A Look Back at Some of Santa’s Exotic and Most Luxurious Sleighs
The fat man likes to roll in style doesn’t he?by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 00:40
Nobody really knows how often Santa upgrades his sleigh, but what if he wanted to shop for a new model altogether? Well, over the past five or six years, publications like Car Magazine have challenged automakers to design a new sleigh for Santa. Automakers like Bentley, Land Rover, and even Vauxhall have designed new sleighs for Santa in the past, so needless to say, Santa has had a lot to choose from.
I don’t recall seeing any designs last year, and have only seen one this year. But, when you consider the long list of available sleighs at his disposal, there are still at least a few on standby, just waiting to be plucked from some secret, magical garage that is undoubtedly located somewhere at the North Pole.
Since we haven’t seen too many fresh designs for the 2015, I decided to revisit a few of the sleighs created in the years past. Most of the sleighs are exotic, or out of this world – and one even looks like a fighter jet – but why wouldn’t Santa take advantage of all the latest technology? You may have seen one or two of the designs in the past, but it’s always fun to revisit things like this during the holidays. Which of the following sleighs do you think Santa is going to use this year?
Jaguar F-Sleigh 2015
The image above is a sketch of the F-Sleigh, but back on December 14th, this sleigh debuted in ice-sculpture form at the London Edition Hotel. As its name and the sketch suggests, the sleigh takes its design queues from the Jaguar F-Type convertible. Of course, there are some pretty serious differences. The wheels are replaced by rather sporty looking skis, and since Rudolph isn’t pulling the sleigh, a red LED light at the front brings him along in spirit. The sleigh may borrow some design from the F-Type convertible, but it doesn’t borrow the 380-horsepower V-6 or eight-speed quickshift transmission. See, that just wouldn’t be fast enough for Santa – he really can be critical of some things – so Jaguar equipped the F-Sleigh with a jet-propulsion engine, seen mounted to the rear of the sleigh. I would like to think the sleigh is capable of warp speed, but I’m sure speed is electronically limited to Mach 3 or Mach 4.
Bentley Sleigh 2008
This sleigh is a Santa-inspired version of the Bentley Continental GTC Cabrio that was created by Bentley designer Yunwoo Jeong. As you can see it has that large Bentley Grille up front, and those massive LED headlights are sure to illuminate his way much better than Rudolph himself. As you would expect, no Christmas Eve adventure would be complete without Rudolf so he and his bright nose can be seen riding shotgun next to Santa. Clearly this sleigh is designed to land safely on roofs and snowy terrain alike with those long built-in skies on each side. We have no idea what powers the Bentley sleigh – it could be that 6.0-liter, 575-horsepower engine from the 2012 Continental GTC. Maybe it’s magic. Or, maybe it is a combination of both – either way, if Santa is going house to house in the Bentley, he is doing it in style and comfort.
Ferrari Sleigh 2010
This fine little sleigh, or should I say sleigh racer, was designed by a Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni. This sleigh looks to be a one seater, leaving no room for any of Santa’s trusty companions. Of course, I don’t see Rudolph or the other reindeer being interested in traveling at Mach 2. A large glass cockpit protects Santa from being hit with snow and ice at high speed, and those front skis probably give him the ability to steer quite easily on the ground. Maybe in this beast, he does more ground travel than air travel. Nobody knows what powers the super sleigh, but if it’s not magic, I’m willing to bet Santa is sitting on large, but efficient Jet engine. I bet this is the sleigh Santa goes for when those productive little elves of his are running a little late.
Vauxhall Sleigh 2008
For the 2008 Christmas season, Vauxhall created the sLEigh-REV just for the fat man himself. Designed to leave the reindeer to rest that year – according to Santa, they were becoming more flatulent, and he was concerned about methane emissions – the sleigh is piloted by Santa himself, as he travels around the world in his once-a-year voyage. The sleigh is thrust through the skies by an electric motor that allows it to travel fast enough for Santa to hit every stop on the globe. To overcome Santa’s obvious range anxiety, the sLEigh-REV also has a small engine that starts up to charge the sleighs batteries on the go.
Santa himself went on record back in 2008 saying, “I’m as pleased as punch with my new slEigh-REV supplied to me by those kind people in Luton. They tell me it uses specially adapted E-REV technology from their upcoming Ampera motor car, which means I won’t have to worry about re-charging as I do my chimney drops around the world on Christmas Eve.” It should be noted that the hybrid design is just like that used in the Vauxhall Ampera, Opel Ampera, and Chevy Volt. And there you have it – even Santa has embraced the concept of electric/ hybrid cars.
Ford Transit Sleigh 2012
Back in 2012, there was this huge influx of naughty kids that got their acts together and made it onto the nice list. Poor Santa just couldn’t keep up, so Ford built him a Ford Transit Connect Sleigh to help him haul all of those extra presents. When using the Transit sleigh, Santa can haul as many presents as he can fit into the 100 cubic feet of cargo space, or up to 2,000 pounds of presents. The Transit sleigh is powered by an EcoBoost engine, offering 30 mpg and of course came with features like SYNC and MyFord Touch. When Santa picked up his Transit Sleigh, he said “My goal is and always has been giving presents to good girls and boys, and a new sleigh will make that process more effective," he says. "Let’s face it, every year there are more children who earn presents. Things are simply getting out of control, and my old sleigh just isn’t going to be able to hack it much longer. With the new sleigh, I will be able to travel faster and carry more toys."
Lexus Flying Luxury Cruiser 2012
The Lexus Flying Luxury Cruiser – short name LFLC – is powered by an advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system that is said to produce 800 reindeerpower. According to Lexus, that drive system produces less harmful emissions than Rudolf himself. The sleigh also comes with advanced safety systems like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, so you can be sure Santa won’t accidentally run into your chimney. Santa even gets a pre-collision system to help him not run over your grandma this year, plus he can listen to his favorite Christmas music from Pandora via the Lexus Enform system. Since there is no room for Rudolf, Lexus graciously added a massive red LED to the front to help Santa see through the snow and fog. When asked how he felt about his Lexus sleigh, Santa said, “I can’t thank Lexus enough for making sure all the girls and boys around the world have a great Christmas.”