A pure electric vehicle has been deemed too slow, but some type of the electrified SUV will soon replace the Popemobile used to transport His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. Vatican officials have reportedly confirmed the details of Pope Benedict's ride: a Mercedes-Benz M-Class plug-in hybrid.

With its massive amount of armor plating, bullet-proof glass and other modifications, the Popemobile, much like President Barack Obama's famous Cadillac limousine – aka The Beast – is one pig of a vehicle. In fact, it's so hefty that the Vatican questioned whether a pure electric powertrain could provide enough grunt to get His Holiness out of trouble in an emergency situation.

For now, details on the plug-in hybrid Popemobile are scarce, as neither the Vatican nor Mercedes-Benz are willing to release info on the vehicle for security reasons. However, there seems to be some indication that the plug-in M-Class will have 16 miles of electric-only range; probably enough for His Holiness to journey down the road during official engagements without burning through a drop of gas. When you see how many people crowd around His Holiness, going exhaust-free would be a true bit of kindness.

[Source: Herald Sun via All Cars Electric | Inage: Damir Sencar/AP]

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