Official state car
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An official state car is a car used by a government to transport its head of state or head of government in an official capacity, which may also be used occasionally to transport other members of the government or visiting dignitaries from other countries. On a state visit, the official state car might be transported for official use by the head of state upon their arrival. It also may serve as an automotive symbol of the head of state and their country. Part of the criteria for an official state car is to have adequate security, capability and stateliness for its duty. A limousine, executive car or sport utility vehicle is usually selected.
Due to the high security risk for the passengers, these vehicles are often heavily secured and protected. Vehicles may be armored by the manufacturer or an after-market specialist. (In this article the term "armored car" invariably means a reinforced civilian vehicle, not the military vehicle often so named.) When carrying an important passenger, state vehicles may be surrounded by a motorcade consisting of police or military personnel. The vehicle's driver might also be from the law enforcement or military pool; the driver of the United States Presidential State Car is an experienced agent from the Secret Service, and the British Prime Minister is driven by a Specialist Protection officer from the Metropolitan Police Service.
In countries that have indigenous automobile manufacturers, the government will usually commission one of the national automakers to provide a state car, or allow several to provide cars for an official state fleet. It is considered an honour for a car manufacturer to be selected to provide a state car for their respective country and a demonstration of the confidence of a government in their national industry. For example, the President of the United States rides in the domestic Cadillac, the Emperor of Japan uses a Toyota, the Prime Minister of Italy uses a Maserati, the President of the Czech Republic rides a Škoda Superb, the Prime Minister of Australia, senior cabinet ministers and all Members of Parliament are driven in either a luxury Holden or Ford and the British monarch uses a Bentley. The President of France can choose from cars manufactured by Renault or PSA Peugeot Citroën, and all major German manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen Group) are represented in Germany's pool of vehicles available for use by state officials.
For countries without indigenous manufacturers or have minor ones, an official state car may be purchased from a suitable manufacturer in a nation with strong economic and diplomatic ties. Canada exclusively uses state cars manufactured by the Detroit Three, many of which are made in Canadian factories, with the United States and American car manufacturers having a historically strong relationship with Canada. The Canadian government also holds shares in General Motors and Chrysler following their restructuring in the economic downturn of 2008.
In some cases state cars may bear standard number plates; in others special or no plates are used.
The following information lists some state cars and their users; the list is likely to be out of date in some cases as incumbents and cars change.
- 1 Argentina
- 2 Australia
- 3 Austria
- 4 Azerbaijan
- 5 Bahamas
- 6 Bangladesh
- 7 Barbados
- 8 Belgium
- 9 Bhutan
- 10 Bolivia
- 11 Brazil
- 12 British Virgin Islands
- 13 Brunei
- 14 Bulgaria
- 15 Canada
- 16 Cayman Islands
- 17 Chile
- 18 People’s Republic of China
- 19 Colombia
- 20 Costa Rica
- 21 Croatia
- 22 Czech Republic
- 23 Denmark
- 24 Dominican Republic
- 25 East Germany
- 26 Ecuador
- 27 Egypt
- 28 El Salvador
- 29 Estonia
- 30 Finland
- 31 France
- 32 Germany
- 33 Greece
- 34 Grenada
- 35 Hungary
- 36 Iceland
- 37 India
- 38 Indonesia
- 39 Iraq
- 40 Ireland
- 41 Israel
- 42 Italy
- 43 Jamaica
- 44 Japan
- 45 Kenya
- 46 Kosovo
- 47 Kuwait
- 48 Laos
- 49 Latvia
- 50 Liberia
- 51 Lithuania
- 52 Luxemburg
- 53 Malaysia
- 54 Malawi
- 55 Mauritius
- 56 Mexico
- 57 Moldova
- 58 Morocco
- 59 Monaco
- 60 Mongolia
- 61 Montenegro
- 62 Nepal
- 63 Netherlands
- 64 New Zealand
- 65 Nicaragua
- 66 Nigeria
- 67 Norway
- 68 Oman
- 69 Pakistan
- 70 Panama
- 71 Peru
- 72 Philippines
- 73 Portugal
- 74 Poland
- 75 Romania
- 76 Russia
- 77 Serbia
- 78 Singapore
- 79 Slovakia
- 80 Slovenia
- 81 South Africa
- 82 South Korea
- 83 Spain
- 84 Sri Lanka
- 85 Sweden
- 86 Republic of China (Taiwan)
- 87 Thailand
- 88 Tonga
- 89 Trinidad and Tobago
- 90 Turkey
- 91 Uganda
- 92 Ukraine
- 93 United Kingdom
- 94 United States
- 95 Uruguay
- 96 Uzbekistan
- 97 Vatican
- 98 Venezuela
- 99 Yugoslavia
- 100 Zambia
- 101 Zimbabwe
- 102 See also
- 103 Notes and references
The Governor-General of Australia travels in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI limousine for ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament. She more commonly uses Australian-built luxury cars such as a Holden Caprice when on official business. The official cars of the Governor-General fly the Flag of the Governor-General of Australia and display St. Edward's Crown instead of number plates. A similar arrangement is used for the Governors of the six states. When the Queen is in Australia, the Queen's Personal Australian Flag is flown on the car in which she is travelling. During the Queen's 2011 visit to Australia, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were driven in a Range Rover Vogue.
The Prime Minister of Australia is presently seen driven in a white Holden Caprice tailed by Ford Territory and Holden Caprice models formerly and since 2013 BMW X5s. It is also escorted by police vehicles from state and federal authorities. The Prime Minister's car bears the number plate "C1" (meaning "Commonwealth 1") and a centrally mounted Australian flag.
In 2013, BMW was selected to provide a fleet 7-Series High Security as part of a tender to replace the present range of chauffeur vehicles. The off-the-shelf replacements offer greater protection and better value for money.
The President of Bangladesh is usually driven in a white armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class while the President also has use of a black Mercedes Benz W126 limousine that is used on state occasions, such as the Independence Day parade.
The Presidential residence car pool have used Mercedes Benz 600, Nissan President V8, armored Chevrolet Caprice Classic.
The governor General of Barbados is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class for state occasions baring a Crown on the licence plate. There is also an Audi A8 for unofficial occasions. In the past a Daimler Limousine was the state car. The vehicle of the Prime Minister of Barbados - license plate 'MP2' is a 2009 Mercedes Benz S-Class, which is used for official functions.
The Belgian King, Philippe, uses a BMW 7-Class with the number plate, '1'. All royal family members drive cars with only numbers. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Elio di Rupo, uses an Audi A6. Federal government officials drive cars with number plates starting with an "A" followed by one to three numbers. Regional government officials drive cars with number plates starting with an "E" followed by one to three numbers. Members of parliament and the senate drive cars with number plates starting with an "P" followed three numbers. For personal use, Queen Paola of Belgium drives a Fiat 500 with diplomatic plates. Prince Laurent of Belgium is famous for his speed driving and his fast cars. There is also a Mercedes-Benz 600 in the royal garage. The late Baudouin of Belgium ordered in the ’70s an armored De Tomaso Deauville. He had also an Aston Martin DB2/4. For their marriage in 1960, Baudouin and Fabiola used a 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, with a bulletproof bubble-top.
The ceremonial state car of the President of Brazil is a 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, reserved exclusively for Independence Day commemorations, state visits and the presidential inauguration. The current official state car used by the president for regular transportation is a 2011-model armored version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The car is also used as escort car for the presidential motorcade. The Fusion was first used on 17 June 2008 when it replaced a 2004 Chevrolet Omega.
