Before we begin the Indian President car slide show, let's focus on a few facts about presidential cars. For starters, the Home Ministry clearly states that the make, model and registration numbers of the cars used by the President of India is a state secret and the disclosure of such details will jeopardise the first citizen's security. The following details are only based on what we can see. Another fact is that these cars do not bear a licence plate, instead it has the national emblem - the Ashoka Pillar.
The official set of wheels for the President of India is the Mercedes-Benz S Class (S600) Pullman Guard. It is the flagship model from Mercedes-Maybach, which went on to become the official car for head of state and individuals who are particularly at high risk. A stretch limo, the S600 Pullman Guard is also armoured, we're talking real bullet resistance here!
Over the past couple of decades, Mercedes Benz limousines have been the name to go to for moving persons of heavy importance in India. Shankar Dayal Sharma was the first Indian president to use the Mercedes Benz S-Class limousine, which was bullet and grenade proofed. The W140 limousine that was used by Shankar Dayal Sharma was later passed on to his successor, KR Narayanan. (Above image: Cartoq)
The most adored and respected President of India has by far been Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The car that ferried Kalam was also a Mercedes Benz S-Class W140. And like other previous presidents, he too switched back to Hindustan Ambassador, which is the official car allotted to former presidents after completion of their term.
Pratibha Patil, The first ever female President that India has seen, was upgraded from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140 to W221 S-Class S600 Pullman limousine. It was with Patil, the next generation of the S600 was employed for use by the head of state.
Pranab Mukherjee had the S-guard version of the Mercedes Benz S-Class S600 Pullman limousine at his service. It was heavily fortified to withstand fire from small arms and grenades, and the air intakes on it could be shut off to escape a chemical attack. It is is powered by a 5.5 liter twin turbo petrol engine, and uses run flat tyres. (Image: Rushlane)
Mercedes Benz wasn't always the first choice for a presidential car. India’s first president Rajendra Prasad’s official car was a Cadillac convertible imported from the US. (Image: Cartoq)
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