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What’s in Santa’s Garage? – The Detroit Bureau


A Land Rover Range Rover makes an ideal daily driver.

If you’re impressed by Elon Musk, he has nothing on Santa Claus. Sure, you might like your Tesla, but Santa Claus runs a major distribution operation at the North Pole. Yes, it’s privately-held, but unlike Amazon Prime, old Sant Nick has one night to fulfill gift requests. And he does it old school, using eight reindeer and a sleigh. You think gas is expensive? Try Reindeer Chow. 

But it raises the question: What kind of vehicle does this well-liked, esteemed, global boss drive? Here are a few options, but nobody truly knows.

Land Rover Range Rover: Given the amount of work to be done to stuff the world’s stockings, Santa Claus needs a vehicle with grace, pace and space, not to mention utility, to get things done in any weather. And why not do it in supreme comfort and flawless design? All-wheel drive is standard and an air suspension ensures the Range Rover clears any obstacles. While the P440e plug-in hybrid is available for 2023, it’s only offered in the shorter wheelbase model. Santa needs stretch-out space. So Nick sticks with the tried and true, the P530, powered by a 523-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine — thanks BMW. It allows this RR to tow as much as 8,200 pounds. And since it’s a Range Rover, it’s incredibly quiet and comfortable, boasts a spacious, opulent interior and an incredible audio system that makes the yuletide bright with music while navigating through bleak weather at the North Pole while Rudolph is playing reindeer games.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat
The all-new, all-electric F-150 Lightning makes for the perfect polar workhorse.

Ford F-150 Lightning: Could you think of a more perfect polar workhorse? This Crew Cab 4×4 with a short 67.1-inch cargo box with a motor on each axle to provide four-wheel drive. The standard setup generates 426 hp, goes 230 miles on a charge while providing 2,235 pounds of payload and 7,700 pounds of towing capacity. But Santa requires the extended-range battery’s extra capability, with 563 hp, 320 miles of range, 1,800 pounds of payload and a 10,000-pound towing capacity. Torque is a healthy 775 pound-feet. But Santa appreciates the little touches that make living with this truck to easy, like its roomy, lockable frunk. Or a driveline that acts as a generator, providing up to 9.6 kilowatts of energy for a worksite. Or the optional Onboard Scales feature, which uses the truck’s sensors to estimate its payload and relay to the driver how much it’s hauling. And the front seats fold flat to create a bed that’s perfect for the quick nap away from Mrs. Claus. Ho, ho, ho. 

BMW i7: So, what does Santa’s other half drive? Something updated, yet classic: a BMW i7. It has the space to graciously carry friends and family (or elves), yet has a solid feel and confident handling that makes her feel safe. And it’s fast. There’s an electric motor on each axle, extracting 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque, enough to move this massive sedan to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Range is estimated at 318 miles, and the 101.7 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack recharges at a rate of 80 miles in 10 minutes using a DC fast charger. And Mrs. C can keep track of it all using BMW’s massive Curved Display that combines a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch iDrive multimedia touchscreen, while the grandkids watch movies in the rear seat on the 31.3-inch screen that descends from the ceiling. Its imposing grandeur and performance makes for one sweet ride. 

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Edition in White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat
Santa’s choice for unwinding: the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Edition in White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat

Rolls-Royce Ghost: A ride befitting Santa’s position is required for a night out. Is there another executive shuttle that can compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost’s technological prowess, versatility and exquisite interior design? Credit its traditional nature, which endures despite our derisive present-day culture. It’s the Hallmark Channel of our souls, providing a cozy familiarity in a world that loves the lowest common denominator. Maintaining a certain “je ne sais quoi,” the Rolls-Royce Ghost remains exquisite in its execution, with a cabin awash in 338 individual pieces of leather and the plushest carpet your tootsies will ever touch. With a 563-hp 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and a suspension best described as other worldly, the Ghost is a machine fit for reassuring motoring in a world that’s become unhinged.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06: The stockings are stuffed, the presents placed under the tree, and now it’s Miller time. Even Santa needs to let his hair down to enjoy a few ho, ho, hos in warm weather. Why not do it an American icon, one with a removable top, lots of power and enduring style?


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