The federal government's most important officials (President, Ministers, Magistrates, etc.) use yellow-green brass plates adorned with the coat of arms of Brazil and their titles engraved on them (e.g., President of the Republic, President of the Senate, Defense Minister, Supreme Court President, etc.).
British Virgin Islands
The current Governor of the British Virgin Islands is driven in a Royal Service Gray Range Rover from Great Britain with a license plate symbolizing the Crown. He is usually driven by a Police Officer from the RVIPF (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force).
The ceremonial state car of the Sultan of Brunei is a 1992 state landaulette Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. On non-ceremonial occasions, the Sultan of Brunei personally drives a black Mercedes-Benz M-Class W163 ML55 AMG, usually escorted by either a Secret Service BMW E39 540i or a BMW E61 545i, and a few Lexus LX470. On other occasions he drives a Maybach 62. Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei, owns several thousand luxury and exotic cars and has one of the largest car collections in the world.
The cars of the President of Bulgaria include Mercedes-Benz S600 and BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series. The Prime Minister is being driven in a Toyota Land Cruiser, he very often drives it himself with the security guards sitting in the back of the car. The Prime Minister also is being driven in black BMW X5. The pilot cars are usually Ford, Toyota or Audi A6 and Audi A8. As on 18 December, the Prime minister and the President of Bulgaria are being transported in top class Mercedes S600 Guard, 517 hp.
The Canadian monarch and Governor General of Canada are driven in a Lincoln Town Car or a Lincoln MKS bearing the flag of either office on the right hand fender. The sovereign's car bears a licence plate showing a gold St. Edward's Crown on a red field, while the governor general's car bears a plate with the crest of the Royal Arms of Canada (similar to the Flag of the Governor General of Canada) or standard auto plates of the province of Ontario with flags of the governor general on the front hood. The governor general also has a Cadillac DTS stretch limousine at his/her disposal.
The Prime Minister of Canada is driven in a motorcade of five cars or more. The motorcade is adjusted for certain public events, as seen fit by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The prime minister usually rides in an armoured long-wheelbase Cadillac DTS or Chevrolet Suburban, but has also been seen arriving at various events in a Toyota Sienna minivan when travelling with members of his family. The prime minister is also eligible to use the governor general's Cadillac stretch limousine at various times. The prime minister's car bears standard Ontario car plates. His or her motorcade is usually led by a Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, or Mercury Grand Marquis.
The Governor of the Cayman Islands is driven in a beige Cadillac DeVille sedan. Surmounted on the hood is the flag of the office, and instead of license plates the car has a crown on the front and back. It is likely that the car is armoured but this is not known for certain. Other senior officials and visiting VIPs use a fleet of armoured Ford Excursions.
The official presidential vehicle in Chile is a 1966 black Ford Galaxie XL Convertible, given as a gift by the queen Elizabeth II on her vistit to Chile. It is used only for official ceremonies celebrating national days on May 21, September 18 and September 19. It has a normal license plate (EL-2801).
For daily transport the president was previously driven in a Lincoln Town Car, but President Michelle Bachelet used a 2008-model Peugeot 607 saloon. Her motorcade was often seen driving 2006 Audi A4 and A6s. Various 2007 Dodge Durangos also compose the presidential motorcade.
The newly elected president Sebastián Piñera was arrived at the Presidential Palace in a brand new 2010 BMW 760Li F03 (armored). Various Audi Q7's, BMW 5 series, Audi's A6 were seen driving along with him.
People’s Republic of China
Traditionally, the official limousine for Chinese leaders has been the Hongqi. During former President Hu Jintao's review of troops on National Day in 2009, he was seen in a Hongqi HQE Limousine. The HQE is powered by an independently researched and developed aluminium V12 cylinder engine of Chinese design (designation CA12VG), with a displacement of 6.0 liters and producing 370 kW (470 hp) at 5600 rpm and 550 N m (405 lb·ft) of torque at 4400 rpm. It is bulletproof, completely hand built and comes with run flat tyres.
In recent years, Chinese leaders have switched to using minibuses, such as the Toyota Coaster, for short-distance trips.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)
The Chief Executive of Hong Kong CY Leung is usually driven in the Lexus LS 600h L hybrid vehicle, without a license plate and bearing the Emblem of Hong Kong. Occasionally, he is also seen using a 1997 Mercedes-Benz S500L.
Senior government officials, including the Chief Secretary, Chief Justice and Commissioner of Police, are each assigned a Volkswagen Phaeton. The President of the Legislative Council is driven in a Lexus GS450h, with the number plate "LC1".
Prior to 1997, the Governor of Hong Kong used a Rolls-Royce Phantom V for ceremonial occasions and a Daimler DS420 limousine for everyday use. Both were removed from Hong Kong by the Royal Navy immediately following the handover to China on 1 July 1997. The Phantom V displayed St Edward's Crown instead of a front license plate.
Since 1991, the Colombian Presidential vehicles have usually been BMWs. In 2006, the Presidential fleet included four armoured BMW 7-Series and several units of Toyota Land Cruiser 100, whose level of armour is a state secret. These BMWs and Toyotas are equipped with GPS and runflat tires. The motorcade is made up of 3 BMWs plus 5 Toyota 100s all armored plus a Prado armored level IIIA for Police Escort and an ambulance and no less than 8 motorcycles. All the vehicles have presidential tags.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently uses Kia Opirus cars.
Queen Margrethe II uses a 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith seven-seater (LGLW 25 body no. 10181), commonly referred to as Store Krone (Great Crown). It was purchased by her father, Frederick IX of Denmark, as new. The coachbuilder and seller was Hooper & Co. (Coachbuilder) Ltd, 54 St James Street, Piccadilly, London SW1.
In addition she uses several lesser cars for more common occasions. Noteworthy are Krone (Crown) 1, 2 and 5, which are all Daimler DS420 eight-seater limousines made in 1970, 1989 (purchased in 1994 with 1500 km on the clock) and 1986. There was also a Bentley Arnage which has been replaced by a Bentley Mulsanne in 2012. The name Krone with a number, like Krone 121, refers to the license plate used when carrying members of the Danish Royal Family inside Denmark.
The current Prime Minister of Denmark uses an Audi A8 L. The former one was driven in an armored Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ministers in the Danish government drive different kinds of VW Phaeton, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, Audi A6, Audi A8 and different Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The presidential state cars are the own Presidents personal vehicles as presidential vehicles. The President Danilo Medina actually uses a black Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and a black Lexus LX 570, which are be seen normally with the 0-1 plate (Presidential Plate) and it's mostly chosen by the government for its reliability and bulletproofs armor, a black Ford Expedition which was used during his campaign and is now being used as a security car and back up, a black BMW 7 Series used the inaugural parade, only used to go to events in or near the Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo. All of the cars have been modify with bullet-proof tires and bullet-proof windows. The Presidential Plate will be changed to the car that the president will use for the day. The Escorts teams uses blacks Toyota 4Runner fourth and fifth generation, Toyota Fortuner, and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J120 and the J150 on the motorcade.
The former East Germany manufactured the Trabant and Wartburg, both deemed unsuitable for state car usage. The leaders of the country used Russian-made cars and Swedish Volvo models, while the Communist Party General Secretary, Erich Honecker, used a fleet of stretched Citroen CX and Volvo 700 Series models.
