As the leader of the Catholic Church, it’s a bit of an understatement to say the Pope is a high-profile guy. Pope Francis is a different sort than we’ve seen before, though: the media plays up his down-to-earth nature, and his desire to help improve the fortunes of the downtrodden.

So while Frank’s predecessor, the rather stodgy Benedict XVI, got around in a Mercedes-Benz M-Class presented to him in 2012, Frank himself has chosen something a bit more… mainstream: a topless Hyundai Santa Fe.

It’s fair to say the fishbowl-on-wheels look of previous Popemobiles (like Benny’s Benz) never caught on with car buyers as a vehicular trend, but it could be different this time around. Not only is the Santa Fe more affordable than the Mercedes vehicles other Popes have favoured (Benedict—what a gangster!—used a converted G-Class prior to the ML), but its chop-top body style might appeal to a broader audience among church members.

You’d think Hyundai’s first attempt at a convertible might be based on a sports car like the Genesis Coupe, but wouldn’t it be neat if they went with a Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet-esque take on the Santa Fe, designed to appeal to Catholics inspired by the Pope’s latest purchase?

The Pope has been paraded about in open-top vehicles before, but tends to favour enclosed rides when visiting other nations, especially those his security detail feels might pose a risk to his safety; this latest addition to the fleet will probably be used within the relative safety of Vatican City.

Pope Francis has made the news for vehicular reasons before: he drives himself around in a 1984 Renault 4, as well as other vehicles from the Vatican’s motor pool.

pope francis santa fe

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