The Pope's got himself a new ride, and boy is it, uh, white. Mercedes announced today that they have given his Holiness a highly-customized G500. Like previous Popemobiles, the G500 has a folding windscreen, and handrails and steps in the rear for entry.
The Vaticanmysitc white interior matches the Vaticanmystic white exterior which, we assume, matches the Pope's Vaticanmystic white robes.
Mercedes says the topless G500 will be the Pope's fair weather car and the S-Class in the Vatican garage can be summoned for less sunny driving.
Read the company's full press release after the jump, and click on the photo for high-res images.
Related Gallery2007 Popemobile
New Mercedes-Benz for the Pope
Stuttgart/Rome – 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 Vatican mystic 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 Vatican with 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.