The presidential state car in Ecuador is an armored Lincoln Town Car purchased by president Lucio Gutierrez in 2005. An armored Chevrolet Trooper is also used.. The president travels in one of several armored Nissan Patrol scholastic level 7 for several Ford Explorers, Chevrolet D-Max. In the September 30, 2010 Nissan Patrol withstood high caliber ammunition in the midst of shooting the Police hospital in the city of Quito. The Nissan Patrol fleet was changed for Toyota Land Cruiser 200s.
The President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, uses an armored Mercedes-Benz W220 as its official state car. He also drives or is driven in a Lexus LX 570, a Hummer H3, a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, a Chevrolet Suburban and a 200 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. The President is generally escorted by six Toyota Land Cruiser Prados.
The President of Estonia uses an armoured Audi A8 4,2 TDI Quattro with the coat of arms of Estonia as its license plate. The car is escorted by an Audi Q7 . The Estonian Prime Minister uses an Audi A8 registered in 2011.
The President of Finland uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600L with the coat of arms of Finland in lieu of a license plate. A similar car is used by the Speaker of the Parliament, whereas the Prime Minister's official car is a grey armoured Mercedes-Benz S450 CDI.
The President of France can choose between several armoured versions of high-end French cars including the Citroën C6, Renault Vel Satis and Peugeot 607. These are traditionally provided by the manufacturers and different Presidents will have their own preference. For example, Nicolas Sarkozy preferred Renault, while Jacques Chirac was a Citroën fan, occasionally using his own long-wheelbase Citroën CX model and the presidential Citroën XM. Current President François Hollande is usually chauffeured in an armoured Citroën C6.
For his inauguration parade in 2007, Sarkozy used the one-off Peugeot 607 Paladine model, a stretched limousine with landaulette body, originally built as a concept car in 2000. The model was brought out of storage for the occasion and updated with a new grille and lights to bring it in line with the 2004 re-style of the mainstream model. It has since been returned to Peugeot and, as it effectively remains a concept car in its fit and finish, will not become part of the Élysée fleet. President Hollande used a one-off convertible version of the Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 for his inauguration parade on May 15, 2012. The car, owned by Citroën, has since been displayed at various events throughout the world.
The most famous association between a President of France and a single model was that of Charles de Gaulle with the Citroën DS, as portrayed in the film, Day of the Jackal. The President was saved in two assassination attempts by French Algeria supporters by the car's unique ability to drive on three wheels and to keep running when more than one tyre is punctured.
For ceremonial occasions, the President also has access to two special open top Citroën SM Présidentielle models, created for President Georges Pompidou by the coachbuilder Henri Chapron. Based on the SM Opera, itself a special edition four-door coupé, these cars are still used for state occasions and military parades, when the open-top layout enables the President to stand in the back seat and survey the crowd. Built for an official visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, the cars have a standard mechanical layout with the addition of a special gear for low-speed cruising. One of the these cars was also used by President François Mitterrand for the official opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994, when it accompanied the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI of Elizabeth II. Number plates on these cars are standard French ones, although specially created for the model (2 PR 75 and 3 PR 75, '75' denoting the Paris region). Both are still maintained in working order, but are now rarely seen in use.
An international museum of official state cars also exists in France.
Over the years, German presidents, chancellors and senior politicians have often used Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles and their predecessor models. The most famous variants were the Mercedes 300 series "Adenauer" and the stretched "Pullman" variants. Currently the State Car of the President of Germany is an armored Mercedes-Benz S600 with license plate 0-1, but he has also used an Audi A8. The President is (besides the Minister of Defense) the only German official whose official car shows a flag (a version of the President's standard) placed on the front of the hood.
All officials under close personal protection from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany's federal police; are transported by the BKA pool of armoured cars and BKA driving staff. The car pool includes armored limousines from all German car manufacturers, usually high-end models such as the Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Some German politicians choose to express their regional origins through the make of car they use. In particular officials from Bavaria customarily prefer cars from Munich-based BMW over the more common Mercedes brand. Some high-ranking politicians from Alliance '90/The Greens (Germany's green party) have chosen Audi, VW or BMW cars to avoid the posh and elitist image of Mercedes models. While in office, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder initially used an Audi for his official car, a brand he is known to prefer as his personal car as well. Later during his administrative term, Volkswagen presented him with a VW Phaeton which found its way into the car pool. His successor in office, current Chancellor Angela Merkel is known to alternate between brands as to project neutrality and support for the German car industry in general.
One of the earliest links between a leader and a particular marque was the association of Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler with Mercedes-Benz. Especially Hitler was known for his love of luxury cars and ordered a succession of custom vehicles from Mercedes, culminating in the 770K model of 1941, which was rumoured to weigh up to five tonnes. These cars and their predecessors became synonymous with Nazi parades and Hitler's visits to conquered cities such as Vienna and Paris.
The Prime Minister of Greece currently used a heavy armoured, custom-built W221 Mercedes-Benz S600 escorted by custom built Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicles. George Papandreou displaced it with a standard Toyota Prius. On official events the car of the state president was used.
Past PMs have also used a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Long-Wheelbase Limousine. The president, also, uses a W221 Mercedes-Benz S600, wearing the Greek coat of arms. The monarchs in 1930s were using a Maybach Zeppelin.
The current Governor General of Grenada is driven in a white BMW 750Li with a crown license plate symbolizing the Queen while the Prime Minister drives in a black BMW 750Li bearing a Grenadian flag and a coat of arms license plate, escorted by police motorcycle outriders and two black Prado SUVs.
Hungarian public key dignitaries and security personnel use armored Audi A8 Ls. Also used in official convoys are the Audi A7, Audi Q7, and Audi A6. The Prime Minister, however, prefers to ride in a Volkswagen Multivan. Members of the Government use the Škoda Superb, while lower-ranking officials use Škoda Octavias.
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, travels in a black Mercedes Benz S600 (W221) Pullman Guard. It is a custom-built, heavily armored limousine which meets the requirements of the highest protection class VR6/VR7. The armor is designed to protect against military rifle shots and also offers resistance against fragments from hand grenades and explosives. The president's motorcade also consists of the former presidential car, a black Mercedes-Benz W140 armoured limousine, which is now being used as a spare vehicle.
The Chief Justice of India Palanisamy Sathasivam travel in black Mercedes Benz S600(W221) high security and bullet proof car and one acting as decoy Vehicle and one as Ambulance. These are escorted by the NSG in five-ten armoured black Safari.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh uses two black, B7-level armoured 2009 BMW 7 Series High Security saloons, with one acting as a decoy vehicle and one as Ambulance. These are escorted by the SPG in five armoured black BMW X5s and multiple Tata Safaris which are a permanent part of the Prime Minister's convoy.
The President, the Chief justice of India, the Vice-president and the prime minister's convoy comprise 20-25 cars within the city of New Delhi but when they have to move outside the city, the convoy's size increases to 170-200.
Earlier, Hindustan Motors' Ambassador was used as the official state car for all purposes. It was highly-armored and modified considerably for the use by the President, The Chief Justice of India, Vice-President, Governor, the Prime Minister, and Justice of High Court and Supreme Court.
The President of Indonesia is driven in one of two black, armored 2008 Mercedes-Benz S600L W221 models, bearing the license plates "RI 1" (Republic of Indonesia One). The President rides in one vehicle, while the other is commonly used as a decoy. The Vice President is driven in a similar car, bearing the "RI 2" (Republic of Indonesia Two) license plate.
The President's motorcade is accompanied by security personnel in Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW X5, Land Rover Defender and Toyota Land Cruiser models, sometimes also accompanied by a number of Toyota Camry, Nissan Patrol and Ford Expedition models carrying his entourage.
