Although Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have immediate plans for an M-Class plug-in hybrid, the sources speculates that the pope’s M-Class popemobile will use technology similar to that of the Vision S500 concept from the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. With a 10 kWh lithium ion battery pack, a 60 horsepower electric motor and a V6 gas engine, the Vision had an 18.5 mile range on purely electric power.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will allow the popemobile to drive 30 kilometres without spewing any of that nasty CO2. Apparently Pope Benedict XVI would not be allowed to use a purely electric-driven car as the popemobile must be able to take off swiftly in the case of an attack. Though EVs aren’t as slow as the Vatican thinks. The Tesla Roadster can accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
Additionally, the EV Cup will be coming to the US in November, and will feature sports car iRACER, which can reach 96 km/h in under five seconds with a top speed of 185 km/h. Perhaps the pope has been reading too much in to outdated information.
Naturally, the popemobile will also be designed specifically to house Pope Benedict XVI himself in a bulletproof glass cabin for 360 degree viewing.
But the pope isn’t quite getting the popemobile of his dreams. Last year, a Vatican spokesman said that the pope wanted a solar-powered electric vehicle that would gain its propulsion from “the heavens.”