US President Joe Biden recently met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time in over a year, and the meeting took place at the exquisite Filoli Estate near San Francisco. While the discussions between the two leaders were significant, there was also another notable aspect of their meeting – the showcase of their state limousines.
During the farewell, President Biden couldn’t help but admire the luxurious Chinese extra-long limousine, the Hongqi L5, owned by President Xi Jinping. The Hongqi L5, which is known as the ‘Red Flag’ in Chinese, is a stretched version of a 20-foot sedan and is manufactured by the Hong sub-brand of the state-owned FAW Car Company.
Interestingly, President Biden took the opportunity to mention his own prominent state limousine, the famous Cadillac known as “The Beast.” This heavily armored limo, built on the GMC TopKick truck platform, has been serving Presidents of the United States since 2018. President Biden, a self-proclaimed “car guy,” also owns a vintage 1967 Chevrolet Corvette.
The Hongqi L5, which is the first-generation model used by President Xi Jinping, boasts a powerful turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 engine. Its second-generation counterpart, currently not available, is expected to offer even more impressive features. Weighing approximately 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) before adding additional layers of armor, this Chinese luxury vehicle exemplifies both power and elegance.
While details about state limousines are typically kept under tight wraps, these encounters between the US and Chinese leaders provided a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse into the world of these exclusive vehicles. Both vehicles showcase the grandeur and sophistication that befit their respective leaders.
1. What is the Hongqi L5?
The Hongqi L5 is a luxury limousine manufactured by the Hong sub-brand of the state-owned FAW Car Company in China. It is often referred to as the “Red Flag” and is known for its elongated design and powerful engine.
2. What is “The Beast”?
“The Beast” is the common nickname for the heavily armored Cadillac that serves as the official state limousine for the President of the United States. It is built on the GMC TopKick truck platform and is designed to provide maximum security and protection for the President.
3. How much does the Hongqi L5 cost?
The new-generation production version of the Hongqi L5 starts at 5 million yuan, which is approximately $693,414. Despite being referred to as “a car for everyone” by the Chinese, its high price tag makes it an exclusive luxury vehicle.