If Ford engineers had their way, Santa Claus would be delivering packages to all the good girls and boys on Christmas Eve in a Ford sleigh concept.
The muscle car-inspired, bright-red, concept sleigh is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and boasts 125 horsepower, with 170Nm peak torque (with 200Nm overboost)--giving it the highest power density of any Ford production engine to date.
Ford engineers apparently presented the concept sleigh design to Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with its environmental and cost-saving advantages.
Each Christmas Eve, Jolly Old St. Nick reportedly circumnavigates the globe--124,421,727 miles--in a sleigh pulled by nine reindeer. Given that a single reindeer traveling 3,000 miles per year emits 25 kg of methane, Santa's reindeer produce a stiffening amount of CO2.
"They may look cute, but Santa's team of nine reindeer create a staggering 214,670 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions each year, so something had to be done to help him re-discover his greener roots," Ford car designer Paul Wraith said in a press release.
All that methane doesn't create itself. It takes a lot fuel, in this case carrots. In order to keep their strength up, the reindeer need to consume carrots like competitive-eating champions. Santa apparently spends more than $200 million on carrots to fuel his reindeer each year, Ford estimates. Switching to a fuel-efficient sleigh would cost just $20,000.
"Our tongue may be firmly in cheek as we launch this sleigh design, but our heart is in the right place," Wraith said. "At Ford, we're dreaming of a Green Christmas. We're already thinking of the concept sleigh mark II. With electric vehicle battery technology developing all the time, we are keen to get to work on a zero-carbon version of our sleigh."
The Ford sleigh is also chock-full of creature comforts such as Active Park Assist and Ford SYNC. And driver assistance technologies such as Active City Stop and Blind Spot Information System--to ensure Santa avoids airplanes in the sky and any unexpected roof-top traffic.
"I am not looking forward to telling Donner and Blitzen the news, but the polar bears in the North Pole will certainly welcome the Ford EcoBoost-powered sleigh," Mrs. Claus reportedly responded in a press release. "l would of course back anything that means my husband can get home that bit quicker. Getting presents in a shorter amount of time to all the good children each year may even give him time to reconsider a few names on the naughty list. But I can't promise."