Santa’s 21st-century sleighs

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’Twas the night before Christmas and not a creature was stirring -- not even a reindeer. That’s because Santa has given himself a present and traded in his old sleigh for a new Bentley-designed model. British buff book, Car, wrote a little letter and left it by the chimney, asking for a few auto makers to create their own take on the most famous sleigh of all.

Bentley, Ford, Nissan and Rolls-Royce answered the call and put their elves in the North Pole design studios to work. The results are here. The Bentley effort has a W-12 engine, naturally. Ford came up with three ideas (too much spare time at the Blue Oval?), while Nissan’s sci-fi contribution was penned by a Canadian, so he knows all about trying to get around in winter weather.

Being somewhat traditional, Rolls-Royce has decided to retain deer power in place of horsepower, but has given Santa an elegant and no doubt supremely comfortable carriage section. There’s probably a little cocktail bar, should St. Nick fancy a quick snifter to keep him warm. All the sleigh images on the Car site can be sent as personalized e-cards. Ho, ho, ho.

-- Colin Ryan