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official reveal

With U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration just days away, General Motors has revealed the custom armored Cadillac limousine America's new leader will soon ride in on a regular basis. The car first attracted a great deal of media attention when our spy photographers snapped images of a prototype undergoing testing and now we've learned additional details about the future president's limousine.

Details on the GM-developed and Cadillac-styled limousine are understandably sparse given the main rider's status, but the automaker has released some details and our spies have speculated the rest.

First photographed testing on public roads in July 2008, our spies noted this behemoth might actually be more of a truck than a limo. With so much armor being added, it appears GM may have needed a medium-duty truck chassis like the Topkick platform. Earlier, spies observed the limo testing along with two regular Topkick trucks and the wheels and tires on the limo appeared to be the same size as the Topkick. The tires on the limo are Goodyear Regional RHS tires, though we couldn't tell if they are 22.5 inch or 19.5 inch wheels.

As far as powertain, all we can say for sure is that a very large motor was under the hood of the car early on in its development. The exhaust note coming from the back of the limo was quite similar to the medium-duty Topkick trucks, though previous speculation about a diesel motor turned out to be untrue.

Style-wise, we can see bits and pieces from a few different Cadillac models. Xenon headlights from the Escalade adorn the front while the rear seems to have some CTS and STS parts. We can also see holders on the top of the front fenders where two small American flags would traditionally go. The doors on this limo are absolutely astounding. We'd guess they are at least 8 inches thick.

GM ensures us that the basic vehicle isn't much different than the one that ferries current President George W. Bush around. It's roughly the same size, externally, as the current DTS-styled limo. The vehicle's armor is reportedly 5 inches thick and it has tall run flat tires, thick bulletproof glass, and an entirely sealed-off interior to prevent a chemical attack from permeating the cabin. Those chrome wheels are functional, too, designed to withstand the heavy weight and to hold up well to potential attacks.

Curb weight certainly exceeds 10,000 pounds thanks to all the armoring. Inside, the Cadillac-badged limo won't lack luxury; previous limousines have featured hand-stitched leather trim throughout.

To say that it's the most armed passenger vehicle on the planet is probably an understatement. Don't look for a Leftlane review of this Cadillac any time soon!