In future, Pope Benedict XVI will present himself to the 40,000 or so pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in a shining white, open-top Mercedes-Benz G-Class during his public audiences on Wednesdays. The new "Popemobile" was created over a two-year development period in close consultation with the Vatican, and has now been personally handed over to the Holy Father.
This open official car, which the Head of the Catholic Church requested for use during fine weather, was developed by Mercedes-Benz on the basis of the G 500. It is equipped with a folding windscreen and hand-rails, and like its predecessors it is painted in the Vaticanmystic white finish. The interior is likewise white, and is accessed via steps lined in red at the rear. The Pope holds his audiences in a standing position, so that he is easily visible to all his flock.
The Holy Father is continuing a long tradition with the new Popemobile from Mercedes-Benz. Pope Pius XI was the first to receive a Mercedes-Benz as an official car in 1930 - a Nürburg 460 Pullman limousine. Over the following decades Mercedes-Benz regularly provided the Vaticanwith automobiles which had been specially converted for the use of the Holy Father.
Today the Pope has several Mercedes-Benz cars at his disposal. In addition to the new G 500 Cabriolet, the fleet currently includes M and S-Class models with special protection.