By David Undercoffler
6:30 AM PST, December 12, 2012
What do you get for the holy man who has everything? If he's Pope Benedict XVI, you get him a new Mercedes-Benz Popemobile.
Based on the company's midsize M-Class SUV, the new diamond-white Popemobile replaces an older Mercedes model that had served his holiness since 2002. The automaker has been providing popes their eponymous vehicles since 1930.
Mercedes says the new model has an upgraded dome for the Pope to ride in. It features easier access for the 85-year-old pontiff, larger bulletproof glass panels for better visibility and lights in the roof to illuminate the subject below. The throne inside the dome is embroidered with the coat of arms of the pontiff.
It rides a bit lower than the previous version, to make it easier to ship to the Pope's destinations. The project took Mercedes about nine months to build, the company said.
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