Mercedes-Benz handed Pope Benedict XVI the keys to his new Popemobile, a revamped M-Class crossover model specifically designed for the religious leader. The vehicle will be used for many public appearances, both around the Pope's home in Vatican City and abroad.
"It is an honor for Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his future journeys with our new Popemobile," said Dieter Zetsche, head of the automaker. "As such, as 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 vehicle, which is painted a papal white, has undergone customized auto repair to make it fit for the leader. It features glass window panels that are larger than they were in the past, making the Pope more visible when he hits the road, USA Today reports. It also boasts an illuminated roof liner and a chair emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Holy Father.
Mercedes has been supplying cars for the Pope since the 1930s, when Pope Pius XI was given a Nurburg 460 Pullman Saloon, Car Scoop reports.