WASHINGTON -- The latest version of the heavily armored U.S. presidential limousine known as "The Beast" is making its debut in New York City this week.
The custom-built Cadillac produced by General Motors appeared for the first time in public on Sunday -- along with an identical version that travels in the motorcade -- when it ferried President Donald Trump around New York ahead of this week's United Nations General Assembly meetings.
The previous version of the limo first appeared in January 2009 just before Barack Obama took office. Obama told Jerry Seinfeld in 2015 that the limo is "a Caddy basically on a tank frame." Obama said he "could call a nuclear submarine right here" from a phone in the car.
GM won contracts worth $15.8 million for two phases of the development of the limo from 2014 through 2017, according to federal contracting records, but it is not clear if that represents all development costs. In 2010, GM won a $35 million contract from the Secret Service for additional presidential limousine vehicles.