In case you're curious who the intended first customer for Hyundai's new i10 conversion is, just look at the license plate in the image above. Hyundai doesn't name the Pope directly in their press release (read it after the jump), just says that this car is for "a German customer who currently resides in Italy." Wonder who that could be? The Korean company promises that other world and religious leaders will enjoy the new i10 model's 119g/km of CO2 from its 1.2-litre Kappa engine. And, for sure, the i10 is cheaper than most limousines, so leaders of all stripes can save money while they use less fuel. The interior remains faithful for someone used to living large in the Vatican: the upholstery is made from a tapestry woven by monks in the Indian city of Utta Bullacs and the roof features armor called Armour Protected Roof Integrated Lining that is made from fully organic material.
New Hyundai i10 conversion range set to prove popular with world and religious leaders
Hyundai is proud to announce the launch of a new i10 model specifically targeted at the booming market among world and religious leaders.
The first demonstrator is due to be trialled by a German customer who currently resides in Italy.
The Korean manufacturer has identified that many global leaders are becoming concerned about the emissions from large limousines and adapted 4x4 vehicles which traditionally form the basis of all presidential, papal and prime ministerial transport.
In addition, the global financial crisis has made it necessary for political and faith leaders to adopt less ostentatious lifestyles, including more cost effective vehicular solutions.
As a result, Hyundai is to build a range of specially-adapted vehicles using the acclaimed i10 city car as their basis. Powered by the new 1.2-litre Kappa engine, the special i10s produce only 119g/km of CO2 and are easier to manoeuvre among large crowds of adoring subjects.
The first of this special range has just been completed by Hyundai's skilled coachbuilders. The roof of the i10 has been specially raised in order to accommodate the relevant VIP in either a standing or seated position, while the rear seats have been swapped for a single, electrically adjustable item from Hyundai's flagship Grandeur.
As a demonstration of the bespoke options available, all leather has been removed from the seat facings and the upholstery is made up of parts of a tapestry woven by monks from the Indian city of Utta Bullacs. The cloth was nicknamed 'holy sheet' by Hyundai's specialist trimmers.
Although details of the security package are confidential, this special i10 has features over and above the standard model's central locking. Part of this involves an innovative, lightweight composite armour built into the top of the car. This material, named Armour Protected Roof Integrated Lining®, was originally developed for use in offshore powerboat racing in Switzerland.
In order to meet recycling and sustainability targets, part of the armour is made from a fully organic material. The 'string' part of runner beans is actually lighter and stronger than Kevlar when woven into matting and encased in resin made from tree sap. The panels of Weave Bean™ add just 25g to the weight of the i10.
Hyundai's head of specialist vehicle conversions, Paul Legg, said "traditional personal movement solutions for global leaders are no longer seen as appropriate. The i10 is the perfect car for any ruler wanting to draw a line under excessive spending."
Other conversions currently being developed include a pink 32-foot stretched i10 limo being built for Ben Datroof, lead singer of top-selling Dutch boy band Pork Pie. The band's manager, Mick Etayk, said "The Hyundai will be particularly appropriate transport for Pork Pie. There are five boys in the band, so they'll have ten eyes in an i10!"
As with all Hyundai cars, the i10 special conversions are covered by a five year, manufacturer-backed warranty which is fully transferable to new owners after general elections, military coups and early evictions from reality TV programmes.