While there are no official records and nobody has ever checked his passport, it is widely believed that the gift-dispensing globetrotter known as Santa Claus can trace his roots as far back as fourth-century Greece. That makes him rather old and, combined with having to sit in an open sleigh in cold-winter weather, has compelled the elderly gentleman to upgrade his method of transport this year. Rather than just getting a new reindeer-powered convertible, Mr. Claus decided to phone up Bentley and commission himself a one-off luxury ride. Never one to turn down a VIP customer, the specialists at Mulliner got straight to work, and the result is called the Reindeer Eight.
Santa’s new ride is quite a departure from his traditional vehicle of choice. For starters, power has been upgraded from eight heavily breathing deer to way over 500hp, thanks to a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The company seems confident that this powerplant will be more than sufficient for the number of miles the famous driver is planning to put on the car before the year is out. While the real-life reindeer may have gone, there is now a gold three-dimensional effigy of one taking pride of place on the hood where normal Bentleys have their famous Flying B. A deep-red color called Cricket Bauble gives the car a wonderfully Christmassy presence, and 22-inch golden wheels as well as Reindeer Eight badges on the sides leave no doubt about who’s coming to town in this motor.
Inside, dark-red leather with gold embroidery welcomes the owner and his wife, whose names are stitched into the front seats. The stunning black veneer in front of the passenger seat has been decorated with a North Pole winter night scene, but the real pièce de résistance is hidden within the rotating display that makes up part of the dashboard. When the owner starts up the engine, the display—accompanied by a welcome sound of jingling sleigh bells—rotates over to unveil a navigation system with a built-in “Naughty and Nice” list, making it easier for the driver to only stop outside houses where presents are truly deserved.
Bentley stated that the VIP owner picked his new sleigh up in person at the company’s factory in Crewe, England. And since no one can take any chances in this virus-laden world we live in, the automaker was quick to point out that Saint Nick was fully sanitized before being allowed to drive off into the night with his new V8-powered sleigh. Now, we’re just hoping that he can find enough gas stations to keep going when he hits the road for his annual gifting run.