French president Emmanuel Macron has chosen the Peugeot 5008 as his official mode of transport, but the seven seat SUV has come in for a raft of modifications to protect the chief of state.
Peugeot has fitted the presidential vehicle with armour plating and a bespoke second row seating package to accomodate President Macron and his travelling companions.
This includes two “captains” chairs and a special safe designed to house important documentation.
While the 5008 started life as a normal passenger vehicle, it was taken off the assembly line and handed over to an in-house team which was set up to work specifically on the vehicle.
Operating under the “5008 Présidential Project” title, the team’s first job was to strip out the interior to make way for the bulletproofing and new seats. You can see some of the build process in the video below.
The armour was designed and tested by Centigon Security Group, which has been building armoured vehicles for around 60 years.
Once satisfied it was safe, the SUV was then rebuilt, with the interior covering over the armour. To cope with the extra weight (which you can see from the reduced ride height in the photos), the 5008’s brakes were upgraded.
External modifications are limited to lights and sirens (which are mostly hidden) plus a presidential seal and flags.
“The official State Car project is especially challenging for the simple reason that failure is not an option. This is when we thought: ‘We are actually reclaiming French cultural heritage and French craftsmanship’,” said Olivier Desserprit, Chef du Project – 5008 Présidential. “Safety is the Presidential car’s first requirement so it goes without saying it’s bulletproof.”
No doubt there were probably plenty of other detail changes and modifications, but of course, these are classified. We would expect, though, that along with the stronger brakes, the Presidential version of the 5008 would come with a boost in power and torque.
After all, weighing it down with that much armour plating will also slow it down. And if President Macron needs a quick getaway, a near three-tonne SUV isn’t going to cut it.
So, Peugeot – what’s under the bonnet? And can we make it a factory option, please?