Mercedes Benz delivers new M-Class Popemobile to Pope Benedict XVI
Last Updated at
- 03:31 pm, December 12, 2012
The Popemobile made it's public debut at the annual celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Rome.
It took Mercedes Benz exactly nine months to get the Popemobile from concept form to production form to delivery - in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI himself. His Holiness made his debut journey in the new Popemobile at this year's celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which includes a drive to the heart of Rome to pay homage to the statue of the Virgin in Piazza di Spagna.
Dr Dieter Zetche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes Benz cars personally handed over the keys to the M-Class Popemobile in the Vatican city of Rome, which has been specifically built for the Pope and features a special-purpose body.
"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. Dr Zetche said.
"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." Dr Zetche further said.
Based on the newest M-Class, the Popemobile is carrying some Popes-specific features such as an extended dome - taller than the previous version to allow for more movement and easier access - an enhanced view of the Pope for spectators - with larges glass panels and an illuminated roof lining and an embellished throne in the center, which bears the embroidered coat of arms of the Holy Father.
The SUV-based New Popemobile follows a long line of Mercedes-Benz cars used by the leaders of the Catholic Church over the past 80 years. Those include the first, a Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon for Pope Pius XI; a 600 Pullman Landaulet and 300 SEL for Pope Jon XXIII; a modified G Class for Pope John Paul II; and the previous Popemobile, used by both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, another Mercedes-Benz M Class.
First Published on 02:01 pm, December 12, 2012
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