The Armored Limousine of Chinese President Xi Jinping

With China continuing to cement it ties with countries like Africa, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a whirlwind tour of the continent.  This premier personality of China who has been consolidating power at his own home and is suffering from expanding trade war with US, used this trip to show off the new Chinese-made presidential limousine.

Details of the Car


This armored limousine is more than eighteen feet long and has an overall shape consisting of a large front grill which is mainly meant to evoke full-size and high-end cars like Bentleys, Rolls-Royce, and Mercedes. Mercedes has been pretty popular with the world leaders.  It is known to have 402 horsepower with turbocharged v8 engine along with an automatic transmission and is capable of traveling more than 500 miles with single tank of gas.


There are few publicly available details regarding the car.  When the information about armored limousine N501 began emerging in 2016, people suggested that this is a new addition to the Hongqi’s commercial product line.  Till May 2018, Hongqi had not been launched this car and it couldn’t be found in the catalogue of the company.  The car watchers in China spotted one of these on the carry while it was carrying military plates that suggested that it was a model which had been specially designed for the government of the country.

When Xi used this type of car in Africa, it simply confirmed the observation. Pictures have shown that the limousine has armored doors and windows.  Also, it will have additional security and some other feature which include secure communications equipment for helping the premier to be connected when the car is on the move same as the other cars that the leaders use for moving around.


It is not known whether Hongqi is making any other version of N501 as armored limousine available commercially or a type which has been designed mainly for the president of China.  There is also a possibility it has used a foreign design chassis derived from one of them.


Hongqi is just one brand under the umbrella. This automobile conglomerate develops foreign design for the Chinese market in cooperation with the companies like Toyota and Audi.

The initial report has shown that N501 is going to use a Toyota derived engine.  However, the size and shape of it made the observers wonder if the armored limousine was using an Audi chassis.


However, whatever the looks like, the red flag under the ornament was prominent and it is typical of Hongqi. This offers a distinct Chinese look to the car. Since the foundation of the car, the company has been associated with premiers of China which includes Mao Tse Tung.


Why Did Xi Xinping Ride N501 in Africa?


The armored limousine from Hongqi has been important symbols for increasingly powerful premier of China. Riding N501 during his Africa visit is to make him return to his former glory and also to become more accessible brand in China. It is going to use this to expand its sale abroad.  In the 2018, FAW has declared a new plan for Hongqi.


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