President Clinton will be the first U.S. president ever to use a hybrid outfitted for presidential service thanks to Ford, who will be presenting our 42nd president with a Mercury Mariner Hybrid "Presidential Edition" at the Clinton Global Initiative conference later this month in New York City. The Mariner Hybrid has been modified to include LED interior lighting, a 110-volt outlet and a writing table. Everything else on the vehicle, including the hybrid powertrain that delivers 32 mpg in the city, is supposedly stock.

We say supposedly because most presidential vehicles are heavily modified with armor and other technologies to thwart assassination attempts. The LED interior lighting installed in Clinton's Mariner Hybrid suggests the window glass is either heavily tinted for privacy or has been replaced with a transparent armor similar to the kind used on President Bush's armored Cadillac DTS limo that's so thick it blocks natural sunlight.

Speaking of presidential vehicles, did you know that the presidential motorcade is typically 35 cars long? A lot of gas could be saved by switching that fleet over to a next generation powertrain. Follow the jump to see what vehicles follow the president when he's out on the town and in what order.

[Source: Ford]




(via Wikipedia) Since 2001, when the President travels out-of-town, his motorcade consists of about 35 vehicles. Listed here is the approximate order of a typical presidential motorcade, and indicates the vehicle number, occupants and purpose:
  • Car #1: Local police car (maintains integrity of motorcade)
  • Car #2: Local police car (maintains integrity of motorcade)
  • Car #3: Marked police car (bomb sweep)
  • Car #4: Route Car, marked police car (intersection control)
  • Car #5: Pilot Car, marked police car (coordinator)
  • Car #6: Lead Car, marked police car (command police personnel)
  • Car #7: Lead SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #8: Lead SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #9: Lead SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #10: Armored Limo, Spare Limo (Secret Service)
  • Car #11: Armored Limo, The President and First Family (Secret Service)
  • Car #12: Follow-Up SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #13: Follow-Up SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #14: Follow-Up SUV (Secret Service)
  • Car #15: Control Car (staff personnel)
  • Car #16: Swat Car (Secret Service Swat Team)
  • Car #17: Support Vehicle (staff personnel)
  • Car #18: Staff 1 (staff personnel)
  • Car #19: Staff 2 (staff personnel)
  • Car #20: Staff 3 (staff personnel)
  • Car #21: ID Car (ID team, Secret Service)
  • Car #22: White House Personnel (staff personnel)
  • Car #23: Camera 1 (photographers)
  • Car #24: Wire 1 (writing press)
  • Car #25: Camera 2 (photographers)
  • Car #26: Camera 3 (photographers)
  • Car #27: Camera 4 (photographers)
  • Car #28: Press Pool Van (press pool staff)
  • Car #29: Press Van (press staff)
  • Car #30: Guest Van (VIP guest, staff)
  • Car #31: Swat Car (local police SWAT)
  • Car #32: Ambulance (Fire Department personnel)
  • Car #33: Press Bus (press staff)
  • Car #34: Local Police Car (maintains integrity of motorcade)
  • Car #35: Local Police Car (maintains integrity of motorcade)