Popemobile

Wiki info

In 2002, Pope John Paul II requested that the media stop referring to the car as the popemobile, saying that the term was "undignified". In 2007, the popemobile became the first papal automobile to be fitted with a digital radio. The popemobile most often used by Pope Benedict XVI when travelling abroad was a modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility vehicle with a special glass-enclosed room with its own oxygen supply built into the back of the vehicle. The pope enters through a rear door and ascends several steps. He sits in a chair made from white leather with gold trim which is then elevated into the glass room by a hydraulic lift, allowing the pope to be more easily seen. In addition to the driver, there is room for one passenger (usually a security agent) in the front of the vehicle. The glass-enclosed rear of the vehicle also has room for two papal aides who can sit in the area in front of the pope's elevated chair. The vehicle's security features include bulletproof glass windows and roof, able to withstand explosions, and reinforced, armored side panels and undercarriage designed to resist bomb blasts. At 2011 prices, the popemobile cost approximately £345,000.

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