A Volkswagen Caravelle and a Toyota Alphard is also present in the motorcade, carrying his security guards. The motorcade is escorted by either a number of Mazda6, Mitsubishi Galant, or Ford Focus police cars and also police motorcycle.
Cabinet ministers are driven in black Toyota Crown vehicles, escorted by security guards in black Nissan X-Trail cars, whereas governors of various provinces in Indonesia are usually given Toyota Camry vehicles as their official car, although some provinces such as DKI Jakarta use the Toyota Land Cruiser 200.
While in power, Saddam Hussein normally traveled in a Mercedes-Benz W126, and also bought a large fleet of luxury cars for himself and his family. Ironically, some were classic American cars, many from the era of Al Capone of whom Saddam Hussein was an admirer.
The daily transport of the Taoiseach (Prime minister) of Ireland is a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. He is occasionally driven in an Audi A6 also. He is driven by an armed member of the Special Detective Unit. His car may also be escorted by a Garda car.
The transport of the President of Ireland is also a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The president receives the highest protection in the land by law. His motorcade is led by Garda motorbikes to fend off traffic for the on coming motorcade. A Garda patrol car follows and then the president's car proceeds. One or two Special Detective Unit BMW 5 series follow the president's car. The motorcade may also feature a vehicle from the Garda Emergency Response Unit for increased security.
When the President or Taoiseach visit Northern Ireland, they are driven in armored vehicles and security in their motorcade increases.
The then President of Italy, Giovanni Gronchi, personally ordered four custom-built Lancia Flaminia limousines for a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1961. The cars, all of which are landaulettes, were designed by Pininfarina and based on an extended wheelbase from the standard saloon. Two of the cars are still in service today for state occasions.
The current presidential car is an armoured Maserati Quattroporte complete with Italian flags, while the prime minister uses a similar vehicle. The government fleet also includes Audi A6 and A8, Lancia Thesis and Lancia Thesis Stola S85 (limousine), Lancia Thema, BMW E60 and BMW 7 Series (E65), Mercedes-Benz W212 and W221, Alfa Romeo 159 and 166 models. Lancia deliverd in 2012 a complete new armoured Lancia Thesis, to the Quirinale palace for president Giorgio Napolitano.
There is also a curious three-wheeled vehicle Piaggio Ape Calessino, at the president's service in his residence Villa Rosebery in Naples. It's blue, decorated with the livery of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, with trims in wood and leather seats. The Ape Calessino is a rarity that few have the opportunity to see as it run only inside of the park. It was donated by Roberto Colaninno, head of Piaggio industries. Inside, a brass plaque recalls the date of the donation and presidential destination.
The Governor-General of Jamaica is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S600 bearing the Jamaican flag and the flag of that office. Its license plate is "GG1". The Prime Minister of Jamaica is driven in a dark blue BMW 5 Series . The Prime Minister's car uses a civilian license plate and bears the Jamaican flag. The car of the Prime Minister is unarmoured. The Governor General's S600 is armoured.
The official state car currently used by the Emperor of Japan and the Empress of Japan is a specially prepared Toyota Century Royal, a one-off $500,000 custom car. Custom built by Toyota, it is 20 feet (6.1 m) long and 6.5 feet (2.0 m) wide, with extra amenities such as bulletproofing and a granite entryway. The Emperor was previously transported in multiple vehicles including a Nissan Prince Royal (1967–2008), Cadillac Series 75 (1951–1970), Mercedes-Benz 770 W07 Series (1932–1968), Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1921–1936) and a Daimler (1913–1927). From 1935 to 1963, the royal household also possessed a fleet of five 1935 Packard Eights, one of which was Emperor Hirohito's personal car during that period.
The Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Lexus LS 600h L, the official transport for the head of government, or an unmodified Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade of numerous Toyota Celsiors.
The President of the Republic of Kenya travels in an armoured Mercedes-Benz Pullman S600 with the Kenyan coat of arms instead of the licence plate. He also has a large fleet of vehicles including an armoured BMW 7 series, armoured Range Rover Vogue, armoured Toyota Landcruiser and several other Mercedes-Benz's at his disposal. Additionally, he has an open top military Land Rover 109 for state functions with licence plates CIC (Commander In Chief). His escort includes several Mercedes-Benz E-classes, BMW 5 series, a Range Rover, Toyota Landcruisers and an ambulance. Cabinet ministers are supplied with Volkswagen Passats and Toyota Landcruisers in addition to other vehicles in the ministerial car pool. The Prime Minister in office from 2008-2013 was equipped with similar vehicles to the president; Mercedes-benz limousines, Range Rovers and Landcruisers, however, he had a substantially smaller escort.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
The official state car of the President of Kosovo[a] is a heavily armoured, black Chevy Suburban, with Licence Plate's 1Z-001-01. The car contains bullet proof body, windows, and wheels, and defense against gas attacks. It is escorted by five other identical support vehicles. The current President, Atifete Jahjaga, uses a heavily armoured, black Audi A8, with Licence Plates 1Z-001-01, escorted by other support vehicles, including Audi A4, Toyota Land Cruisers, and police cars.
The Prime Minister's official state car is a heavily armoured, black Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with Licence Plate 3Z-001-01, but the Prime Minister uses his private BMW X5 (E70) with private licence plates rather than the official car, escorted by two support police Toyota Land Cruisers.
The Emir of Kuwait uses a BMW 7-series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class on a daily basis. His motorcade consists of three identical cars escorted by Chevrolet Suburbans and marked police vehicles. For state occasions he uses a Rolls-Royce.
The current President of Liberia is driven in a black Mercedes-Benz W220 S-class. The presidential car is often escorted by several Nissan SUVs carrying security personnel. Previous presidents, such as Charles Taylor and Samuel Doe, were also driven in Mercedes-Benz. Some claim that Doe had purchased over 60 luxury Mercedes, which cost over US$60,000 each.
The first official Lithuania state car was bought in 1919 from war-losing Germany. It was a Benz 25/55PS with four cylinder, 6.3 liter engine. The car had a Vytis symbol on the left back door and Lithuania flags in the front. The car was used by Antanas Smetona and Aleksandras Stulginskis. Later Lithuania bought a French-made Delauney-Belleville 12 CV which was used along with Benz 25/55PS by third Lithuania president Kazys Grinius. After that Antanas Smetona became president of Lithuania again and ordered to buy a new car - Fiat 519, however soon it was replaced with armored Lincoln K-series due to his wife wishes. None of these cars remained until nowadays. After the restoration of Lithuania independence, leader of The Supreme Council, Vytautas Landsbergis used Soviet-built Čaika M14, after some time it was replaced with armored Opel Senator. Later Lithuania bought armored Mercedes-Benz W126, which was used by Vytautas Landsbergis and Algirdas Brazauskas. The car is currently owned by businessman Robertas Dargis. During Algirdas Brazauskas term of office, two brand-new Audi V8 Lang arrived, later they were replaced with newer version Audi A8 Lang. Valdas Adamkus was driven in a long-wheel base BMW 7 for a short amount of time, however later it was replaced with Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220), which was used until 2013. In 2013, four armoured BMW 7 (F01) was purchased.
The grand-duke and family are driven in Audi A8. For official occasions like state visits and royal weddings there is a Daimler DS420 and also a Bentley Mulsanne. Most of the royal cars are dark blue.
Royal heads of states
All royal heads of states in the nation are also transported in official/get-around cars bearing their respective royal emblems; common choices include Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Maybach 62.
