New limo awaits Obama

Cadillac and the Secret Service aren't saying much, but the automaker is rolling out a new presidential limousine for Inauguration Day.

presidential limousine
This limousine carried President Bush on a visit to New Delhi in March 2006. White House photo by Paul Morse

Meet the new ride, same as the old ride.

Inauguration Day for Barack Obama will also mark the first day of service for a new presidential limousine--a Cadillac, just like its predecessor. The Detroit News is reporting that the new limo, now in the hands of the Secret Service, will be about the same size as the one it's replacing, though it will have, at the very least, bigger windows. Beyond that, the newspaper said, General Motors spokesman David Caldwell offered precious little information.

Not surprisingly, the Secret Service was, well, secretive about everything but the January 20 date for the Caddy's debut.

GM did allow that the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine is the first that doesn't have a specific model name, according to The Detroit News. President Bush's lame-duck limo is a 2006 Cadillac DTS. The Motor City newspaper said that GM "is believed" to have built no more than 25 of the new models.

While security-related information is understandably not for public consumption, the automaker apparently hasn't minded divulging some of the president's automotive amenities.

Caldwell said he couldn't give specifications--even the engine size or type--in either the current limousine or the new one. Other facts also are secret like the vehicle's curb weight, though Cadillac has disclosed in the past that the limo has a 10-disc CD player and hand-stitched leather interiors.

But a somewhat closer look is on the way. Both the GM and Secret Service spokesmen said they would offer pictures, along with more information, next week. For now, viewing is limited to "spy photos" from the automotive paparazzi, as here on CNN.

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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