Mercedes-Benz and the Vatican have renewed their 80 year old relationship when his holiness Pope Benedict XVI was delivered a brand new custom built Popemobile by Mercedes-Benz Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche.Dr Zetsche personally handed over the car to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class to the Pope at the Vatican City.
The new Popemobile has been custom built for the Pope with several safety features. As you will notice the car has a glass cabin from which the Pope can give audience to thousands of people while traveling. The cabin has bullet proof glass to provide maximum security to the Pontiff.
Mercedes-Benz has made some structural changes to the new Popemobile. The cabin is taller to provide more space and larger glass panels have been used so that the Pope can be seen easily.
Speaking about the new Popemobile, Dr Zetsche said: "It is an honour for Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his future journeys with our new Popemobile. As such, we are continuing our long-standing partnership with the Vatican. For more than 80 years now, Popes have been able to rely on the quality, safety and comfort of our Mercedes-Benz vehicles."
The Pope uses the Popemobile during several public appearances in Italy as well as abroad. The Pope has used the new Popemobile on 8th December on the occasion of the Catholic Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.
Mercedes-Benz has been providing vehicles for the trips and official appearances of the leader of the Catholic Church for more than 80 years now. The first Mercedes-Benz for a Pope was a Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon, provided for Pope Pius XI in 1930. In the 1960s, Pope John XXIII received a 300d Landaulet in the guise of a Cabriolet with automatic transmission. Subsequently, Pope Paul VI first made use of a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet, followed by a 300 SEL.