The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has received a new set of wheels, courtesy of French carmaker Renault.
The Pope’s new ride is based on the pure-electric Kangoo Maxi Z.E. and was developed in association with the French coachbuilder Gruau, while Renault also donated a second vehicle to the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City.
The two specially modified models were handed over to the Bishop of Rome on Wednesday, September 5, by Renault’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn during a visit to the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
“This donation to His Holiness is a means for Renault to reaffirm its strong and durable commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group.
Renault said that the Pope would use the new electric-powered vehicle when he is travelling at his summer residence.
The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. is finished in white with the Papal coat of arms depicted on the doors. It measures 4.6m in length and 1.8m in width with power coming from a 44kW (59hp) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that offers a driving range of around 170km or 106 miles.
A Vatican spokesman told reporters that the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. won’t be replacing the specially modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class as the Popemobile for public appearances as it lacks the necessary security features.
The other Kangoo Maxi Z.E. features a similar design, though its blue livery features a white and yellow stripe along each flank. This car will be used by the Corps of Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City for the Pope’s security.
Thanks to Bruno R. for the heads up!