Video: Obama to ride in safety and style

msnbc.com news services
updated 1/7/2009 3:15:42 PM ET 2009-01-07T20:15:42

President-elect Barack Obama’s new ride has arrived.

The Detroit News reported Tuesday that a new model of a presidential limousine made by General Motors Corp. has been delivered to the Secret Service.

The armored 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine will make its debut at Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration in Washington. The Secret Service and GM say they’ll reveal more about the custom vehicle’s specifications next week.

GM did not say how many limos it will build for the U.S. government, but the Detroit News reported the number is believed to be fewer than 25.

Older-model presidential limos will remain in use. The previous model, a modified Cadillac DTS, was introduced at President George W. Bush’s second inauguration in 2005.

The Detroit News also reported that the new presidential limousine will have larger windows and better visibility for the president, but has about the same size and “footprint" as the previous model. The newspaper also said Obama will use the limousine during the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue after his swearing in on the west side of the Capitol.

According to the newspaper, armor provided for the vehicle is at least five inches thick. It also has run-flat tires, bulletproof glass and a completely sealed interior to fend off a chemical attack, the paper said, adding that other high-tech security features include electronic communications equipment.

Secret Service agents are reportedly training with the new limousine at a facility near Washington.

GM has built the most presidential limousines since 1983, according to the Detroit News. The automaker took the job away from rival Ford, which had built a series of Lincolns for U.S. presidents, starting with a Lincoln V-12 built for President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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