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Pope Benedict XVI's Fiat Ducato Panorama – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Pope may be the Pope but he still needs to get around, which is why there have been so many additions to the Vatican motor pool for us to report on. His predecessor John Paul II may have received a Ferrari Enzo, but after selling his Volkswagen Golf, Benedict XVI has added a Volvo XC90, a BMW X5, a Volkswagen Phaeton W12, and a custom Mercedes G-Class to his serene stable. And now he can add one more, as Fiat has provided the Holy Father with a specially-equipped Ducato Panorama van for his tour of the earthquake-stricken region of Abruzzo in Italy, which also happens to be where the Ducato is made in a joint venture with PSA-Peugeot-Citroen.

The van is painted plain white with the livery of the Italian Civil Defence administration, which is managing the disaster relief, while inside the papal transport has been fitted with white leather sofas for His Holiness and his entourage. The Pope will be riding around Abruzzo to tour the tent camps housing the refugees, a local bassilica damaged by the disaster, and the coordinating headquarters for the relief efforts. Follow the jump for more detials in Fiat's press release, and click on the thumbnails below to view the holy roller in high resolution.

[Source: Fiat] PRESS RELEASE

From Abruzzo a special Fiat Ducato for the visit of the Holy Father

The vehicle to be used by Pope Benedict XVI today for his visit to the areas hit by the earthquake was produced in the largest factory in Abruzzo.

The special version of the Ducato Panorama, manufactured at the Sevel Val di Sangro plant located around one hundred kilometres from L'Aquila, has been provided by Fiat to the Civil Defence for the Pope's transportation.

This initiative continues the collaboration initiated between various Fiat Group companies and the Civil Defence in the first phase of the disaster relief effort to enable a prompt and effective response to various needs arising.

The Ducato will be used to transport the Holy Father to various sites which are symbolic of the recent tragedy in Abruzzo: the tent camp in Onna, the Basilica of Collemaggio, the ruins of the student dormitory and finally the academy of the Guardia di Finanza in Coppito, which is serving as headquarters for the disaster relief effort.

This one-of-a-kind vehicle was specially-equipped for the occasion: A white exterior featuring the insignia of the Civil Defence and a white leather-upholstered interior. This seven seat vehicle (including five seats in the rear in a divan/lounge-style configuration) is equipped with rear-view camera, side footboard and the most advanced systems for safety and low environmental impact.

Sevel, the 50/50 joint venture between Fiat Group and PSA-Peugeot Citroën, began its activities in 1981 and, with 3.8 million vehicles produced to date and nearly six thousand employees, is the largest industrial facility in the Region.

Rome-Turin, 28 April 2009

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Irony: He doesn't want the people of Africe use protection
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's ironic indeed, but then every1 is educated by the media, so no it's not ironic. Condoms can't stop AIDS spreading, having less sex do. Using condom only encourage people to have more sex, so there you go. That's the fine line between being educated by the media and the Pope's message.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Autoblog, today - "The Pope will be riding around Abruzzo to tour the tent camps...."

      FIAT, April 28 - "The vehicle to be used by Pope Benedict XVI today ..."

      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if it's bullet proof?!? Yes, because we know the Holy Father protects the Pope............ but just in case. LOL!!!

        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, let the Lord have his will. Remove the bulletproof glass. If he dies, that is what the lord wanted.

        PS: It's all BS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't take it that seriously, that comment was made jokingly. But if you read the Bible, we were given a purpose and the means to feed and cloth ourselves.
        ...and then there's -Isaiah 54:17.... about weapons formed against thee..... well you know the rest.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ducati = exciting 2 wheels to hell, Ducato = boring 4 wheels to heaven?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Pope doesn't even get alloy wheels?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, with all those heavy bullet proof steel panels, steel wheels might be a safer choice. Alloy wheels do break, while steel wheels don't break. Steel wheels do bend though, but this is safer than broken alloy wheels.

        Besides, the van should be driven at slow speed. Alloy wheels don't have the performance advantage over steel wheels in this case.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...but does it have Stow-n-Go?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lets hope this is another vehicle Chrysler will be selling in the near future, Fiat has a Great range of vans, the Ducato is the largest and similar in size to the Sprinter, we sure could use some good vans in the USA.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why wait for that, just start importing Fiats, they have a great track record, I love the Sprinter but the price is too high, then dealers tack on $5000 over msrp, its Very Spendy, Id like a well equipped low roof Ducato in the 25k -27k price range, If Fiat wont do it maybe Ford will bring us the Full size Transit, we need economical Astro sized cargo vans in this country, I dont want to drive an Econoline or Express they are too big.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've been wondering if the Fiat Ducato will replace the Dodge Sprinter in the US when Chrysler's contract with Daimler-Benz runs out.
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