THE POPE’S CAR DURING PH VISIT
The Volkswagen Touran was chosen by the Vatican as one of the Pope’s official cars during his visit to the Philippines from January 15-19.
“It’s an honor and privilege for us to become part of His Holiness’ historic five-day visit to the Philippines. VW, one of the most trusted brands in the automotive industry, somehow reflects Pope Francis, a man of inner strength, rooted in humility and expressed in simplicity. VW’s hard-won reputation for reliability, safety, and solid construction is very much reflected in the Touran,” said John Philip Orbeta, president and CEO of VW Philippines, the official importer and distributor of VW cars in the country.
According to Orbeta, VW PH provided two units of the Touran for the duration of His Holiness’ numerous engagements here in the Philippines. After the Papal visit, one of the two vehicles will be donated to a church beneficiary that Pope Francis will later identify.
Powered by a Euro-4 emission standard compliant two-liter turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engine with an automatic six-speed, dual-clutch Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG), the Touran delivers a commendable 109 horsepower and an even more impressive, torque output of 280 Nm.
Aware that safety is a prime concern among buyers of MPVs, VW has gone out of its way to provide a solid safety package: The Touran is equipped with six airbags (front, side, and curtain airbags that extend up to the 2nd row passenger seats), an Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), Hill Hold Control, disc brakes on all wheels as well as Cruise Control.
With the Pope’s various engagements which require him to go to different venues, VW made sure to give the Pope a comfortable ride in the Touran whose seats are the best in terms of support and all-day comfort, complemented by a long list of convenience features like automatic headlamp activation, an 8-speaker audio system, retractable folding tables for 2nd row passengers, overhead storage compartments, underseat drawers, and front foglamps with static cornering light, among others.
The Touran which has three rows of seats has a flexible seating system. The third row seats can be folded down flat which can then allow access to a very spacious luggage bay.
Upon the Pope’s arrival at the Villamor Air Base, he was shuttled to the Apostolic Nunciature along Taft Avenue, Manila. The next day, Pope Francis was welcomed in Malacañang before leading a motorcade to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral). From the Manila Cathedral, the Pope, via motorcade, proceeded to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
On January 17, Pope Francis will flew to Tacloban in Leyte, and was then driven to the town of Palo, where he met with the survivors of supertyphoon “Yolanda,” as well as survivors of the Bohol earthquake.
On Sunday morning, the Pope led a youth meeting at the University of Santo Tomas, and then celebrated mass at the Quirino Grandstand in the afternoon.
Pope Francis left for Rome on January 19.
“In between these activities, His Holiness would require a reliable and comfortable ride. The Touran fits the bill as it is a no-nonsense people carrier with impeccable engineering credentials. To discover more about this remarkable MPV, why not visit one of our showrooms,” said Orbeta.