Renault gifts the Pope a Dacia Duster

28 November 2019 - 17:53 By AFP Relaxnews
Groupe Renault has given Pope Francis a customised Dacia Duster.
Groupe Renault has given Pope Francis a customised Dacia Duster.
Image: Supplied

On Wednesday, Groupe Renault gifted Pope Francis a unique Dacia Duster 4X4 (badged as a Renault here in SA), designed with all his mobility needs in mind.

This week the MD of Groupe Renault Romania and CEO of Automobile Dacia SA, Christophe Dridi, and the general manager of Groupe Renault Italy, Xavier Martinet, hand-delivered a custom-made “Popemobile” SUV to His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican.

The vehicle is a Dacia Duster 4X4 that has been specially customised based on the mobility needs of the Pope. Out of five seats that have been installed into this model, one is a “particularly comfortable rear bench seat.” A large sunroof allows for the Pope to comfortably greet passers-by as they roll through Vatican State.

Additionally, this Duster has been outfitted with a removable glass superstructure, a lower ground clearance level for easier boarding, and internal and external support elements.

Regarding the vehicle, Martinet stated, “With this gift to His Holiness, Groupe Renault renews its strong and continuous commitment to putting Man at the centre of its priorities.”

While Pope Francis has demonstrated his preference for public transportation rather than luxurious private travels, famously taking the bus while Cardinal in Buenos Aires, this Duster is far more modest than previous automobile gifts he has been offered in the past. It's possible and even likely that this car won't be auctioned off for charity like the Lamborghini was that he was given in 2017.

Needless to say, this white-painted, beige-upholstered SUV blends in with the Popemobiles of the past better than any sports car could.