The Pope’s Duster

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Groupe Renault has given as a gift to His Holiness Pope Francis a Dacia Duster specially designed for his mobility needs.

The present Pope is known for his fondness of modest motoring and has used Skodas, FIATs and other humble machines up to now. His latest transportation is a Dacia!

The vehicle was delivered to the Holy Father today by Christophe Dridi, Managing Director of Groupe Renault Romania and CEO of Automobile Dacia SA, and by Xavier Martinet, General Manager of Groupe Renault Italy, during a visit to the Pope’s residence in the Vatican State. The “Popemobile” has a white outer livery with beige interiors. The model, based on Dacia Duster, is 4.34 metres long and 1.80 metre wide.

The vehicle was transformed by the Prototype Department and the Dacia Special Needs team in Romania, in cooperation with coach builder Romturingia. This adapted version has 5 seats, of which 1 is a particularly comfortable rear bench seat. The vehicle also integrates specific solutions and accessories specially designed to make it suitable for the uses for which it will be intended by the Vatican: large sunroof, removable glass superstructure, ground clearance 30mm lower than normal, for easier access on board, as well as internal and external support elements.

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Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for over 18 years and is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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