– Pope Benedict XVI, who was given a V-8 Volvo XC90 last June, will now ride in a custom Mercedes-Benz G-Class made over the last two years in "close consultation with the Vatican," Mercedes says. The G500-based Popemobile has been designed with fair weather usage in mind. The Vaticanmystic (no, we're not making that up) white-on-white Mercedes has a folding windscreen and hand-rails for stability as he presents himself to those in St. Peter's Square.
Mercedes has long been a standby for the envied position of Popemobile manufacturer ever since Pope Pius XI rode in a Nurburg 460 Pullman limousine (pictured at left) in 1930. The open-top G500 joins the Pope's M and S-Class models, both equipped with special protection.