© FCA US
What Would Santa Drive?
One of the most magical vehicles of all time has to be Santa’s sleigh — pulled by a team of eight, or make it nine, reindeer — that somehow traverses the entire world in one eventful night. But what if the big guy decides he’s ready to trade in some hooves on a new ride? Many amazing sleigh alternatives exist today, and while they may not be as mystical as a flying red sled, they will surely impress. Read on for a jolly holiday list of new rides that substitute reindeer power for horsepower and answer the (candle) burning question — What Would Santa Drive?
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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Perhaps something Italian would be 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 will surely find more comfortable than a bench seat in a wooden sled. The Stelvio has decent 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 across the globe shouldn’t be an issue. And with 505 horses on tap and a top speed of 176 mph, the Stelvio will likely leave those reindeer in the dust — stardust, that is.
© Audi AG
Audi RS6 Avant
With Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system ready to keep Santa dashing through the snow, something from a stable of Germanic luxury performance vehicles might make a swell ride for Santa. The big elf should go with the powerful RS 6 Avant — the luxurious interior and spacious wagon design are a big plus, and the RS 6’s turbocharged V8 engine pumping out almost 600 horsepower makes this one of the most potent Audis available. Instead of sleigh bells announcing the amazing arrival, the RS 6’s sport exhaust will let everyone know that Santa’s back in town.
Dodge Challenger AWD
For deliveries in the U.S., Santa would likely be most at home behind the wheel of a legendary American muscle car. The Dodge Challenger certainly looks the part and fits the bill — even more than ever before now that it’s available with all-wheel drive. The Challenger GT boasts a 305-horsepower V6 engine packing plenty of oomph for throwing some serious snow while still keeping Santa to his strict nocturnal schedule.
© Ferrari North America
Ferrari Daytona SP3
Sure, Santa likes riding around in a red sleigh — it’s easy to spot and it matches his suit. That said, perhaps the time is right to modernize that red, as well as the sleigh. Santa probably wouldn’t mind trading to this high-powered sled — the Ferrari Daytona SP3, painted in a gorgeous red called Rosso Magma. With more than 800 horses on tap and a top speed in excess of 211 mph, this potent Ferrari will help the big guy make his rounds in record time this year. The open top keeps his cheeks rosy, and even though the Daytona SP3 doesn’t possess a lot of space for presents, we’re sure Santa won’t mind making a few extra trips in this new sleigh.
© Ford Motor Company
After a 25-year hiatus, the Bronco recently returned to Ford’s stable, providing Santa the opportunity to make his rounds on Christmas Eve in this iconic and capable ride. The bold look of the new Bronco is sure to bring smiles to all good little girls and boys (and some moms and dads too), and a snowy night won’t cause any issues for this go-anywhere rig. And if Santa suddenly longs for his open-air sleigh, the big red one can remove the Bronco’s roof and doors so everyone hears his “Ho Ho Ho.”
© Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
On the other hand, Santa has been roughing it in that open-top sleigh for years, so it’s high time he treats 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 Cullinan SUV. The bold grille and legendary Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament will likely shine brighter than any harness of holiday bells, and Santa will surely enjoy Cullinan’s lavish interior. In fact, Santa may want to let Rudolph drive so the man in red can stretch out in back and enjoy a splash of bubbly eggnog between lightning-quick deliveries.
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Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye
Although the name Hellcat doesn’t sound filled with holiday cheer (then again, neither does the roar of its supercharged V8 engine), we honestly don’t think Santa will mind raising a little (candy) cane on an otherwise silent night. This Charger has a profusion of space for packages, and with almost 800 horsepower on tap and a top speed in excess of 200 mph it will definitely give Santa the drive to make his deliveries with time to spare for a little drifting — he calls it dashing — through the snow.
© Ford Motor Company
Ford F-450 Super Duty
Not only does Santa need to make his rounds quickly, he also has tons of gifts to transport so this extremely large truck could be up to the task. The Ford F-450 Super Duty can carry almost four tons of presents and look great doing it. Even better: The F-450 could even tow Santa’s sleigh loaded with more than 37,000 pounds of goodness! But there’s no reason for Santa to rough it — the Super Duty Limited has a luxurious interior so the big guy can ride in ultimate comfort.
© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience
Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Hopefully Santa picked up one of these before production ended, since the extreme Dodge Durango Hellcat makes one heck of a sleigh. This big SUV has an abundance of room to haul big gifts, and its three rows of seats mean the elves can tag along for the ride. And what a ride it will be – with 710 horses under the hood, those nine tiny reindeer will be left in the dust as the Durango sprints to 60 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds on its way a top speed of 180 mph. With the Durango Hellcat’s significant ground clearance and all-wheel drive, getting out of the snowy North Pole won’t be a problem.
© Mercedes-Benz USA
A vehicle capable of handling practically any terrain while cosseting its driver in ultimate comfort sounds like a perfect match for Santa. Thanks to the powerful AMG G63, deliveries to the highest mountaintops won’t be a problem, and with 577 fillies on tap this big SUV will make great time over the river and through the woods. The premium interior and available seat massagers will certainly keep Santa relaxed and happy while he enjoys the sports-car-like handling in this exciting G-Class.
© Subaru of America
When Saint Nick hits bad December weather, he’ll be pleasantly surprised behind the wheel of this Subaru thanks to its legendary ability to handle slick, snowy conditions. Although Subaru’s Ascent SUV offers more space, the all-new high-performance WRX would be the jolliest way for Santa to make tracks. With 271 horses sending power to all four wheels, the big man can drift his way through his rounds. And it even comes in red.
© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience
Ram 1500 TRX
If there are two things Santa looks for in a sleigh, it’s room for hauling gifts and the ability to deliver them all on time. The extreme Ram 1500 TRX pickup truck comes through on both counts — not only does it tote plenty of packages in its full-size bed, it also moves at high speeds across practically any terrain thanks to trick off-road suspension and a 702-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. With bold styling that safely ensures no one will stand in Santa’s way, the RAM TRX has one other benefit — the man in red can give those hardworking reindeer a well-earned vacation because this truck flies all on its own.
© Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Saint Nick can be lively and quick (as well as efficient) if he swaps his sleigh for this high-performance hybrid from legendary German automaker Porsche. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo offers a wealth of space for gifts and a luxurious interior that Santa will savor more than milk and cookies. Even more exciting is a V8 hybrid powertrain that produces 689 horsepower, so this all-wheel-drive sleigh is lightning quick if Santa’s running late. Arriving in town, the man in red can switch the Panamera to EV mode so there’s no danger of the big V8 engine disturbing any children’s visions of sugarplums.
© Jaguar Land Rover Limited
Land Rover Defender
Making the annual trek from the North Pole with a flying sleigh is fine, but if Santa’s looking to enjoy the drive, he might consider the Land Rover Defender. One of the toughest and most capable vehicles in Land Rover history, this latest Defender is a whole new breed. With as much as 11.5 inches of ground clearance, an off-road configurable Terrain Response system and a range of powerful engines in the Defender, Santa shouldn’t run into any trouble on his rounds — no matter what the weather.
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Dodge Challenger Redeye Express
Perhaps Santa simply needs to trade up to a more powerful sleigh so his reindeer can have the night off while he dodges snow squalls in the Challenger Redeye Express. Based on the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, this custom-built sled makes good use of its 797-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. We’re not entirely sure how all that power gets put down on snow (check the Clausometer), but then again there’s always a little magic in Santa’s sleigh — whatever model he chooses.