The Pope, head of Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State, has been presented with a number of priceless vehicles over the years. Considered as the god’s representative on Earth, His Holiness Pope Francis has chosen to opt for a zero emission Popemobile for his public appearances.
Pope Francis will be seen in a new hydrogen fuel cell powered Toyota Mirai as his latest Popemobile. It was presented to him as a gift from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan to fulfil his weekly parades with zero emissions. The Toyota Mirai was delivered to the papal residence in the Vatican City and it is one of the two Mirai’s which were specially made by Toyota for his visit to Japan in November last year.
The Mirai, which loosely translates to ‘future’ in Japan, has been modified to suit the Pope’s requirements. The front has not been altered, the rear has been heavily customised to house the Holy Father and to cater to all his needs to be comfortable for his public parades. The new Popemobile measures 5.1 meters in length, the modifications add 1.2 meters to its height, placing it 2.7 meters above ground.
Pope Francis, having previously urged leaders to act against climate change, would be pleased with the Toyota Mirai’s 340-mile (547 kilometre) range and its ability to emit water from its tailpipes in his quest for environment protection. The Pope may be on-trend with his message, but the previous Popemobiles were fuel guzzling vehicles which include a Toyota LandCruiser, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Range Rover, among others.
The new Popemobile will not sport a bulletproof glass casing, given Pope Francis’ choice to ride in an open-air vehicle. Therefore, the Toyota Mirai begins its stint not only as the Holy Father’s Popemobile, but also a glimpse into the future of motoring.