mercedes g class 2008 popemobile.automotiveIT

In 2008, this popemobile was based on the Mercedes G-Class (Photo: Daimler)

Pope Benedict iwill take delivery of a new hybrid Mercedes "popemobile" when he visits Germany in late September, according to a report in Germany's Wirtschaftswoche magazine.

The new papal transportation is currently being manufactured at a Daimler plant in Sindelfingen, Germany. It will be based on the New Mercedes M-Class, will be white and will, as in the past, have a raised enclosure that is made of bullet-proof glass.

According to Wirtschaftswoche, the new popemobile will have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The magazine said a full electric vehicle was ruled out because, in the event of an attack on the pope, the car needed to be able to make a quick and potentially lengthy getaway without the risk of running out of battery power.

Mercedes has provided popemobiles for more than 80 years. The pontiff has in recent years most often used a modified Mercedes M-Class or G-Class for his official visits.