The Official Wheels of 10 World Leaders
Heads of state always seem to be on the move. Whether they’re meeting with local government officials or heading to the airport for an international visit with other leaders, they spend a lot of time in cars — official state cars, to be precise.
Let’s look at what sets state cars apart from the kind the rest of us drive, and what models represent 10 world leaders in official capacities.
The importance of vehicles for state leaders
World leaders can’t rely on the same kind of car service or public transportation that normal citizens do day-to-day. They face far greater security concerns and need special protection while on the road.
That protection can involve anything from armored vehicles to security details that accompany them to all-out motorcades. You might think all vehicles for heads of state would be similar for this reason, but that would be a mistake. The official vehicles of state leaders actually vary quite a bit.
Let’s explore some of the vehicles serving as official state cars of heads of state in 10 different countries.
Vehicles of selected world leaders
Here are the official cars of 10 state leaders, based on Statista Research reporting as of August 2018.
- China – Hongqi L5
- France – DS 7
- Germany – Mercedes-Benz S600
- Italy – Lancia Thesis
- North Korea – Mercedes-Benz 600 Landaulet
- Russia – Aurus Senat
- Spain – Rolls-Royce Phantom IV
- UK – Bentley Arnage
- USA – Cadillac One “The Beast”
- Vatican City – Renault 4
You can learn more about these state car choices in the infographic below from Statista.
Some surprising choices in state vehicles
Did anything about those official car choices surprise you? Perhaps the biggest thing that stands out is the dramatic range of prices for each of the vehicles. Most notable is the car of Pope Francis, though perhaps the modesty of his preference should be expected. What’s not surprising is that state leaders tend to prioritize cars built in their own countries or by their close allies when possible. However, you might not have expected North Korea’s leader to drive a German car.
Something important to note is that the cars Statista cites don’t necessarily have the same purpose. For example, the United States’ official car emphasizes safety — from being heavily armored to containing a fridge full of the president’s blood type in case of emergencies. On the other hand, the official vehicle noted for Spain’s leader is a ceremonial car. But they also have a larger fleet including armored vehicles of their own. This is a common occurrence, with heads of state often having access to a large fleet of vehicles they can use for different purposes or to transport different important officials.
These official cars of state heads run the gamut from incredibly classy to a pope’s personal favorite, but it shouldn’t be surprising that the car models and styles are as unique as each country’s leader.
This is a collaborative article.
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