When the Pope visits US this week and makes a public appearance, expect his choice of vehicle to include a Mercedes. This vehicle is what is known right now as the Popemobile. The use of this kind of vehicle to transport the Pope in public places is driven by the ‘foiled’ assassination attempt on the Pope. The use of the mobile was adopted in the early 80s after the thwarted assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981. It’s use will enable the Pope to be seen, without endangering him. The Mercedes Benz will be one of the two models that are used by the Pope in events like this. When he makes his public appearance then travels, the Pope is expected to receive the kind of security befitting a head of state. It was mentioned as well that the papal motorcade that will happen in New York will resemble the same precautions that are often reserved for presidential visits and the annual New Year’s day celebrations. So with these kinds of precautions set in place, people can expect a very significant police presence.
So what kind of Mercedes will that be. One of the articles that I searched on the net reveals that the vehicle is a modified Mercedes Benz ML430. This vehicle was donated by the manufacturer in 2002. This vehicle features 272 horsepower from a V8 4.3 Liter engine. Also featured on the vehicle is an enclosure on top that measures six feet. This Mercedes is extra special. The interior or the Pope’s chair features white leather trimmed in gold. The vehicle’s interior has a full climate control system that can allow the Pope to desire the temperature that he wants. A full stereo system is on board as well and features a ‘tape deck’.
You may think that the technology may be a little to old; so a number of automakers such as Audi and BMW submitted plans and designs for a new Pope vehicle. But the Pope opted to retain the Mercedes so as to save money. In all, Mercedes-Benz has accumulated 75 years of papal transportation services.