The zero-emission vehicle was presented to the church by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan, and will likely replace the existing armoured Mercedes-Benz M-Class Popemobile.
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A Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric car has been converted into a Popemobile, and gifted the Vatican.

Delivered on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan, the Toyota is 5.1 meters long and 2.7 meters tall at the highest point.

However – unlike some previous iterations of the iconic vehicle – this Popemobile is not armoured.

Instead, the pope sits on an exposed rear-mounted platform and is illuminated by an overhead LED system.

Nothing has changed under the bonnet, and the Mirai produces 113kW/335Nm from its electric motor, while its hydrogen fuel cell relays charge to a 1.6kWh Nickel-metal hydride battery. It has an EPA-verified range of 502km.

While the model has never been offered in Australia (largely due to a lack of local hydrogen infrastructure), 6200 examples have been sold in the USA, 3500 have been sold in Japan, and 640 have been sold in Europe.

In Europe pricing starts from around €60,000 (AU$98,000) plus on road costs, before any local subsidies are taken into account.

Other cars to have previously served as the Popemobile include the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, Fiat Campagnola, Leyland Constructor, SEAT Panda, GMC Sierra, Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV, and Dacia Duster.