Vatican City State – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) gifted hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai to Pope Francis to fulfil his mobility needs. Rev. Father Domenico Makoto Wada, representing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan and His Excellency Seiji Okada, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See were present at the delivery ceremony near the Pope’s residence in the Vatican City. A delegation of six people led by Miguel Fonseca, Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe, and Mauro Caruccio, CEO of Toyota Motor Italia representing Toyota were present at the occasion.

The car was gifted to the Holy Father to fulfill his mobility needs on the papal visit to Japan in November last year. The car is one of the two Toyota Mirai vehicles specially made by Toyota, its a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. 

A Popemobile is a designed vehicle used by the head of the catholic church during his public appearances. The term “Popemobile” was first used in the 1970.The car is technically designed to fulfil every need of the Pope as it has a length of 5.1 meters and a height (including the roof) of 2.7 meters. This will allow the holy father Pope to stand and be visible to people. The model was launched in 2014, is the first mass-produced hydrogen-powered sedan. The “Mirai”, a word that in Japanese means ‘future’ has won the hearts of its customer’s world-wide. The car is the ultimate zero-emission car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system, allowing a range of around 500km while emitting only water. The model has high beams that are automatic and operate at speeds above 25 mph. The driver manually operate the high beams when the windshield is dirty, weather is bad, lighting and terrain limit effectiveness

In 2015 Pope Francis had shared in his encyclical “Laudato si’ that he has a deep interest in global environmental matters. This is his plea to protect the earth and all that surrounds us, changing our way of life to protect our “common home”. The Toyota Mirai is well suited to his aim.


To assist the driver Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is designed in the model gifted to the Pope. The interior of the car is magnificently built with acoustically treated glass that aids keep outside noises outside. This allows passengers of the car to remain with ease as they relax in the standard, heated SofTex-trimmed22 seats. The interior design is made Carbon-fiber-style interior accents perfectly complement the futuristic inside design. As per the information over the internet, Pope Francis has ridden every luxury car as the Popemobile, from a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen to a Kia Soul.

Navdeep Nandre

Navdeep Nandre

Curious and creative as a person, I have done masters in Mass Communication from Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism. Started my professional career as a Journalist and have covered Health, Education, Real Estate, StartUps, Auto Sectors, etc. Also tried my hands with the PR sector and have worked with some of the renowned PR agencies of India. Favourite Car: Volvo S90 Quote: Strength is life and weakness is death

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