Pope Francis’ Lamborghini sells for more than $850,000 at charity auction

Lamborghini gave Pope Francis a Huracán LP580-2 painted in the white-and-gold colors of the Vatican last November. Not surprisingly, Pope Francis decided to sell the car to generate money for charity rather than keeping it for himself. The Papal Lamborghini recently rolled across the block at an RM Sotheby’s auction, selling for 715,000 euros, or about $857,000 at current exchange rates.

The final sale price makes the roughly $200,000 sticker price of a normal Huracán LP580-2 seem almost reasonable by comparison. Granted, this car had the benefit of a very famous owner, one who not only signed the car, but also blessed it. Proceeds from the sale will go to multiple charities, including a group working to rebuild villages in Iraq’s Nineveh Plain, an organization helping abused and trafficked women, and two groups helping women and children in central Africa.

Aside from its special paint job and connection to Pope Francis, the car is a stock Huracán LP580-2. That means it’s the entry-level model in the Huracán lineup, with a 5.2-liter V10 generating 572 horsepower (the “580” represents the output in metric) and 398 pound-feet of torque that is sent to the rear wheels (hence the “-2”). The “LP” stands for “longitudinal posteriore,” referring to the longitudinally mid-mounted engine. Other Huracán variants have more power and all-wheel drive, but the LP580-2 is still capable of 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph, according to Lamborghini.

Pope Francis’ everyday transportation tends to be a bit less dramatic. The pontiff has used everything from a Jeep Wrangler to a Hyundai Santa Fe on foreign tours, and received an Opel Ampera-e electric car (a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV) last year for use within Vatican City. He once used a 1984 Renault 4 as his personal car.

This isn’t the first time a car connected to Pope Francis has gone to the auction block. A Fiat 500L he used during a visit to Philadelphia was auctioned off for charity in 2016. Unsurprisingly, the little Fiat didn’t bring quite as much money as the Lamborghini. It sold for $82,000, which is admittedly about four times the 500L’s U.S. base price.

Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.