The Vatican announced Pope Benedict XVI received a pair of new Popemobiles, Mercedes-Benz M-Class vehicles customized to transport the pontiff.
Mercedes-Benz said the Popemobiles, delivered Friday, feature a body a few inches lower than the previous model to allow for easier transport in planes, Vatican Radio reported Friday.
Thomas Zeeb, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart, said the new Popemobiles were designed about a year ago. It took about nine months to complete the customization process for the pope.
The Vatican said Benedict will use one of the new cars Saturday to visit the statue of the Virgin in Piazza di Spagna to mark the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
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