Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin rides in a vehicle designed and manufactured by the State Research Centre of the Russian Federation (NAMI). The limo measures 6,614-mm long, 1,828-mm wide, and 1,524-mm high. A 598-bhp, 4.4-litre V8 engine powers the beast, which sends power to an all-wheel-drive system through a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Top speed is 118 miles per hour, which is remarkable for something that weighs 5,900 kg.
Pope Francis, Sovereign of the Vatican City State
Pope Francis didn’t clean out the garage when he arrived at the papacy. When he first arrived, he used a VW Phaeton without official badges for institutional meetings. That was replaced with second-generation Ford Focus.
You can’t mention the Pope without talking about the popemobile. There are two armoured Mercedes-Benz vehicles – a G500, in service since 2007, and an M500 that came to the papacy in 2012. Sometimes, the Pope travels with these vehicles, carrying them on special planes. When the Pope travels to countries without his official car, he uses a local armoured vehicle inspected by a specific department of the Swiss Guard.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier enjoy an Audi A8 L W12 Security, which measures 5,242-mm in length with a 500-bhp engine under the bonnet.
Random factoid: Do you know how the license plate assignment works in Germany? The code 0-1 belongs to the president, 0-2 to the chancellor, 0-3 to the foreign affairs, and so on, with the numbers growing as the importance of the office diminishes. The more you know.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
French President Emmanuel Macron debuted in his new position riding in a DS 7 Crossback, the first independent model of the premium French firm, PSA. The vehicle wears the Blue Night colour, sports a panoramic sunroof, the Republic’s logo, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Edouard Philippe, the French prime minister, usually uses a Renault Espace, and when he travels with his collaborator, he uses the comfortable Volkswagen Multivan.
Pedro Sánchez, Spanish Prime Minister
Spanish President Pedro Sánchez inherited an Audi A8 L Security from his predecessor Mariano Rajoy. Sánchez came into office on June 2, 2018. In September of 2017, the Spanish government commissioned Volkswagen Group Distribución España to develop the vehicle to the tune of €498,042.04 (£439,000 at today’s exchange rates).
Lacking the distinctive W12 badge on the front grille, a 4.0-litre V8 engine with 450 bhp is suspected under the bonnet. Quattro all-wheel-drive is standard along with 600 kg of additional shielding.
The previous presidential car, a 2001 Audi A8, served for 16 years, racking up 169,000 miles on the odometer.
Before becoming president, Sánchez got around in his 2005 Peugeot 407.
Felipe VI, King of Spain
King Felipe VI of Spain has an assortment of historical cars and daily drivers in service. Classics include models from Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz. One example is a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI convertible, used in 2014 during his coronation. It’s the same one that his father, King Juan Carlos I, used in 1975.
However, for getting around day-to-day, Felipe VI uses several different vehicles as the Royal House has maintained (and maintains) numerous contracts and agreements with different brands of automobiles, such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or Lexus. He was spotted driving an Audi RS6 saloon with 580 horsepower on his 50th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II of England is chauffeured in a Bentley Arnage customised by Mulliner. It was built for the British house for her 50th anniversary on the throne. The royal Arnage is a limousine with a longer wheelbase than standard, a wider track, and a raised roof. It comes with armour plating and bulletproof windows.
Michel Temer, President of Brazil
The President’s Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was donated in 1952 by businessman Assis Chateaubriand. Over the years, it’s received several improvements for security and safety, such as adding a platform on the rear bumper to transport bodyguards. Getúlio Vargas was the first president to use the car, which is still used today in official parades and ceremonies. A 4.3-litre, six-cylinder engine pairs with a four-speed manual gearbox.
Tutte le auto dei Presidenti
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey
On the outside, President Erdoğan’s ride looks like long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S600. However, it’s received several technical and mechanical upgrades. The body consists of a special titanium alloy with doors five inches thick, which are resistant to gunfire from pistols, rifles, and light machine guns. To avoid any chemical attack, the car is completely isolated from the outside. An onboard phone connects directly to the Gokturk-1 satellite. The tyres are reinforced with internal steel cables, which allow them to roll even when they are deflated.
The price of all this preparation? About 150,000 euros or £132,000 at today’s exchange rates.
Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy
Few cars can match the class and prestige of the 1958 Lancia Flaminia 335, which is used by Italian President Sergio Mattarella during institutional parades. It’s based on the Flaminia Convertible, and it’s one of four unique models made by Pininfarina. The president’s Lancia grows in length and weight, due to the added rear doors and reinforced bodywork. Under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre V6 engine with 120 bhp.
Theresa May, British Prime Minister
The Jaguar XJ Sentinel of the British Prime Minister is designed to withstand most external attacks of low-to-medium intensity. A 503-bhp, 5.0-litre V8 powers the vehicle, which carries a five-inch thick steel outer later. Inside, there’s an oxygen supply in case of a chemical or bacteriological attack. But the Jag isn’t all business. There are massaging seats and a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
Donald Trump, President of the United States Of America
The Cadillac, known as "The Beast," carries several electronic and safety devices inside, including a fire extinguishing system and the tear gas cannons. This helps the portly vehicle tip the scales at an alleged 20,000 pounds. The cabin is completely sealed and isolated from the outside to avoid any chemical attacks. Inside, there’s a sample of the President’s blood in case a transfusion is necessary. The Cadillac also houses the latest communication technologies.
Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea
It appears Kim Jong-un has hung up the keys to his Mercedes after taking an interest in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Little is known about the car, which is almost undoubtedly armoured with countermeasures and safety technologies in place. Kim has previously been seen in a fleet of custom-built Pullman Guard Mercedes limousines, based on the 2012 S600.
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