Pope Benedict XVI receives his customized Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E.

Article by Christian A., on September 7, 2012

Renault gave a new custom-made electric vehicle to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The white vehicle is based on the Kangoo Maxi van. Its doors have the Papal coat of arms. It is powered by a 44-kilowatt electric motor and lithium-ion battery. It can go 106 miles on a single charge. Renault said that this vehicle is an “ecological, sustainable-development version of the Popemobile.”

In addition, Renault provided a second electric vehicle to the Vatican Corps of Gendarmerie to handle the pope's security. It is somewhat similar to the first but it has blue livery and a white and yellow stripe on each side. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn himself handed over these vehicles to the pope. Renault said that this car was co-developed with French coach builder Gruau.

The pope usually travels in a white Popemobile, which is based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class that comes with bulletproof windows. This is Renault’s contribution to the Vatican’s sustainable development message.

The Pope is concerned about environmental issues. Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group, said that this donation is a way for Renault to reaffirm its commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment. “This donation to His Holiness is a means for Renault to reaffirm its strong and durable commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group.

The new Renault Kangoo has been given a practical design that considers space, ergonomics and usability, thereby allowing owners to pursue their interest in a flexible manner. An example of this practical design is the fitment of a 60:40 split-fold rear bench that could be folded down to pave way to a flat loading space.

New Kangoo could also be availed with a front passenger seat that can be folded flat, thereby increasing the vehicle’s cargo capacity from 660 liter to 2,866 liters and the allowable load length to around 2.5 meters long. In terms of stowage space, Renault’s latest version of the Kangoo offers up to 77 liters, including 24 liters in aircraft-style stowage compartments in the rear cabin. Moreover, the new Kangoo is fitted with longitudinal roof bars that could be converted into a luggage rack that could accommodate loads of up to 80 kg.

Customers could choose from three available powertrains for the new Renault Kango. Two of these are petrol engines while a diesel mill – a 1.5-liter dCi powerplant -- with three different output levels is also available. The 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine could be availed in three versions: a 70-hp (50 kW) unit, an 85-hp (63 kW) mill and a 105-hp (78 kW) version. Both the 70-hp and 85-hp diesel engines have carbon dioxide emissions level of lower than 140 g/km. Hence, Renault’s engine lineup for the new Kangoo isn’t only robust and reliable but is also eco-friendly.

Since the new Kangoo is underpinned by a C-segment platform known for quality, safety and comfort, the vehicle can afford to offer features that are considered groundbreaking in its segment. Moreover, since the new Kangoo has a wheelbase measuring 2,697 mm, it offers secure and stable handling. This is complemented by an array of active and passive safety equipment usually found in a family sedan.

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