Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn traveled to Castel Gandolfo, Italy, to present His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI with two all-electric Kangoo Maxi vans.
Designed exclusively for the Pope, the first Kangoo Z.E. is painted in white and proudly displays the Vatican's crest on both doors. The second is identical to the first but it is finished in light blue and was built to be used by members of the Pope's security staff.While not exactly Popemobiles, the two vans were jointly built by Renault and Gruau, a French coachbuilder. Starting with a standard Kangoo Maxi Z.E., Gruau added a large cloth sunroof, removable side windows and an electric folding step to make entering and exiting the vehicle as painless as possible. Gruau also replaced the Kangoo's sliding side door with a hinged unit.
On the inside, the papal Kangoo is noticeably more luxurious than the regular Kangoo Z.E., which is rather spartan. It can seat up to four people and it is equipped with two leather-upholstered sofa-like rear seats in the back.The Vatican-registered Kangoo Maxi Z.E. is powered by a 44-kilowatt electric motor that gets power from a lithium-ion battery that is mounted under the car's floor. It has a range of approximately 105 miles and can be fully recharged in six to eight hours.