Federal and state governments
Under guidelines of Malaysia's automotive policies, cars for use by federal and state governments are required to be of national makes (primarily Proton and Perodua). The Prime Minister has historically used a Proton Chancellor bearing the license plate Chancellor 13, although he has also been driven in a BMW 740Li bearing the license plate Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister). He is also sometimes being driven around in a black Proton Perdana Executive, a stretched mid-size sedan larger than the Proton Chancellor, also bearing a license plate with the number "13". His car is usually escorted by traffic police outriders as well as Volvo XC90 security cars.
Lower ranking government officials typically travel in Proton Perdanas. Like the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and state governments were obligated to use Proton Perdana Executives. The only exception is the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is driven in a bulletproof Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow bearing Ketua Menteri Sarawak (Chief Minister of Sarawak) plates. The Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series are also commonly seen as optional cars transporting Chief Ministers. In July 2008, claims of unreliability were brought forward against the Perdanas by the Terengganu state government, which opted to replace its fleet of Proton Perdanas with Mercedes-Benz E200K as the Perdanas were prone to breakdowns, but later considered auctioning the cars away. The Perak state government followed suit in December 2008 by purchasing 16 Toyota Camrys to replace its fleet of Perdanas, and recently the state of Sabah has also purchased 12 Volvo S80s, but the Perdana's will still be in use by lower ranked officials.
The former President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, was driven in an armored Black Mercedes Benz S Class, a Toyota Land Cruiser or Range Rover, the security features remain a state secret. The President traveled in a motorcade of four Hummer H3 and eight escort motorcycles, along with police cars.
The Prime Minister of The Republic of Mauritius uses an armored BMW 7 Series on a daily basis. He is escorted by a decoy BMW 7 Series, several BMW 5 Series and five police motorcycles. The President of the Republic of Mauritius uses a Mercedes S600. He is escorted by a decoy S600 and two police motorcycles.
The President, the Prime Minister, and the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova have three long-wheelbase Mercedes Benz S500s at their disposal, all of which were purchased in 2012 and are operated by the State Protection and Guard Service. The vehicles are not armoured.
The King of Morocco, Muhammad VI Normally, when inside Morocco he uses his Mercedes 600 Pullman. The royal fleet also includes Range Rover models (when he goes to mountainous places only), Mercedes-Benz S500 and various Lexus models. One BMW 5-series, which travels in the King’s motorcade, contains a communications jammer. An ambulance is always present in the royal motorcade, which is usually escorted by police motorcycles.
The Prime Minister of Morocco is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, like all other ministers. The King also has a personal garage, which consists of a lot of sports cars, including three Laraki Fulgura models, and an Aston Martin DB7.
In 2011, Prince Albert II acquired a one off Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet hybrid sedan, making it his official state car. In addition, he owns a variety of eco friendly cars including a Lexus LS 600h, BMW Hydrogen 7, Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h, Fisker Karma, Tesla Roadster, and a limited production Venturi Fétish. He also owns a collection of vintage cars, which number over 100, and include prestigious models from Maserati, Jaguar, Mercedes, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
The Prime Minister of Montenegro and senior state officials of Montenegro use a fleet of Audi limousines, notably the Audi A8 models, and lower ranked officials travel in Mercedes-Benz E-Class models.
Nepal's First Hon. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav uses a Mercedes Benz W210 E-Class for his daily or personal use while the national emblem embedded car is a full armored Jaguar XJ(stretched). It is used by his excellency during the important ceremonies. The Hon. Prime Minister of Nepal, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, uses a Nepali-made Mustang Max, a passenger-carrying jeep.
The first car to be owned by the Dutch royal family was a 1908 Renault, purchased by Prince Hendrik. In the years that followed, it would be joined by nine royal limousines from the Amsterdam carriage maker Spijker. Between 1925 and the late 1950s, the royal limousines were supplied by Cadillac, after which the royal household switched to the Ford Motor Company. However in 1957 a customized Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was commissioned by Queen Juliana and delivered in 1958.
The current official royal limousine is a stretched Volvo S80 model, one for King Willem Alexander and one that used by the former Queen Beatrix although other members of the royal family use different cars. Visiting heads of state are chauffeured in a stretched and armoured Cadillac DTS which replaces the 20-year-old Lincoln Town Car.
Other cars are a few non-stretched Volvo S80s and a V70, Audi A6 and A8 and Ford Focus, Mondeo and Galaxy for the royal household. The Royal Stables have also a Ford Scorpio Landaulet, a Mercedes W126 4-door convertible, and a blue coach and a blue Mercedes-Benz Viano and Volkswagen Crafter vip bus. The royal bodyguards are driving in Audi A6 models
All royal automobiles are painted in royal-blue, with standard Dutch number plates, as well as a plate beginning with AA, a special designation for the royal household. Other vehicles used by the royal family are Audi or Mercedes. Of course the members of the royal family also have private vehicles for their own use. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange have had a red Volvo XC90. The late Prince Bernhard, the former Queen’s father had a collection of Ferraris, and other exotic cars.
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class and sometimes an Audi A6. Previously, an armoured BMW 7-Series was used. Both cars are owned by the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service (DKDB).
The Governor-General travels in a Jaguar XJ Sovereign. Before 1996, he or she traveled in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. During official travel it is the only vehicle in the country not required to use standard number plates. The official flag of the Governor General is flown on the car in which he/she is travelling. The Queen of New Zealand—currently Elizabeth II—has her own flag, which is used when she is travelling in the country, but there are no specific cars reserved for her use.
The Prime Minister used to travel in one of two cars, one being a Holden Statesman/Caprice sedan or Ford Fairlane, followed by the other vehicle containing their security detail (usually a VY or VE Holden Commodore SV6). The Prime Minister's Wellington-based car has the number plate CR1, and all other cars in the fleet for Ministers have number plates starting in the CR series.The main motorcade vehicles consist of Toyota RAV4s and Holden Cruzes operated by New Zealand Police DPS. The estimated purchase price per unit is NZ$69,900 In 2011 the Government upgraded the ministerial fleet with 34 new BMW 730d limousines. The retiring fleet is being kept on for use during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The President of Nicaragua uses a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the past, the Somoza family used several luxury cars during their 43 years in the presidency. A Mercedes-Benz Type 300 was used for official ceremonies. Others were Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac limousines.
The President of Nigeria and other high profile government officials use a black armored Mercedes Benz S-Class 2012 adorned with the Nigerian flag and official party flag. Other luxury cars, like the BMW 730Ld and the Range Rover, all armoured, are used. The President travels in a motorcade of 30 cars and ten escort motorcycles, along with police cars and 6 Mercedes S-550 of SSS surrounding the presidents car . Foreign visitors also travel along in the president’s car.
New "parade" limousine 2012, a Binz limousine, first seen on Christmas 2012. The King of Norway, Harald V, uses a Lexus LS 600h limousine, acquired in early 2008. The Royal Family of Norway also uses a 2007 Audi A8, an E65 and an E67 BMW 7 Series, an old Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, a couple of stretched Cadillac Deville (Superior Commercial Glass) and a couple of stretched Volvo S80 (Nilsson). The BMWs are often driven by the King and Queen themselves.
The Prime Minister of Norway uses an armored BMW 750Li. The previous BMW 7-Series was not used since its weight exceeded certain regulations. The Prime Minister of Norway are escorted by various BMW X5s and Audi A6s driven by agents of the SMK and the Norwegian Police Service.
