The presidential limo, nicknamed “The Beast”, and Trump’s presidential motorcade participate in the opening warmup lap to kick off the 2020 Daytona 500 NASCAR race. The motorcade does not go up onto the banking of the legendary speedway, but it is a rare sight indeed.
There presidential part of the motorcade includes five vehicles: a new 2020 Toyota Highlander, a Toyota Sequoia, The Beast, and two Chevy Suburbans.
Toyota has a big presences in NASCAR and at the Daytona 500 race. In fact, the pace car fleet is comprised of several 2020 Toyota Highlanders. The Toyota Sequoia was allocated for members of the press in order to take photographs and video of the event. The Sequoia was presumably chosen because of its large size and a rear glass that can be rolled down for a clear view of The Beast.
One of the Chevy Suburbans that was following The Beast was a Suburban HD with eight-lug hubs. This version of the Suburban is no longer available for sale for private use. It may still be available for sale to government and other fleets. The HD version of the Suburban has a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of around 10,000 lbs or more. This allows it to carry more equipment and also be armored.
The Beast has an appearance of a Cadillac limousine that is perhaps based on a sedan, but this is a giant vehicle that is based on a truck chassis. This presidential cocoon of a vehicle is said to have thick armor to defend against high-powered weapons. The truck is reportedly equipped with its own oxygen supply, smoke screen, armored fuel tank, run-flat tires, and plenty of communications technology to keep in firm contact with members of the government and the Pentagon. As such, it also weighs a lot! How much does The Beast and other motorcade vehicles weigh? The Beast limo is approximated to weigh 22,000 lbs, according to the announcement made during the event.
Why didn’t The Beast and the motorcade go up onto the speedway banking? It can be a combination of factors, but one of the main reasons is to protect the racetrack itself. Daytona International Speedway has banking of up to 31 degrees through turns, and the track surface is not meant to be driven on by heavy trucks. It would also be uncomfortable and/or dangerous to drive a heavy vehicle on the banking at a relatively slow speed.