A new Pope needs a new Popemobile and what better to cart around his Holiness than an open top Mercedes G Wagon. Pope Benedict XVI will present himself to 40,000 or so pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in an open-top Mercedes G-Class during his public audiences on Wednesdays.

The new Popemobile was created over a two-year development period in close consultation with the Vatican, and has now been personally handed over to the Holy Father.

The car was developed by Mercedes on the basis of the G500. It’s equipped with a folding windscreen and hand-rails, and like its predecessors is painted in the Vaticanmystic white finish.

Pope Benedict is in fact continuing a long tradition with the new Popemobile from Mercedes. Pope Pius XI was the first to receive a Benz as an official car in 1930 - a Nürburg 460 Pullman limousine. Today the Pope has several Mercs at his disposal including an M and S-Class.