Sultan Qaboos drives around the country in the following cars:
- 2 Maroon colored 2007 model Mercedes S-Class pullman.
- 4 Red colored 2003 model Mercedes S600 pullman.
- 4 Maybach 62
In addition to this, his garage contains:
- Several Rolls-Royces
- A line of Lamborghinis
- A couple of Ferraris, Nissans and Aston Martins
- More than 20 Mercedes
- Up to 10 BMWs
The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan both have armoured Mercedes-Benz W221 cars. Both the PM and the President travel in a motorcade with up to seven decoy components, each component exactly identical – one traffic police car escorting the flag-bearing armored Mercedes followed by a Toyota Land Cruiser with electronic jamming devices, and two other Land Cruisers of guards. The head and tail of the overall motorcade is usually protected by many rapid response police vehicles. The motorcade is escorted by at least half a dozen traffic motorbikes, and is trailed by a military ambulance and a firefighting truck. When the PM and President travel out of city, the motorcades are additionally escorted by further vehicles of the local police. The convoy comprises 20 to 100 vehicles, depending on the location and destination.
The government of Pakistan has also arranged for armoured cars equipped with jamming devices for the Senate Chairman and Speaker of the National Assembly. The Pakistan Foreign Ministry also operates up to 10 of these identical armoured cars which are used to transport VIPs and visiting Heads of States. Politicians are also seen in Toyota Land Cruisers. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a Toyota Land Cruiser while campaigning for re-election.
The President of Panama uses two armored Toyota Land Cruiser 200s.The Ford Explorer is used for the Institutional Protection Service (S.P.I.) as escort presidential motorcade and 400cc motorcycles. High-security motorcades may include up to ten vehicles. The Vice President uses a blue armored Lincoln Navigator.
The President of Peru uses a black Mercedes Benz S600 and also a black armored Hongqi (Red Flag) HQ430 which was donated by the People's Republic of China. The Prime Minister of Peru is driven in a black Hongqi HQ300.
The President of the Philippines uses 2 black, Bullet-Proof Mercedes Benz W221. When travelling in a motorcade or convoy, the President is always escorted by the Presidential Security Group in a number of black Nissan Patrol High-security motorcades involve as many as 25 vehicles, but the actual number is dependent on the destination.
Presidential cars are registered and bear the licence plate number "1", while the National Flag and the Presidential Standard are mounted on the bonnet. Occasionally, the President boards a Toyota Coaster or Mitsubishi Rosa during provincial trips.
The President observes regular traffic rules, like stopping at the red light. He also doesn't use sirens of the Presidential convoy, the convoy may consist of the Presidential Car, a back-up car either the other Mercedez Benz W221 (S600 Guard) or Hyundai Equus, a number of 5-6 black Nissan Patrol, 2 Toyota Fortuner, a Ford E-150 ambulance, 2-4 Chevrolet Suburban, up to 4 Police Vehicles Toyota Corolla Altis or Toyota Vios about 8-12 Motorcycle Escorts.
The Vice President of the Philippines uses a Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class, with the same number of security convoy with the president. The Presidential Se curity Group is also in charge with the vice president's security detail.
The Prime Minister of Portugal is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec
The President of Russia is usually seen in an armoured Mercedes S-Class stretched limousine. The first such model, a W140 variant, was purchased by Boris Yeltsin and has recently been superseded by a W221 model. The presidential motorcade will usually be escorted by police motorcycle outriders and a series of support vehicles including, but not limited to, the Mercedes G-Class, Mercedes E-Class, standard S-Class models, Mercedes SLK-Class, BMW 5-Series and Volkswagen Caravelle. Generals and officials of the armed forces drive Volgas which mostly have other engines from better cars and other technical modifications.
Under the USSR, the General Secretary of the Communist Party was always driven in a Soviet-built ZIL-41047, escorted by Chaika models. Two of the Zil limousines are still maintained in the Kremlin garage and occasionally seen in use by the military parades on the Day of Victory.
The exact definition of an "official state car" is extremely blurred in Russia. Thanks to clandestine ("grey") and "black" acquisition of emergency light and siren kits by state officials of all levels, businessmen, celebrities and even their family members, they are likely to number in the thousands. That, their drivers' complete disregard for traffic regulations in heavily congested streets, and several high-profile accidents involving them followed by apparent aggressive police cover-ups have caused the rise of the Society of Blue Buckets.
The President of Singapore alternates between a 2010 Mercedes Benz S350L and a 2001 Lexus LS 430, both of which are white like all of Singapore's previous state cars. When travelling to official events such as the National Day Parade, the Presidential crest is displayed in place of a license plate, while normally it carries the plate SEP1.
The President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, are the only political appointees to be given official cars. All other members of the cabinet travel to work in their private cars.
The Slovakian president uses various cars from the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Officials and Diplomatic Missions which has more than 230 cars for the president, prime minister, ministers and state visits. For state visits the president uses an armored Mercedes Benz Pullman, for normal driving one of the 230 cars (armored Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Volkswagen Phaeton, Range Rover, BMW X5, Škoda Superb and other vehicles.
Slovenian president Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek use Audi A8 (extra-stretched version), while their security officers use BMWs X5 as protection vehicles. Speaker of Parliament and ministers are mostly driven in Audis A6 or A8, apart Minister of Defence who currently uses BMW X5.
The President of South Korea often rides in an armored Hyundai Equus VL500(550) limousine, 3 of which were provided in 2009 by Hyundai Motors. These are the first vehicles manufactured in South Korea to be secured from the factory at a level approaching that of BMW or Mercedes-Benz factory limousines. The president also uses 2008-model Mercedes-Benz W221 Pullman Guard.
Previously, the President rode in an armoured BMW 7 Series limousine which was purchased in 2005. Before that a 2002-model Mercedes-Benz W220 was used, the late president Roh Moo-hyun used it during peace talks with North Korea. The presidential motorcade is escorted by Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Excursion, also with several identical Mercedes-Benz W220s.
The Spanish Royal Family has one of the largest fleets of cars in Spain. Various armoured vehicles are used by the family, including Audi A6s, Mercedes-Benz S-Class models and the exclusive Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Only 18 of the latter were ever built, all being reserved for royals or heads of state. Three were ordered by General Franco for his personal use and are now available for use by the Spanish Royal Family. One is a landaulette and the other two are limousines. A special order was placed on the marriage of the current Prince of Asturias when a Phantom IV was rebuilt to include armoured protection. Modifications included heavy-duty air conditioning and a special glazed armoured bubble to protect the rear passengers. The modifications cost over €360,000.
The Spanish Royal Family currently uses mainly Mercedes-Benz S600 models for its official transport, with BMW 5-Series (2007–2008) cars as escort vehicles. The motorcade is composed of around 15 cars. The personal car of the King Juan Carlos I is an especially customised Maybach 57 S.
The Prime Minister of Spain and Deputy Prime Minister of Spain both use Audi vehicles. The premier's Audi A8L was purchased in March 2005 shortly after retiring the former A8 used by PM José María Aznar. The vehicle, which then cost the Spanish government well over 380,000 Euros (approx. $520,000 USD), is said to be equipped with the latest features, runflats, level B7+ armouring, satellite communications and various special items that are kept secret by the Spanish officials. The fleet has been renovated and now includes various new Audi A8L, Mercedes-Benz S600 and A6s, although former prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wanted to swap those cars for the hybrid Toyota Prius to save fuel oil.
The President of Sri Lanka is driven in an armored Mercedes-Benz W221, armored BMW 7 Series escorted by a number of Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol cars. On special occasions, such as travelling on dirt roads, the President would use armored BMW X5 armored Ford Everest, armored Land Rover Defender.
