The first generation M-class SUV by Mercedes-Benz made a huge splash in Hollywood in the first of three Jurassic Park movies that started a genre of high-definition CGI (computer-generated image) monster movies.
Dubbed as the “ML”, several highly customized green-colored MLs were
used in the world’s most famous dinosaur movie.
Unlike its more Spartan
cousin the G-Wagon, the ML had more amenities and creature comforts, but
it didn’t mean it was less capable for off-roading activities.
Three generations later, the all-new ML was introduced to the
local market last year by CATS Motors, the exclusive purveyors of the
Teutonic tri-star brand, and is equipped with a 7-speed automatic
7G-Tronic transmission that’s mated with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine dubbed
as the ML 350 4-Matic BlueEfficiency; or for a more performance-oriented
variant, one can choose the AMG built ML63 model featuring a hairy
5.5-liter V-8 engine.
Aside from being a permanent all-wheel drive, its off-roading
features includes Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and Electronic
Traction System for all-wheel drive (4ETS), the ML’s 4Matic platform is
the four-wheel drive system developed and used by Mercedes-Benz to
increase traction in slippery conditions, and was developed in
conjunction with Steyr-Daimler-Puch (now Magna Steyr), the makers of the
brand’s more popular and hardcore 4X4 SUV, the G-Class in Austria.
Since last month, visitors to the Vatican may come across seeing
Pope Benedict XVI in a new white Popemobile. Recently, Mercedes-Benz
continued an 80-year tradition with the chair of the board of management
of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dr. Dieter Zetsche
personally handing over a fully customized Mercedes-Benz M-Class,
specifically produced for the Pope at the Vatican.
“It is an honor for
Mercedes-Benz to be accompanying His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his
future journeys with our new Popemobile,” said Zetsche at the handover
of the new Popemobile in Rome.
“As such, we are continuing our
long-standing partnership with the Vatican. For more than 80 years now,
Popes have been able to rely on the quality, safety and comfort of our
The Popemobile is used in a lot of important public appearances
both at home and abroad.
It gives the Pope the opportunity to get as
close as possible to the public without having to forego the highest
possible levels of safety and comfort.
Pope Benedict XVI used the new
vehicle for the first time last Dec. 8 in Rome, where the Catholic feast
day of the Immaculate Conception is traditionally celebrated at the
The new greenhouse design allows a better view of the Pope thanks
to a considerably larger glass panel allotment and is complemented with
a large illuminated roof lining.
The throne, which is the central
design feature in the interior, bears the embroidered coat of arms of
Just like the previous Popemobile, it is painted in diamond
It took only nine months to work on the new Popemobile and it was
fitted out just in time for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.