The news comes after the 76-year old Pope urged priests worldwide to drive cheap, humble cars and donate the money they save to charity. A spokesperson indicated the Pope will drive the 4 himself when running errands around the Vatican grounds, but his official car on trips worldwide will remain an armored and heavily modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class (generally known as the Popemobile) for evident security reasons.
The plastic cladding on the lower portion of the 4's doors and the air vent above the front bumper - partially covered by the license plate - indicate the Pope is putting around the Vatican in a GTL model. GTLs are equipped with a larger 1.1-liter water-cooled four-cylinder engine that sends 34 horsepower and 54 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. Changing gears is done with a dash-mounted shifter whose linkage goes through the firewall, over the engine and down into the transmission.
Inside, the 4 reflects the Pope's call for more humble cars: The seats are upholstered with a combination of cloth and vinyl, the windows slide vertically rather than roll down and features such as air conditioning, soft-touch plastics, power locks and power steering are nowhere to be found.
Renault's People's Car
The 4 was launched at the 1961 Paris Motor Show and phased out in 1993 due to looming European emissions and safety regulations that made carburetors and dash-mounted shifters obsolete. Offered as a five-door hatchback, a convertible and a van with two wheelbase lengths, it changed little during its long production run and over eight million examples were sold in numerous countries around the world.