THE BEAST: New Cadillac presidential limousine to debut at Donald Trump’s inauguration

AUTOWEEK --

More than two years have passed since the United States Secret Service posted bid requirements for a new presidential limousine, aka The Beast, and the 2017 Cadillac is just about ready to make its first public appearance.

The 2017 version will replace a fleet of approximately a dozen nearly identical vehicles that have served the 44th chief executive since 2009, and prototypes of the new limo have been spotted undergoing road trials.

So what can President-Elect Trump look forward to in the 2017 Cadillac limousine?

When it comes to the exterior design and interior layout, the 2017 version may actually change the least compared to its predecessors. During the last 50 years, each generation of limousines was significant; each new version featured dramatically different styling (or a different marque altogether), while interior layouts were reworked from generation to generation. The changeover from President Bill Clinton’s sedan-based Cadillac Fleetwood limousine to President George W. Bush’s GMT800-based limousine was pretty significant, and the debut of the Kodiak-platform 2009 limousine for President Barack Obama’s inauguration represented another major step in terms of engineering and exterior appearance.

But for 2017, the design and engineering of the presidential limousine appears to have reached a plateau of sorts; the limo cannot get any bigger, and when it comes to the interior layout the 2017 version will largely be a repeat of the 2009 limousine.

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