Stuttgart/Rome ? By delivering a new Popemobile to Pope Benedict XVI
Mercedes-Benz continues a tradition, which lasts for 80 years now. Dr
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and
Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, personally handed over the Mercedes-Benz
M-Class, specifically produced for the Pope with special-purpose body,
today at the Vatican.
"It is an honour for Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His
Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his future journeys with our new
Popemobile", said Zetsche at the handover of the new Popemobile
in Rome. "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
The leader of the Catholic Church makes use of the Mercedes-Benz
Popemobile at a number of public appearances both at home and abroad.
It gives him the opportunity to get as close as possible to the public
without having to forego the highest possible levels of safety and
comfort. It will be possible to see Benedict XVI tomorrow in the new
vehicle for the first time as early as 8th December in Rome, where the
Catholic Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception is traditionally
celebrated at the Spanish Steps.
The Popemobile is fitted with the latest technological highlights from
the current M-Class. In addition, the vehicle also features a new
interior design. Compared with the preceding model, the dome has been
extended significantly, providing an improved amount of space and more
convenient entry access. The view of the Pope has also been
significantly enhanced thanks to considerably larger glass panels in
the viewing area, together with large illuminated roof lining. The
throne, the central design feature in the interior, bears the
embroidered coat of arms of the Holy Father.
As with the preceding model, the body of the new Popemobile is painted
in diamond white. And to facilitate frequent transport of the modified
M-Class by air, Mercedes-Benz has reduced the overall height of the
vehicle by a few centimetres, while at the same time improving the
internal standing height. Work on the new Popemobile began some nine
months ago. The vehicle was designed and produced by Mercedes-Benz.
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.
From the 1980s, Pope John Paul II initially also travelled in a
vehicle designated as a "Popemobile" - a modified G-Class -
to the celebrations in St. Peter's Square. From 2002, he mostly made
use of the predecessor to the new Popemobile, which Benedict XVI has
also used up until today. After they reach the end of their working
lives, the Popemobiles can be viewed as part of the collections on
display at both the Vatican and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
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- posted 7 years ago