The current official car of the King of Sweden is a stretched Volvo S80, escorted by the Swedish Security Service in BMW X5, BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models. For official occasions like state visits there is an Daimler DS420. There are also a number of different cars in the Royal Mews, which are used on special occasions. The first royal motor car in Sweden was a Daimler bought in 1899 for Crown Prince Gustaf.
Republic of China (Taiwan)
The President of the Republic of China has historically travelled in Cadillac sedans, reflecting the ROC's close relations with the United States. Former President Chiang Kai-shek's two armored Cadillacs are on exhibition in the Lincoln Memorial-like National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in the capital city of Taipei. Former President Chen Shui-bian discontinued the use of the Cadillac DeVille, preferring a Lincoln in his first term and a BMW 7-Series in his second term. The current president Ma Ying-jeou's uses four BMW F01 740is, usually escorted by two BMW R1200RTs police bikes and two BMW E60 5-Series police cars.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej travels in a Maybach 62 limousine, with police motorcycle outriders, and an escort of Mercedes S-Class (W221) and BMW 5-Series (F10) police cars. Other members of the royal family usually travel in different models. Most of them are Mercedes S-Class (W221). The other models including Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine,Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Park Ward, Lexus LS 460 L, BMW 7-Series (E38 & E66), BMW 5-Series (E60), Cadillac DTS stretch limousine, Volkswagen Caravelle TDi and Mercedes E55 AMG (W211). All of the royal cars are in Ivory colour.
From the fleet of royal vehicles, apart from the fleet of Mercedes S-Class some royal family member usually travel in different type of cars.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn usually travels by Rolls-Royce cars. These Rolls-Royces used to be the King’s official cars. These Rolls-Royce collection including Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn also has a large collection of cars, including many classic models. Many vehicles formerly belonged to his father, and a few modern cars such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Cadillac etc.
On important official Royal journeys, there are a group of more than 20 official cars in the motorcade including: Mercedes S-Class (W220), Mercedes E-class (WW210 & W211), BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 and E60), Honda Accord, Nissan Cefiro and Nissan Teana. These cars are painted in ruby red.
For common official Royal journeys, the cars in the motorcade are a group of about 5 cars including: BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 & E60), Mercedes S-Class (W221 & W220), Mercedes E-class (W210 & W211) and Nissan Teana. These cars are all in ivory colour. Some of these cars are the ex-royal vehicles.
The official cars for Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, are an armored black Mercedes Benz S (S600L-W220), a black BMW 730LI (E66), a black armored Range Rover and two black Volkswagen Caravelle. The Prime Minister's motorcade is led by two police cars, followed by the Security Services in silver Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and midnight blue Mercedes Benz E-class Estate (W211).
Trinidad and Tobago
The President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago presently use, amongst a vast collection of vehicles, a black, armoured, 2008 Toyota Crown. It carries the license plate with a gold coat of arms for the President and PM-1 for the Prime Minister. Each motorcade also includes a decoy car, two police motorcycles, two 2008 Toyota Land Cruisers as support vehicles and a leading Toyota Camry police vehicle.
Ugandan Presidents have usually preferred to ride in European cars. Sir Edward Mutesa, first president of Uganda, drove in a 1960s Rolls-Royce. All succeeding ones drove in black Mercedes Benz limousines. Current president Yoweri Museveni drove in black Mercedes cross country and 600 SEL stretch Limos up to the mid-1990s. His convoy currently consists of a Toyota Landcruiser 200 presidential car. The Presidency has ceremonial cars that include a stretch 600 SEL mercedes, and a white G Wagon. Escorts travel on double cabin pick up trucks and Mitsubishi Pajero models.
Bentley State Limousine
The British royal family has a long history of bespoke limousines stretching back to Daimler models owned by King Edward VII. On state occasions, Queen Elizabeth II usually travels in one of two Bentley State Limousines. Delivered in 2002 to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee, these custom-built vehicles are based on the Bentley Arnage floorplan, with a twin-turbocharged 6.75 litre V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower (300 kW) and 616 pound-feet (835 N·m) of torque, giving a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour (210 km/h). The state limousine is 3 feet (0.91 m) longer than a standard Bentley Arnage, 10 inches (250 mm) taller and 6 inches (150 mm) wider. It is equipped with broad suicide doors, which are hinged at the rear and open almost 90 degrees. The car also has opaque rear window panels that can be removed to allow increased visibility when the occupant is attending a public event or installed for increased privacy when required.
Other state cars
The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace has a rare Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, which was purchased by Princess Elizabeth in 1950, and became a state car upon her accession to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. There are also two Rolls-Royce Phantom VI models, including the bespoke Silver Jubilee Car, with a raised roof for enhanced visibility, presented by the British motor industry in 1977, as well as a standard model from 1986. The fleet is completed by two stretched Jaguar XJ limousines, which replaced two Daimler DS420 limousines in 2012. Sometimes referred to as "semi-state" limousines, these carry registration plates NGN 1 and NGN 2 and have been adapted with fittings for a bonnet mascot and roof flag. One Daimler DS420 (NLT 2), which was owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother until her death in 2002, remains in the fleet. The Jaguars and Daimlers are used as backup to the main fleet for state occasions and foreign visits.
There is also a bespoke Range Rover for parades and other official rides. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family can stand up in the back seat for good visibility.
All the official royal cars are painted claret and black, and have a flagpole on the roof. Under British law, the monarch's State vehicles do not possess registration plates (although the Jaguar and Daimler models do have them), but the monarch's personal vehicles and those of other members of the Royal Family do.
The state cars are sometimes used when the Queen is travelling abroad, and they are also made available for visiting heads of state and other members of the Royal Family on official business. One state car (commonly the rarely used Phantom IV model) is usually on display at the Royal Mews.
A pair of 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V state cars (retired from the working fleet after the Bentleys were acquired in 2002) can now be seen on public display. One is kept in the purpose-built garage aboard the former Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, and the other at the royal motor museum at Sandringham.
Prince Charles uses an armoured Bentley Turbo R, a Range Rover, a Jaguar XJ or an Audi A6. On state occasions, he is often seen in the Silver Jubilee Car, which lost the designation of "Number One State Car" (the vehicle most frequently used by the Queen) following the delivery of the Bentley State Limousines. On the evening of 9 December 2010, the car was attacked by student protestors as it carried the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Variety Performance in London. The couple were unhurt, but the car, which was not armoured, was spattered with paint and one of the side windows was smashed.
Personal vehicles of the royal family
For non-official journeys, the Queen will usually be driven in a dark green Bentley Mulsanne or in an armoured Jaguar XJ, similar to that used by the Prime Minister. This is escorted by the same vehicles as a state car. She also occasionally uses a Range Rover, particularly for visits to rural areas and events such as county shows. On visits to Balmoral and Sandringham, as portrayed in the film The Queen, she has been seen at the wheel of a Land Rover Defender. The Duke of Edinburgh owns a Land Rover Discovery, a Land Rover Freelander and a MetroCab, the last of which he uses for trips around central London. The Queen sometimes drives herself in a Range Rover or a Jaguar X type estate. The Duke sometimes drives a Land Rover Discovery around Windsor Great Park. Other members of the Royal Family are usually driven in Audi A6 or Range Rover models.
