NewUsed

Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Mercedes-Benz delivers new 'popemobile' to the Vatican

Modified M-Class provides more room on the inside and a better view of the pontiff from the outside.

By Douglas Newcomb Dec 10, 2012 1:08PM

Mercedes-Benz popemobile. Photo by Mercedes-Benz.Mercedes-Benz has been supplying the Vatican with new wheels for the past 80 years. The latest ride, the first new one for Pope Benedict XVI, made its debut during a Catholic feast day last week at the famed Spanish Steps in Rome.


Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz, personally delivered the vehicle to the pope.

 

The new “popemobile” is a diamond-white Mercedes-Benz M-Class outfitted with the requisite high-security glass bubble that allows His Holiness to cruise among crowds of admirers without compromising safety. It replaces a modified G-Class that has been in the Vatican fleet since 2002 and was used by Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

 

The latest popemobile comes with plenty of custom touches, and does more with less.

 

So that the modified M-Class would better fit on cargo planes when the pope travels overseas, its overall height was reduced by a few centimeters, yet the glass dome has been extended compared with the preceding model. This allows for not only more interior space and more convenient access but -- along with a large, illuminated roof lining -- it also improves the view of the pope for people on the outside.

 

Mercedes-Benz became the papal automotive supplier in 1930, with Pope Pius XI's Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon. In the 1960s, Pope John XXIII cruised in a 300d Landaulet outfitted as a cabriolet with an automatic transmission. Later, Pope Paul VI continued the Vatican’s German-luxury obsession when he purchased a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet and later a 300 SEL. The first true popemobile arrived at the Vatican during the 1980s for Pope John Paul II, who worked the crowds at St. Peter’s Square in a modified G-Class.

 

Retired popemobiles can be viewed as part of the collections on display at both the Vatican and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.


Mercedes-Benz popemobile. Photo by Mercedes-Benz.[Source: Daimler]

5Comments
Dec 10, 2012 1:21PM
avatar
When the Pope isn't using it they can rent it to people that want to blow money around inside of it to let contestants grab as much as they can.
Sep 13, 2013 11:46AM
avatar
You gotta say this is what the church has needed. It has probably made the Cardinals very uncomfortable.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
MSN Money

ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES

Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at exhaustnotes@live.com.