13 September 2021 – ŠKODA AUTO is providing Pope Francis with a fully electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV for his visit to Slovakia from 12 to 15 September. This is the second time Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church has travelled in vehicles from the Czech car manufacturer. In 2018, ŠKODA provided four ŠKODA RAPID SPACEBACKs for Pope Francis during his two-day visit to Ireland as part of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. Now, ŠKODA’s all-electric SUV has been adapted according to the Vatican’s wishes.
Pope Francis will visit Slovakia at the invitation of President Zuzana Čaputová. During his stay, ŠKODA AUTO will make two ENYAQ iVs and two KAROQs available to the Pontiff. For this occasion, the ENYAQ iVs have been adapted according to the Vatican’s specifications. To make it easier to see the Pontiff, the standard tinted side windows in the rear of the vehicle have been replaced with clear glass. Chrome standard holders for the Vatican flag have been mounted on the front wing of the passenger side while the official logo of the papal visit can be seen on the exterior mirror housings. To make exiting the vehicle more comfortable, an additional handle was added at the request of the Vatican. All vehicles are painted black metallic and have black interiors.
After the official welcome at Bratislava Airport on Sunday afternoon, the Pope was driven to an ecumenical meeting at the diplomatic representation of the Holy See in the Slovakian capital. On Monday, he met with the Slovakian President and representatives from politics, diplomacy, society and the Church, as well as representatives of the Jewish community. On Tuesday, 14 September, the Pontiff will fly to Košice, where he will meet with representatives of the Roma community. A ŠKODA ENYAQ iV and a KAROQ will be at his disposal in Košice. On Wednesday morning, the head of the Catholic Church will travel to the pilgrimage site of Šaštín before returning to Rome at midday.
Commenting, John Donegan, Brand Director ŠKODA Ireland said “We would like to think Pope Francis’s penchant for ŠKODA started in Ireland back in 2018 when he was chauffeured in ŠKODA RAPID vehicles in Dublin and Knock. I am certain the ENYAQ iV will provide him with even more comfort and space with the peace of mind he is contributing zero emissions during his visit to Slovakia.”