Mercedes-Benz continues its tradition that has been ongoing for 80 years now by delivering the Mercedes-Benz M-Class based Popemobile to the Vatican. It is specifically produced for the Pope with a special-purpose body and was personally delivered by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"It is an honor 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 Mercedes-Benz vehicles."
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.
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.
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.