Stat of the day: 161mph

The top speed of the two Mercedes-Benz Popemobiles that arrived in Britain to transport the pontiff during his visit.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Trust Pope Benedict to choose a German company to make his Popemobiles. The pontiff sent a pair of Mercedes-Benz - made vehicles to the UK earlier this month, ahead of his trip which begins today. Still, at least his transport will be comfortable - both the vehicles are equipped with their own hydraulic lifts (the Pope is, after all, an octogenarian) and air conditioning as standard. Over the years, the Popemobile has taken numerous forms, from Paul VI's Lincoln Continental to John Paul II's Toyota, which came complete with bulletproof glass two inches thick, in response to a threat from a Peruvian terrorist group. The latest incarnations, though, have each racked up 3,000 miles, and tend to move at 6mph. Still - it must be a comfort to Benedict to know that, if those 'aggressive atheists' start to look dangerous, he can at least make a speedy getaway.

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