Mirai was used for Japan visit last year
Pope Francis has one of the best car collections around
This time, The Vatican will be seeing not black or white smoke, but instead no smoke at all. Toyota has given His Holiness Pope Francis a hydrogen-powered Mirai to be used as a zero-emissions Popemobile, one of two designed and built for his visit to Japan last year.
The car takes a standard Toyota Mirai and cuts off the back. In the place of the hatch is a 2.7m tall clear box, designed to let the Pope stand and be seen in the back of the vehicle while being protected against attack thanks to the glass enclosure.
Pope Francis has shown a deep interest in the environment, issuing a statement in 2015 appealing to all to protect “our common home,” so a zero-emissions Mirai could be a bit of a Mirai-cle toward those efforts. After all, turning hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and water is quite impressive. The standard Mirai can travel around 500 km on a tank, though we’d expect that to be lower at parade speeds and with a giant box mounted to the rear.
Two cars were turned into Popemobiles, and this one was a gift to His Holiness from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, who were given the cars by Toyota for the Pope’s visit last year.
The Pope has a surprisingly extensive car collection, including a rear-drive Lamborghini Huracan and a Dacia Duster, but that has also included Mercedes M and G-Classes, plenty of trucks, Jeeps, a Ferrari Enzo, and a Renault 4 that Pope Francis is said to use around Vatican City.