The Prince of Wales also has an Aston Martin DB6 volante, and an Aston Martin V8 converted to run on biofuel made from surplus local white wine. His Jaguars, Audi and Range Rover use biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is usually driven in one of a fleet of armoured Jaguar XJ Sentinel models, escorted by Range Rover or Land Rover Discovery vehicles and police motorcycle outriders. David Cameron arrived at 10 Downing Street following his appointment in a silver 2010 X350 model, but took delivery of his new X351 on 13 May 2010.
Since the early-1980s, when Margaret Thatcher switched from the Rover P5 models that had been in use since the 1960s, all Prime Ministerial cars have been from the Jaguar XJ range of the day, or its Daimler-badged variant. For the first few months of his premiership in 2007, Gordon Brown reverted to the previous Prime Ministerial car, a navy blue (X308) model purchased in 2000, before starting to use the silver model.
The 2000 model replaced a British racing green X300 model, built for John Major, which gained international media attention when it bore Tony Blair to Buckingham Palace on the day after the 1997 general election. A British racing green X308 took Gordon Brown to Buckingham Palace on 6 April 2010 to request the dissolution of Parliament, but it was the 2000 model that took him on his last ride as Prime Minister.
All former prime ministers since 1975 have been provided with an armoured car, usually the same model as the current Prime Minister, along with police protection. As of 2013[update] Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were provided with cars. Blair also bought his own bespoke BMW 7-Series.
The British government maintains the Government Car and Despatch Agency which provides transport for senior government officials. In December 2008, the service took delivery of a fleet of armoured BMW 760Li models for use by senior dignitaries and visiting politicians. The service also uses vehicles from Jaguar, Rover, Ford and Vauxhall, while some ministers use Toyota Prius hybrid models.
The President of the United States travels in a heavily armored, custom-built limousine, which is often referred to as Cadillac One, or its less formal nickname of “The Beast.” The vehicle is based on a GMC Topkick platform, and has the outward appearance of an enlarged Cadillac DTS limousine, with styling elements from other vehicles in the Cadillac lineup.
The vehicle features bulletproof windows, state-of-the-art communication and protection systems, a stowable desk, and a gas-proof chamber for defense against gas attacks.
On 24 May 2011, an earlier “Beast” failed to clear the driveway of the U.S. Embassy compound in Dublin, Ireland. Though President Barack Obama was the escorted official, he was in the second limo as the first noisily struck the pavement hump under the Embassy gate.
Unlike most other heads of state, with the occasional exception of the British Monarch and the President of Russia, the U.S. President is accompanied on all foreign and domestic trips by a full motorcade of U.S. government vehicles, including several presidential limousines, escort vehicles and a military ambulance, all of which are transported by the United States Air Force using C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The U.S. vehicles are typically complemented with coaches, police vehicles, ambulances and limousines provided by local authorities.
U.S. State Governors and Cabinet officials are often driven in either a Ford Crown Victoria or Cadillac DTS. The preferred car of Congressmen is the Lincoln Town Car. Almost all senior officials use the Chevrolet Suburban as an alternative form of transportation.
Current Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has chosen a black Chrysler 300 from his government's pool of vehicles confiscated from criminals and sold to the Governor's office for a nominal $2,000. The former Governor of Puerto Rico used a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. Ford Expeditions, Toyota Sequoias, and Nissan Armadas are available in the fleet from previous administrations. As part of the current Governor's motorcade, two large black SUVs, one white Ford Crown Victorias and at least one police motorcycle are used. They carry standard Puerto Rico license plates. Former Governor Luis Fortuño's specialty plate had the "LGF-051" numeration.
Governor Luis Muñoz Marín (1949–1965) used an armored Packard given to him by President Harry S Truman, which is on exhibition at the Muñoz Marín Foundation Library and Museum. Governor Rafael Hernández Colón (1973–1977, 1985–1993) ordered an armored Ford station wagon for which he was severely criticized and, thus, rarely used.
Each sitting Governor has the right to change the gubernatorial fleet as he or she may see fit, for example, Pedro Rosselló used a Mercury Grand Marquis and a GMC Yukon, Sila Calderón used a Ford Expedition and sometimes, for special occasions, a Buick Park Avenue, while Aníbal Acevedo Vilá used Nissan Armadas. As a tradition full size cars were used but since the late 1990s, SUVs are being used.
Former Governors are entitled to an official vehicle, which is replaced every four years throughout their life.
The presidential state car of Uruguay is an armoured 2005 Chevrolet Vectra, purchased by president Tabaré Vázquez when his term in office began on March 1, 2005. Previously, the Uruguayan head of state traveled in a Mitsubishi Galant procured from the government's fleet of diplomatic vehicles.
The state limousines of Uzbekistan are two special ordered 2010 Range Rover Supercharged with bulletproof windows. Also, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is transported by an armored Mercedes-Benz S-class which is escorted by other similar vehicles.
The pope has several vehicles. Most famous is the custom-made white Mercedes-Benz M-Class with an armoured glass compartment at the back. When the pope goes to the weekly audience at Saint Peter's Square he uses a white open-top Mercedes-Benz G-Class. There is also an armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the Vatican garage, and a custom-made Lancia Thesis. All the popemobiles and limousines have registration SCV 1. In September 2012 the Pope received an electrical custom-made Renault Kangoo for use around his Summer Residence Castel Gandolfo. The mini-van is white with the pope's crest on the door. There is a second electrical Kangoo, delivered in blue, for the Vatican Police.
Hugo Chávez, president until his death in 2013, sometimes drove a red IKCO Samand badged Centauro, or in red or green a Tiuna truck accompanied with some ministers or governors or mayors, depending on the occasion when he travelled, usually with a high security personnel around, with a large convoy of armored SUV conformed by Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Express, Ford Expedition, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Sequoia, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and an ambulance in case of any emergency, plus is escorted with the Presidential Guard that uses armored Toyota Land Cruiser (80&90 Series), the transit police and the Venezuelan National Guard motorcycle officers have the duty to escort the motorcade and to clear up the traffic.
Another fleet of vehicles includes a Cadillac Fleetwood that is used for national holidays like special parades, also the president used 3 armoured black (W211), these vehicles have license plates with the national emblem, but are used for special occasions or important meetings when Hugo Chávez met with other presidents. Another vehicle is an armored silver Lincoln Town Car used to transport the president's visitors from the Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetia to the Palacio de Miraflores and back.
The vice president is usually driven in an armored Nissan Patrol with a motorcade of 4 or 5 SUV. Ministers usually travel in armored vehicles including Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Tahoe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Fusion (Americas), Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, also escorted by Venezuelan National Guard officers.
Current President Nicolas Maduro is currently driving a black Toyota 4Runner or a Ford Explorer often accompanied with the Venezuela Presidential Honor Guard motorcade with his assistants and ministers.
President Josip Broz Tito, used a custom-built Mercedes-Benz 600 limo with removable top for most functions. Tito also had several luxury cars in his private motor pool collection, including: numerous Mercedes Benz models, including a 540k and 770k seized from Ante Pavelić after WWII, a Rolls-Royce Phantom V, and several Cadillac and Chevrolet models.
As of July 2011 the President of Zambia was driven in an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman limousine, escorted by 30 officers of the Zambia Police trained in diplomatic protection on BMW motorcycles and in six BMW 3 Series E93 cars. His motorcade also includes an ambulance at all times. For visits to rural areas the president uses an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 100 Series.
The Zimbabwean Presidential motorcade.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Automobiles of heads of state.|
- Air transports of heads of state and government
- Royal Train
- Royal Yacht
- Royal barge
- Royal and State carriages
Notes and references
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