Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the United States this week.
He travels with a custom-built sedan by Chinese brand Hongqi.
It's a very different car than the White House's Cadillac, nicknamed Beast.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for his meetings with President Joe Biden and business leaders this week, he won't be chauffeured in a vehicle familiar to many Americans.
Instead, the leader will be whisked through California streets in his own state vehicle — much like when American heads of state travel abroad.
Xi's steed of choice is made by Honqi, a Chinese automaker that also sells several car and SUV models to the public.
The manufacturer has been the source of state vehicles for over a decade. The name means Red Flag, the symbol of communism.
The L5, currently the most expensive Chinese car ever produced, has a relatively long length of 5.555 meters (an homage to the lucky number).
Consumer versions go for the equivalent of about $800,000, according to Bloomberg.
Its design is based on a classic model from the 1960s known as a CA770.
Discontinued in the 1980's, the CA770 was based on a Chrysler Imperial.
The exact specs of Xi’s state version of the L5 aren't known, but the consumer versions aren’t shy on power and luxury.
The car is roughly comparable to a Rolls-Royce Phantom, at least based on looks.
The L5 is powered by a mighty 6.0-liter V12 engine, depending on the configuration — and state leaders are known to opt for souped-up versions.
It's heavy, too. Consumer versions without armor plating weigh over three tons.
Longtime autos journalist Jeremy Clarkson once took the L5 for a spin and noted luxurious touches like rosewood paneling and jade ornaments.
"It's like a cartoon baddie's car," he said, adding that it wasn't very fast thanks to the weight.
But no matter how powerful and stately of a domestic option for Xi, the L5 is still overshadowed by the rolling Oval Office that’ll whisk Biden to and from meetings in California this week.
The custom Cadillac is one of the most recognizable symbols of presidential travel.
The latest version debuted in 2018 after being commissioned by Barack Obama in 2014.
Among other unique features, the Beast is identifiable by presidential seals on the doors.
The Beast goes for about $1.5 million and is chock-full of features to make it (almost) a fully loaded White House on wheels.
It's basically just a super-stretched Cadillac XT6 sedan, only much much more secure and powerful.
Most of The Beast’s details are closely guarded by the Secret Service, but we do know it weighs up to 20,000 pounds, seats seven people, and has a powerful engine.
Not much is known about the protective features of Xi's L5.
He is accompanied by his chief of staff, Cai Qi, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to the state news reports.
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