>Update: Pope Benedict XVI is tepping step down from being head of the Roman Catholic Church, a 1st in about 600 years. A new Pope will be elected once the Pontiff steps down at the end of February 2013. Mercedes Benz M Class SUV, specially produced for the Pope, with a special all purpose body was formally handed over to His Holiness by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. By handing over this vehicle, specially designed for the Pope, Mercedes Benz continues with an 80 year long tradition where in Popes have relied on the quality, safety and comforts of the Mercedes Benz vehicles.
The Mercedes Benz M Class or Popemobile as it is called, is used by the Pope during public appearances within Vatican and abroad. In its safe and comfortable confines, it allows the Pope to be as close to the public and well wishers while on his various visits. Pope Benedict XVI was seen in this Popemobile for the first time on December 8th when the Roman Catholic community celebrated Feast of Immaculate Conception at the Spanish Steps (see image below).
The Popemobile is fitted with latest in technology, is given a luxurious interior makeover with easy entry access and enhanced internal space. Larger glass panels are added for clear and enhanced viewing with an illuminated roof lining. There is a throne in its interiors which bears the Coat of Arms of the Holy Father.
Mercedes Benz has been providing these vehicles to the Catholic Church for past 80 years. After these vehicles have played their part in transportation of the Pope, they are added to the collection on display both at Vatican and at Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart. For more information, scroll down.