example, Air Force One (presidential aircraft) and Ground Force One (presidential bus).
In its current version, the Cadillac is equipped with both defensive and offensive features should an attempt be made on the President’s life; 6 inch bulletproof and bombproof windows, an armoured fuel tank and doors that weigh more than those on a Boeing 757. It also features Kevlar-reinforced, slash-proof tires that are usually the reserve of much heftier vehicles.
The Pope of the Catholic church is one of the most revered public figures in existence, and has been for centuries. As such, whomever becomes the Pope becomes a political target, and there have been multiple assassination attempts on various Popes throughout history.
When transporting the pope, whether around Rome or elsewhere in the world, the modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class Popemobile is often in force. The vehicle, while it has a slightly humourous name, has been specially developed to protect the Pope at all costs. Following the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1982, bulletproof, plexiglass windows were used to create a clear room in which crowds could see the reigning Pope- it even has its own oxygen supply! It can withstand explosions, and the undercarriage is designed to resist bomb blasts too.
Designed by Conquest Vehicles (a leading armoured car manufacturer), this is unlike any car you are likely to have seen before, and is so rare that only 100 have been produced to this date. The suffix “XV” reportedly stands for “Extreme Vehicle” … and that it most certainly is.
The SUV resembles something not unlike a Batmobile, and is equipped with features that you might expect of the Caped Crusader too. It can stop a bullet from an AK47, and each of the ballistic steel door weighs a whopping 160 kilograms. One swipe on the Ipad controls that man the car, and the windows instantly darken.
The Canadian manufacturers admit that there is not much need for armoured vehicles in their predominantly safe homeland, and that their biggest market is wealthy Chinese and Arabic families. The Prince of the United Arab Emirates is rumoured to have snapped one up for the cool $629,000 starting price tag.
HRH’s Land Rover
Land rovers are well known to be very durable and strong vehicles, able to withstand conditions that most cars could not. However, this is a personal favourite of HRH the Queen herself, as it reportedly reminds her of time she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War Two.
Queen Elizabeth is apparently so fond of the cars that she has reportedly owner 30 in her lifetime, starting with a Land Rover Series 1 in 1953. Her Royal Highness is also apparently partial to a Range Rover or two, of which some of the newer models are bomb and bulletproof. She can apparently be seen roaming around the grounds of Balmoral on a regular basis, taking full advantage of the fact that she is the only person in the UK that doesn’t need a driving license!
A rumoured favourite of Russian political figures and European princes, the T-98 Kombat is an impressive all-terrain vehicle. It’s most distinctive feature is the metal-ceramic “sandwich” technology that create the walls of this behemoth, making the vehicle impervious mine blasts. This car has far more to offer than just it’s whale leather interior- the maker, Kombat Armouring, claims that the technology can protect the occupants from shotgun bullets and even ramming. It is also touted as the fastest rumoured vehicle in the world, reaching comparatively impressive speeds of 111 MPH considering its size and weight.