Mercedes-Benz making greener, hybrid 'Popemobile' for Benedict XVI

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Washington, June 21 (ANI): It has emerged that Mercedes-Benz is designing a special eco-friendly hybrid Popemobile for Pope Benedict XVI.

According to German weekly Wirtschaftswoche newspaper, the new 'Popemobile' will be based on the four-wheel-drive M Class Mercedes with hybrid electric-gas motor, reports the Fox News.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will allow it to drive 16 miles without any polluting emissions.

However, a Vatican spokesman denied the newspaper's prediction that it should be ready for Benedict's visit to his native Germany in September.

The newspaper reported that the pope would not be allowed to use a purely electric car because the 'Popemobile' must have the capacity to take off swiftly in case of emergency.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said the group could give no details on its private clients "for reasons of confidentiality."

Mercedes has provided the special cars to successive popes since the 1980s. The large-windowed, reinforced glass design allows for maximum viewing with high levels of security. (ANI)

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