Ever since an attempt was made on the life of His Holiness back in 1981, extra special care has been taken to make sure that the vehicle in which the Leader of the Catholic Church travels is as safe and sound as can possibly be. Known around the world as the “Popemobile,” a special Mercedes-Benz vehicle was developed in the early eighties that kept His Eminence shielded in what basically amounted to a bulletproof cage.
The car was modified with an opened rear seat, which was then enclosed in the aforementioned bulletproof glass so that the Pope could see and interact with the world around him, without making himself vulnerable to any further attacks or assassination attempts. This was back in the day of Pope John Paul II, however, and things have come a very long way since the first Popemobile was created in the early 80s. Now, we have a new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, and he’s shown himself to be something of a more savvy Pope than some of his predecessors might have been. In fact, he made news just earlier this week by announcing that he would be joining Twitter, where he will be answering questions and speaking with his subjects about matters of faith and theology. Before that happens, however, the Pope will actually find himself getting a pretty serious quality of life upgrade. Everybody loves a new car, and Pope Benedict XVI is probably quite excited about his brand new Mercedes Popemobile.
The modified Mercedes M-Class is actually a step up from Pope Benedict XVI’s previous version, which was a 2002 model. The new iteration features a whole host of design improvements, which were not only developed of with the Pope’s safety in mind, but also consider the needs of the audience around him. Of course, Pope Benedict will be kept safe within the bulletproof plexiglass of the Popemobile, but the real concern is how well he can be seen as he’s making his rounds. The new Popemobile aims to solve any and all problems that might have been related to this issue by illuminating His Holiness much more effectively, and by converting the back bench seat into something of a hydraulically-powered throne. The Pope will also actually be able to stand up in his new Popemobile, giving him the chance to get up and move around, should he feel so inclined.
Back in the day, when the Pope visited a country, that country would build a special vehicle for him to use so that he could feel protected. Pope Benedict, however, will no longer have to rely on the best Mercedes Manchester has to offer. This new Popemobile goes with His Holiness everywhere, and has even been designed to be easily loaded into an airplane. The Pope isn’t always all about the newest technology, but it’s certainly been interesting to watch Pope Benedict adapt with the changing times. This new Popemobile is a great innovation by Mercedes-Benz, and will certainly keep His Holiness safe for many years to come.