Fresh from Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI is taking some time to enjoy that wonderful new Mercedes smell. Mercedes Benz presented the Holy Father with a brand new G 500 convertible.
The Vatican worked closely with Mercedes to develop the latest Popemobile. A process which took two years. From the Vatican mystic white paint, to the custom white interior and red access steps. This G 500 is fit for a king or in this case Pope.
The new G 500 is one of a long line of custom tailored Mercedes Benzes to drive and protect the Pope in his visits around the Vatican City and around the world. The first was for Pope Pius Xi in 1930.
New Mercedes-Benz for the Pope
Stuttgart/Rome – In future, Pope Benedict XVI will present himself to the 40,000 or so pilgrims in St. Peter's Square in a shining white, open-top Mercedes-Benz G-Class during his public audiences on Wednesdays. The new "Popemobile" was created over a two-year development period in close consultation with the Vatican, and has now been personally handed over to the Holy Father.
This open official car, which the Head of the Catholic Church requested for use during fine weather, was developed by Mercedes-Benz on the basis of the G 500. It is equipped with a folding windscreen and hand-rails, and like its predecessors it is painted in the Vatican mystic white finish. The interior is likewise white, and is accessed via steps lined in red at the rear. The Pope holds his audiences in a standing position, so that he is easily visible to all his flock.
The Holy Father is continuing a long tradition with the new Popemobile from Mercedes-Benz. Pope Pius XI was the first to receive a Mercedes-Benz as an official car in 1930 - a Nürburg 460 Pullman limousine. Over the following decades Mercedes-Benz regularly provided the Vatican with automobiles which had been specially converted for the use of the Holy Father.
Today the Pope has several Mercedes-Benz cars at his disposal. In addition to the new G 500 Cabriolet, the fleet currently includes M and S-Class models with special protection.