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World's most powerful man rolls with Goodyear

When Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States, he began a journey of countless appearances and appointments, and Goodyear will be a key contributor, though few might notice.

The new president's official limousine will be carried to its various destinations in the capital and elsewhere on Goodyear tyres, continuing a decades-long tradition as the exclusive tyre for the presidential limo and preferred tyre of the U.S. Secret Service.

On the new presidential limousine, a heavily customized Cadillac DTS, a set of Goodyear tyres - Goodyear Regional RHS - will be occupying the four corners of the car.

These are actually truck tyres in a 285/70R19.5 size, necessary due to the vehicle's extra load that includes a heavy-duty chassis, extended length and armoured material.

As with military combat vehicles, the presidential limousine runs on standard tyres, but the rims contain a run flat device that even enables the vehicle to be driven with zero air pressure in all four tyres.

Other safety and high-tech features include 8in thick armor-plated doors (each weighing the same as a cabin door on a Boeing 757), an independent oxygen supply and advanced fire-fighting system located in the boot, pump-action shotguns, night-vision cameras and tear-gas cannons, Obama's own personal storage of blood and special steel wheels that can drive without the tyre attached.

All of this comes at a heavy weight penalty, with top speed rated at 60mph (96km/h) and fuel-economy expected to be about 8mpg. In the past, Goodyear's high-profile fitment on presidential limos has been featured in American print advertisements, reminding consumers that the four things every president has in common with his predecessor are the Goodyear tyres transporting him.

The Regional RHS is available in Australia in size 265/70R19.5.

Feb 2009