Pope Francis Chooses a Fiat For His First Ride in US

The Pope left Joint Andrews Base to go to the

ByABC News
September 22, 2015, 5:30 PM

— -- The Pope may be a little homesick. After touching down in the U.S. today, Pope Francis left Joint Base Andrews not in a limo -- but in the Italian-made Fiat.

Once he exited the informally named “Shepherd One” plane, greeted President Obama and his family, and walked down the red carpet, Pope Francis hopped into a simple black Fiat 500 and waved to the crowd as he drove away. The Pope drove to where he'll be staying in Washington D.C. -- the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States.

Pope Francis looks out of the window of his automobile after after his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Sept. 22, 2015.

The car bore a small Vatican City flag with the license plate -- “SCV 1,” the initials for Status Civitatis Vaticanae, which is Latin for Vatican City State.

Pope Francis waves from a Fiat 500 as his motorcade departs from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Sept. 22, 2015, where President and Mrs. Obama welcomed him.

The car company tweeted today "#blessed".

The specs of the exact Fiat were not clear, the base model for the 500 "Lounge" has a 1.4-liter engine that gets 31 mpg/city, 40 mpg/highway. The base model starts at $18,700, according to fiat's website.

The Fiat is a favorite of the pope's. He rode in a used Fiat as his “Popemobile” while he was in Italy for his first papal visit in 2013. He also left the airport in a Fiat when he visited Brazil in 2013.

In January of this year, Pope Francis had raffled off a brand new Fiat Panda.

However, while he’s in America, Pope Francis won’t be using the Fiat as his “Popemobile” –- the vehicle he uses to make a public appearance to crowds. The Pope will be using a modified version of a Jeep Wrangler instead.