A New Winter’s Ride
One of the most legendary vehicles of all time is Santa’s sleigh — pulled by a team of reindeer — that somehow travels the world over in one night. What if the big guy is ready for something different? There are plenty of great sleigh-alternatives on the market today, and while they may not be as magical as a flying sled, they are sure to impress. Read on for some new rides that substitute reindeer power with horsepower.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Perhaps something Italian would make a nice fit for Santa. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio — named for a mountain pass in northern Italy — offers a beautiful leather-trimmed interior that Santa would surely find more comfortable than a sled. The Stelvio has a decent amount of cargo space in back for a magic bag or two, and given that this Quadrifoglio has full-time all-wheel drive, the varying weather conditions around the world shouldn’t be an issue. And with 505 horses on tap and a top speed of 176 mph, those reindeer would be left in the dust.
With Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system ready to handle wintry December weather, something from the stable of Germanic luxury performance vehicles would make a nice ride for Santa. We suggest the big man himself should go with the Audi RS 7 — the luxurious interior and versatile hatchback design is a big plus. And the RS 7’s turbocharged V8 engine pumping out as much as 605 horsepower makes this one of the most potent Audis on the road. Instead of sleigh bells announcing his arrival, the RS 7’s sport exhaust will let everyone know that Santa’s coming to town.
Dodge Challenger GT
For deliveries in the U.S., Santa would probably be most at home behind the wheel of a proper American muscle car. The Dodge Challenger certainly looks the part and fits the bill even better now that it’s available with all-wheel drive. The Challenger GT boasts a 305-horsepower V6 engine, which has plenty of oomph to throw some serious snow around while Santa makes his rounds.
Santa has been roughing it in that open-top sleigh for years, so it’s time he treated himself to something a bit more luxurious — a Rolls-Royce, perhaps? And not any ol’ Rolls will do — Santa needs the space and capability of the all-new Cullinan. The bold grille and legendary Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament will turn more heads than an old sled, and Santa is sure to enjoy the lavish interior. In fact, Santa may want to train Rudolph to drive so the man in red can stretch out in back and enjoy a splash of bubbly in between lightning-quick deliveries.
Dodge Charger Hellcat
Although the name Hellcat doesn’t sound filled with holiday cheer — then again neither does the roar of its supercharged V8 engine —quite honestly, we don’t think Santa will mind. This Charger has plenty of space for packages and with more than 700 horsepower on tap and a top speed in excess of 200 mph, Santa will make his deliveries with time to spare for a little drifting — he calls it dashing — through the snow.
Ford F-450 Super Duty
Not only does Santa need to make his rounds quickly, he has tons of gifts to transport, so this very large truck might be in order. The F-450 Super Duty can carry almost four tons of gifts and look good doing it. Even better: The F-450 can tow Santa’s sleigh loaded with more than 32,000 pounds of goodness! But there’s no reason for Santa to rough it — the Super Duty can be fitted with a luxurious interior, so the big guy can ride in ultimate comfort.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The weather is likely to be quite poor on Christmas Eve, but if any vehicle is up to whatever challenges Mother Nature dishes out, it’s a Jeep. But Santa is on a deadline, so this can’t be any Jeep — it needs to be the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. With the capability expected of a Grand Cherokee enhanced by a 707-horsepower supercharged V8 powerplant, Santa is certain to have a jolly good time delivering gifts in this beast.
A vehicle capable of handling practically any terrain while keeping its driver in ultimate comfort sounds like the perfect match for Santa. With the all-new AMG G63, deliveries to the highest mountaintops won’t be a problem, and with 577 horses on tap this big SUV will make great time on the road. The premium interior and available seat massagers will certainly keep Santa relaxed and happy while he enjoys the sportscar-like handling in this all-new G-Class.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Cruising in an open-air sled in December isn’t for everyone, but since it’s what Santa likes, he should be making his rounds in an extreme Jaguar F-Type SVR. With 575 horsepower and a V8 roar that will send reindeer running for cover, the all-wheel drive F-Type SVR will put a big smile across Santa’s face. And the 200-mph top speed with the top down will likely freeze those teeth in place.
Subaru STI Type RA
When Santa hits bad December weather, he’ll be pleased to be behind the wheel of a Subaru thanks to its legendary ability to handle slick road conditions. Although the new Ascent offers more space, this track-ready WRX STI would be the holly-jolly way to make tracks. With 310 horses sending power to all four wheels, Santa can drift his way through his rounds. A bonus — the big rear spoiler will look great decorated with Christmas lights and garland.
Tesla Model X
If he’s trying to cut down on reindeer emissions, perhaps Santa would go for something that runs a bit cleaner. The Tesla Model X is a pure electric vehicle that offers all-wheel drive to handle blustery winter weather. Santa will surely appreciate the easy loading via unique Falcon-Wing doors, and if he needs to make up some time, he can choose Tesla’s “Ludicrous” mode to ensure he makes his rounds in a flash.
Santa’s sleigh is a classic, but maybe it’s time the big man made his run around the world in a brand with almost as much history — a Bentley. With plenty of room for gifts and one of the most elegant interiors on the market, the Bentayga would certainly make Santa’s nice list. Multi-mode air suspension, advanced traction control and permanent all-wheel drive will let Santa make tracks wherever he needs to go, and with a 600-horsepower twin-turbo W12 engine under the hood, he won’t be missing those eight tiny reindeer.
Porsche Panamera GTS
The performance of a Porsche would certainly be preferable to that of a reindeer-driven sleigh, but since the iconic 911 may be a bit too small for hauling gifts, the Panamera is a more appropriate ride. The hatchback design provides a spacious cargo area, and Santa will have so much fun piloting the high-performance all-wheel drive Panamera GTS that he may skip the sleigh for good.
Range Rover SV Autobiography
Land Rovers are well known for combining off-road skills with luxury interiors, but if Santa really wants to live it up there’s the Range Rover SV Autobiography. This SV Autobiography has plenty of power emanating from its supercharged V8 engine, and since it’s a Range Rover there won’t be any houses that Santa won’t be able to reach. But when Mrs. Claus sees the heated reclining rear seats complete with footrests and massage functions, as well as the rear-seat refrigerator for the champagne, she may want to come along for the ride.
Dodge Challenger Redeye Express
Perhaps Santa can simply trade up to a more powerful sleigh. The reindeer can take the day off if Santa heads out in the Challenger Redeye Express. This custom-built sled is based on the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, making proper use of its 797-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. We’re not exactly sure how all that power gets put down to the snow, but then again there’s always a little magic in Santa’s sleigh.