Pope Benedict XVI has taken delivery of a brand new ‘Popemobile‘ based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class luxury SUV, reports CarAdvice website.
The new Popemobile represents a significant trade-up for His Holiness, who has been riding in the back of the customised G-Class vehicle that was originally built for his predecessor Pope John Paul II in 2002.
Daimler chairman, Dr Dieter Zetsche, handed over the keys to leader of the Catholic Church, continuing a partnership between the German car manufacturer and the Vatican that spans nine decades.
"It is an honour for Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his future journeys with our new Popemobile", Zetsche said at the handover ceremony in Rome.
"For more than 80 years now, popes have been able to rely on the quality, safety and comfort of our Mercedes-Benz vehicles."
Taking nine months to go from concept to production, the new Popemobile features a more spacious dome with a new throne, along with larger bulletproof glass panels and illumination in the roof lining to improve onlookers’ view of the Pope.
The dome is now easier to enter and exit and boasts a taller internal standing height despite the overall vehicle height being lower to aid its ease of transportation by air.
Like the trade-in model, the new Popemobile is finished in diamond white paint and features the Pope’s coat of arms inside and out.
FULL STORY Mercedes-Benz Popemobile delivered to the Vatican (Car Advice)