The thing is, though, that all of these leaders are juicy targets for terrorists. All are guarded by crack security teams. And all are as important to their country as Mr Obama is to his. So why does he feel entitled to have a specially made, one-off, armour-plated Beast? Why can't 
he just turn up in a Chevrolet Impala. Or, since he's so obsessed with battery power, a Tesla?

No, scratch that one. Because, when Mr Obama was campaigning, he made a solemn promise that by the end of 2012 the entire White House fleet would be either plug-ins or hybrids. And so far, the total number of vehicles on the books that match that description is... um... zero.

The fact is, though, that the Americans want 
to see their man in a vehicle quite unlike anyone else's. It's a new-money thing, I guess. But, that said, in these hard times, they will not want him to sign a blank cheque. Which means the new limo may have to be built with one eye on the bank balance.…