Obama and his 8mpg limo

It's hardly the car for a President elected on a platform of change, economy and new technology. Even its nick-name, Stagecoach, summons up old-fashio

It's hardly the car for a President elected on a platform of change, economy and new technology. Even its nick-name, Stagecoach, summons up old-fashioned images of pioneers taking potshots at Indians. But Obama is stuck with his new Presidential Cadillac limousine for at least the next four years.

The Cadillac-built, but truck-based, vehicle might be packed with high-tech details - no one knows for sure as its specification is classified and previous models are destroyed to preserve their secrets.

What we do know that is that far from running on a hybrid engine or even bio-diesel fuel, Stagecoach uses a normal petrol engine and achieves about 8 miles to the gallon.

According to the LA Times, its security technology is far more advanced. The 7300kg car is cocooned in steel, titanium and ceramic armoured panels, has Kevlar flooring to ward off grenades, bullet-proof windows and its own ventilation system to repel gas attacks.

LED lights illuminate the Stars and Stripes flags while the driver has night vision cameras and a heads-up display. As a final precautionary measure, there are shotguns, tear-gas cannons and even a few pints of the President's claret.

The limo is home to 'useful' mobile office features - did Obama need to keep his BlackBerry after all? - perhaps even including a video camera for the new President to give the first of his promised weekly webcasts, due to start tomorrow at http://www.whitehouse.gov/weekly_address/.