Cool Pope Gets Cool New Hyundai Popemobile


Here’s the latest out of the Vatican: dogs have souls, evolution is real, and Hyundai rules. For the first time in eighty years the holiest of all whips, the Popemobile, is not a Mercedes-Benz: it’s a white, topless Hyundai Santa Fe. The Hyundai’s smaller size and lower profile fits Pope Francis’ (aka “Cool Pope”) humble public image as he eschews the papal apartments and luxurious vestments of his predecessors. Don’t let the small size fool you though – the Santa Fe has all the power necessary to be worthy of the Vatican’s adoring crowds and the gearhead in you as well.

However, the 2015 Santa Fe Popemobile (introduced to the public earlier this month) isn’t exactly stock. The engine is still the 2.2-liter CRDi turbo-diesel unit, but the top is open and there are retractable steps at the rear door to facilitate standing exits. Cool Pope is all about connecting with his followers, and he can’t do that from inside a bullet-proof glass box. Francis told La Vangaurdia: “I remember in Brazil, they’d provided for me an enclosed Popemobile, but I cannot greet the people and tell them I love them inside of a sardine can, even if it is made of glass. For me it is a wall.” The bulletproof Popemobile was introduced after the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981 and was also used by Benedict XVI (aka Sith Pope).

The Hyundai Popemobile has other benefits as well: no glass box means unrestricted pizza delivery. Oh, you hadn’t heard? Christ’s love personified on earth isn’t merely reserved for humans and puppies – Francis is a known pizza enthusiast. When asked what he misses most about pre-Pope life by Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa, he said he missed the ability “to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza.” Hearing his plea, a Naples pizzeria had a special pie hand-delivered right to the Popemobile during a recent visit.

Francis seems happy and comfortable in the new Santa Fe Popemobile, uninhibited by bulletproof glass and extraneous security measures. He says he’s not concerned about the risks, and that at his age he doesn’t have much to lose anyway. There’s plenty to be gained though; we’ll let you know if he upgrades to the twin-turbo V-6 Genesis in 2016 or 2017.

In the meantime, swing by Rosen Hyundai to get a taste for what it’s like to ride like a Pope. We’ve got plenty of Santa Fes and Santa Fe Sports for you to choose from, though unfortunately we don’t offer the topless Popemobile version. However, you’re more than welcome to re-enact the Pontifex’s magnificent pizza hand-off while we help you out with the details of financing one of our fine vehicles.

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