Israeli PM buys luxury official car

08:55, October 29, 2010      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon be riding on four of the most expensive wheels in the Israeli history, an uber-customized Audi A8.

The plush ride - the firm's flagship model - goes for 685,000 U. S. dollars before taxes, and features latest in security upgrades in the series of vehicles that have ferried Israel's leaders for decades.

Automotive industry sources, according to local newspaper, said the total "drive-it-off-the-lot" price, including all the safety and security bells and whistles, would run between 750,000 to 850, 000 dollars.

This unique vehicle, however, will sport an electronically- controlled air-suspension to bear the extra load of all the armor- cladding against hand grenades and bullets, an independent oxygen supply and fire-extinguisher system, not to mention a mechanism to blow the doors off if they get jammed shut after an explosive attack.

Under the expansive hood, twelve cylinders of Germany's finest automotive engineering will be churning out 450 horsepower to a permanent four-wheel drive transmission spinning bullet-proof tires, according to the Globes business news site.

But beyond the performance and security extras, there are the niceties: a wide-screen DVD player, the minibar refrigerator for drinks, and, of course, a humidor to keep the prime minister's favorite cigars moist.

The Prime Minister's Office said the specially customized vehicle was a necessity, due to the constant safety and security threat the office entails.

"The vehicle intended for the prime minister has a high level of protection, as specified by the security forces, and was therefore chosen in a tender for vehicles capable of carrying the required protection level," the Prime Minister's Office said of the purchase.

In the past years, the officials responsible for purchasing senior officials' limousines chose strictly "Detroit iron": custom Cadillacs. Several years ago, however, they decided on Audi instead. Former prime minister Ehud Olmert also rode in an A8, although his vehicle was a standard, leased model.

Source: Xinhua


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