2012 Mercedes M-Class Popemobile unveiled at the Vatican

Mercedes M-Class Popemobile 07.12.2012
Mercedes M-Class Popemobile 07.12.2012

The latest in a long line of vehicles for His Holiness

Mercedes has officially unveiled the M-Class Popemobile during a special ceremony at the Vatican.

Personally presented to Pope Benedict XVI by Daimler Chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche, the new model has a significantly improved dome with more accommodating dimensions as well as improved entry and egress. Onlookers will also have a better view of His Holiness thanks to larger bulletproof glass panels and an illuminated roof lining. Last but not least, Pope Benedict XVI will sit on a specially designed throne which looks immensely comfortable and has the embroidered coat of arms of the Holy Father.

The Pontif will use the new Popemobile tomorrow to travel to the Spanish Steps to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.

The M-Class Popemobile is just the latest in a long line of specially-designed models for the leader of the Catholic Church. The relationship began more than 80 years ago when Pope Pius XI used a Mercedes Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon in 1930.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Dr Dieter Zetsche hands over Mercedes-Benz M-Class in Rome: New Popemobile from Mercedes-Benz for Pope Benedict XVI

Stuttgart/Rome – By delivering a new Popemobile to Pope Benedict XVI Mercedes-Benz continues a tradition, which lasts for 80 years now. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, personally handed over the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, specifically produced for the Pope with special-purpose body, today at the Vatican.

"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. "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. It will be possible to see Benedict XVI tomorrow in the new vehicle for the first time as early as 8th December in Rome, where the Catholic Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception is traditionally celebrated at the Spanish Steps.
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.

As with the preceding model, the body of the new Popemobile is painted in diamond white. And to facilitate frequent transport of the modified M-Class by air, Mercedes-Benz has reduced the overall height of the vehicle by a few centimetres, while at the same time improving the internal standing height. Work on the new Popemobile began some nine months ago. The vehicle was designed and produced by Mercedes-Benz.

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.

From the 1980s, Pope John Paul II initially also travelled in a vehicle designated as a "Popemobile" - a modified G-Class - to the celebrations in St. Peter's Square. From 2002, he mostly made use of the predecessor to the new Popemobile, which Benedict XVI has also used up until today. After they reach the end of their working lives, the Popemobiles can be viewed as part of the collections on display at both the Vatican and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

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Comments (21)

Pepito060666 Pepito060666
I have a questions , this was a donation from Mercedes or the Pope have to pay a huge bill like anyone else ???
Dec 10th, 2012 6:45pm
0 0
autoficianado autoficianado
I am a fan of MB but this is hideous. I know it's a gift but couldn't the design & fabrication teams make this thing look any better ? The Best or Nothing...this is very close to nothing. As a vehicle that will be prominent in many picture MB was lazy on this and didn't bother to make it attractive. If you can have an armored S classe and it looks good why can't this Popemobile have a more attractive design....shame on you Benz!
Dec 8th, 2012 3:29pm
2 1
Now you can compare German Engineering (the Mercedes ML) and French Engineering (Renault Kangoo ZE)... not the same !
Dec 8th, 2012 1:33pm
0 0
joelynn joelynn
why does he need so many fancy popemobiles.... what's wrong with old ones?? and what happens to them? Is there a big garage somewhere full of old popemobiles? Why doesnt he sell them for charity??
Dec 8th, 2012 12:53pm
2 0
EdBacau EdBacau
He probably gave the old cars to other popes in need.
Dec 10th, 2012 8:30am
3 1
AlinCare AlinCare
why not a dacia? "from the dust(er) we came and to the dust(er) we shall return"
Dec 8th, 2012 6:56am
4 0
bavorak bavorak
I haven't laughed this well for ages :D great point
Dec 10th, 2012 12:48pm
0 1
AlinCare AlinCare
prove that god doesnt exist. he would required only jags.
Dec 8th, 2012 6:50am
1 2
SnakesInMyPants SnakesInMyPants
god doesn't want his car to break down during an event
Dec 8th, 2012 4:47pm
3 2
SorryMyBadEnglish SorryMyBadEnglish
It's almost 2013, and people still need that religious nonsense. Maybe this is what the vatican needs? http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2290/1617706189_4f3fc85247.jpg
Dec 8th, 2012 5:31am
2 3
Shyne Shyne
isnt it kinda awkward for mr z to pose for a picture with some person from a sect?! *provoking i know ;P
Dec 8th, 2012 5:12am
1 2
CanOzcivelek CanOzcivelek
Just dump the cabin and it could be a nice pick-up truck from Mercedes ;)
Dec 8th, 2012 1:34am
2 2
davetibo davetibo
I like the emphasis on aerodynamics. Is it based on the ML63 AMG? What's the top speed of this, with the pope standing at back?
Dec 8th, 2012 1:11am
1 1
neicheq neicheq
Why does he need a bulletproof glass? Doesnt god protects him? And another thing - so many people in deep sh.it and he is sitting on chair made of gold and driving around in a mercedes.. Bravo, bravo.. Pope realy is the biggest capitalist on the world.
Dec 8th, 2012 12:06am
9 4
quattrosport quattrosport
All religions suck. They are the number one reason for all wars in the world since the age of time.
Dec 8th, 2012 12:38am
8 3
EdBacau EdBacau
God does protect him. The Car God gave him an armored Mercedes.
Dec 8th, 2012 1:43am
6 2
MattAAron MattAAron
lol awesome
Dec 8th, 2012 6:24am
1 1
I think it would be better if the fit this car with a Mayback seat. more comfortable.
Dec 7th, 2012 11:13pm
0 1
rogers rogers
If you'd imagine it without that glass cabin, you'd get a good image of a ML single cab pickup.
Dec 7th, 2012 11:07pm
4 1
aestival aestival
Better that that hideous Kangoo ze. PB seems to be quite pleased with this one.
Dec 7th, 2012 10:54pm
2 1