Santa Claus’ transport has been interpreted by many auto-mobile designers who never had the opportunity to design the sleigh used by Santa every Christmas Eve.
Nobody knows for sure what make or design Santa Claus’ sleigh is, however this has not stopped top car companies from developing their own designs for Santa’s sleighs.
Below then are ten ideas for what Father Christmas’ sleigh would be like if it had been created by some of the world’s most famous car manufacturers.
Very few things are actually known about Santa Claus’ sleigh although various claims suggest that red is the associated colour. It is therefore appropriate that the designers of possibly the most famous red car on the planet have created their own red super sleigh. Flavio Manzoni and his Maranello team drew up Ferrari’s effort for Father Christmas’ transport.
Ferrari opted for a lightweight covered super-sleigh which could hold Santa but appears to leave no room for the presents he has to carry. The Ferrari horse badge is visible on the side of the sleigh but there is no news regarding whether Santa’s reindeer have been replaced with an actual stallion to fully represent the Ferrari design.
Unlike the Ferrari design which keeps a sleigh at the heart of the creation, Audi tore up the rule book and created an Audi car for Santa Claus to drive, with the traditional present-laden sleigh on top of the car’s roof. The car is a three door design and can fit Santa plus any passengers (or reindeer) into the Audi before he starts his journey around the world.
There are two pertinent questions which need answering though, firstly does Santa have to collect his car from Inglostadt where the car/sleigh was designed? Secondly, is the car able to fly or does Santa have to drive almost through the speed of light in order to reach the children? If the latter is the case then this will surely cause problems as he tries to navigate the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Ford’s sleigh for Santa was designed in the UK – Essex to be precise – and is a combination of part car, part sleigh. The car part allows Santa to navigate and keeps him dry from adverse weather conditions whilst the sleigh part relates to the huge open boot which contains all of the presents bound together with thick wire.
Instead of wheels the Ford design also has blades which allow the sleigh/car to glide through the air as well as being able to start off and land on the snowy Lapland runway. As to be expected from a sleigh designed in Essex there is a hint of ‘bling’ to it with the tinted windows and silver parts which adorn the deep red sleigh.
Thomas Smith’s Jaguar design for Santa’s sleigh comes with a propeller which could cause some serious damage to any human or reindeer which is unfortunate enough to straddle across it. Less of a car and more of a Red Arrow, there are two cockpits either side of the main red body which are perfect for Santa and at least one other reindeer to sit in during the long trip.
Towards the back of the contraption two Concorde-esque wings spread out whilst the main body protrudes between them to create a centralised tail. Clearly designed to keep wind resistance to an absolute minimum, the sleigh is emblazoned on each side with a lady wearing very little and the words ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ next to her.
Land Rover have also designed their own sleigh for Santa Claus with a completely different interpretation on what the sleigh should look like. No warm red colours or single sledge blades but instead a harsh metallic gray and four wings which expand to look like square wheels. The sleigh is still pulled by reindeer but Santa is aided by a particle accelerator so he can complete his journey in time.
Designed by Florian Dobe, the Land Rover sleigh is noticeable by its refusal to conform to any traditional sleigh design standards. Instead of smooth bends there are sharp corners and whereas every sleigh designed has a touch of nostalgia to it, this resolutely looks to the future. It may be light years ahead of its time but it is not the obvious sleigh children would think of when idealising Santa flying through the Christmas Eve night sky.
Peugeot’s sleigh for Santa is as would be expected from a French firm who want to express their flair. The smooth curves and rouge metallic body blend in with the sleigh blades which meet in the style of an arrow at the front of the sleigh. The presents look to be held at the back of the sleigh in a clear container which appears to be padded down by the claw of the Peugeot lion at the end.
Santa’s seating position is towards the back of the Peugeot sleigh at the top end of the vehicle which is built at a 25 degree tilt in order to give Father Christmas the best possible driving view when delivering presents. The designer Gilles Vidal expressed that the sleigh should look sleek and stylish. Whilst that part is not in doubt, the question mark hangs over exactly how secure the presents would be on the back of the sleigh.
Naturally Rolls-Royce with its connection to the aerospace industry could not be left out of designing a vehicle which can fly through the air at astronomical speeds in order to deliver children their presents throughout the world. Their silver sleigh comes complete with smooth blades to glide around the ground and is one of the most eye-catching designs created.
The Crewe-based firm’s German designer Andreas Thurner has turned the concept of Santa Claus’ sleigh around, with a huge amount of boot space at the front and Santa sitting at the back of the toboggan-style sleigh ready to guide his reindeer to their next port of call.
If it wasn’t for the wings and blades which accompany Vauxhall’s interpretation of Father Christmas’ sleigh, the casual car enthusiast could have mistaken the sleigh for the body of the Vauxhall Astra. The firm added an E-REV technology sensor which allows Santa to fly around the world without fear of running across different flight paths.
The red sleigh appears to have a boot with limited space behind the bearded driver, however it is unclear as to whether the design team factored in a deep boot space which could hold presents under the cockpit which Santa is driving from. The Vauxhall motif and grille are visible behind the E-REV technology light at the front of the sleigh.
Infiniti’s designers have created a sleigh for Santa Claus which encourages the great man and his reindeer to leave behind tradition and focus on the future. A metallic silver with a royal purple colour scheme where the cockpit is allows Santa to not only find his cockpit straight away but also alerts other aircraft that Santa is flying close by in the air.
Labelled the Silver Express, the motorised part of the sleigh with Santa’s cockpit is at the rear, leaving the presents to be stored in an open ended metallic container which makes up the front of the vehicle. What Rudolph and his fellow reindeer would make of it if they used the Infiniti vehicle remains to be seen.
Finally, just as no car lover’s fantasy Christmas wish list would be complete without an Aston Martin waiting for them the next morning, clearly Aston Martin believe that Santa would like nothing better than to be transported in an Aston Martin sleigh. As would be expected from an Aston Martin design, the sleigh oozes class and luxury, although the jury is still out on whether it could compete with a James Bond Aston Martin vehicle for gadgets.
Not only will Santa be transported in comfort, the sleigh is also reputed be one of the quickest around, mainly due to its aerodynamic shape, complete with wings which would not look out of place on a light aircraft. It could be argued that if there is one flaw with the design, it would be the most obvious one when considering why Santa makes the annual trip in a sleigh: there’s no place for him to store any toys.
nB: The photos for this piece do not represent the actual designs that the car manufacturers created.