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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Could The Next Presidential Limo Be A Tesla?

As reported by Motor AuthorityThe Secret Service is gearing up for an all-new presidential limo, to replace the venerable but sometimes challenged Beast

There are a number of requirements placed on those wishing to build the next limo, not least of which is that it must be an American company. Tesla Motors is an American company--but could it, should it, supply the next limo for the President?

While there's no indication that Elon Musk has any such desire, we think it's an interesting idea--one that would fit with government incentives for electric cars, give a nice green image to whomever might hold the office next time around, and conveniently side-step the issue of the automotive bailouts.

So what might a Tesla presidential limo (the Model P, perhaps?) look like? It might look something like this, based loosely on the Model X, just as the Beast is based on a GM heavy truck platform, but styled to look like a car.

Features you might find in a Tesla designed to protect the (nominally, at least) most powerful person in the world?
  • Better armor plating under the battery pack, for one, to prevent any chance of a road-debris- (or IED-) induced battery pack fire.
  • The Model X's upcoming all-wheel-drive system might also find use, enabling better traction and handling for the large, heavy vehicle.
  • An air suspension system adapted from Tesla's production design could prevent any future high-centering issues like those faced by the Beast's predecessor.
  • Tesla's always-on 4G internet connection could also be used, but would have to be upgraded to presidential status, including heavy encryption and firewalling.
  • A charge-on-the-fly port at the nose and tail to hook up to a battery-extending black SUV, a la in-flight refueling, could help make sure the president can escape from emergencies without having to exit the car--or find a Supercharger.
Okay, so this is mostly in jest, but the core idea itself may have merit--if not now, then in a decade's time.