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Mercedes has officially unveiled the M-Class Popemobile during a special ceremony at the Vatican.

Personally presented to Pope Benedict XVI by Daimler Chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche, the new model has a significantly improved dome with more accommodating dimensions as well as improved entry and egress. Onlookers will also have a better view of His Holiness thanks to larger bulletproof glass panels and an illuminated roof lining. Last but not least, Pope Benedict XVI will sit on a specially designed throne which looks immensely comfortable and has the embroidered coat of arms of the Holy Father.

The Pontif will use the new Popemobile tomorrow to travel to the Spanish Steps to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.

The M-Class Popemobile is just the latest in a long line of specially-designed models for the leader of the Catholic Church. The relationship began more than 80 years ago when Pope Pius XI used a Mercedes Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon in 1930.

Gallery: 2012 Mercedes M-Class Popemobile unveiled at the Vatican

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