Pope Benedict XVI, a German, has been handed the keys to his latest car, a shining white, open-top Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Mercedes-Benz says the car was developed over a two-year period with close consultation with the Vatican. This Popemobile will only be used in fine weather, although one would suspect given it’s the Pope, fine weather should not be an issue.
Believe it or not the Popemobile is based on the G 500. Extra equipment includes a folding windscreen and hand-rails.
The exterior and interior is white, the car can only be boarded via via steps lined in red at the rear. Mercedes-Benz has a long history of supplying the Vatican with cars, a tradition that first started with Pope Pius XI in 1930 with a Nürburg 460 Pullman limousine.
The new Popemobile joins numerous M and S-Class models with special protection in the Vatican car park (as well as a one-fifth scale model of Ferrari’s 2004 championship winning F2004 Formula 1 car)