“My goal is and always has been giving presents to good girls and boys, and a new sleigh will make that process more effective.” – Santa Claus 

North Pole: Driveway can exclusively reveal (with tongue firm in cheek) that Santa Claus has been visiting local dealerships kicking tires – ahem, rails – in his search for a new ride.

Ever conscious of the increasing cost of gas and effect his multi-million-kilometre Christmas flight has on the environment, Santa seems to have opted for 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon for his next sleigh.

The wagon promises a fuel economy of 7.84 L/100 kms fuel economy, which means the sleigh will be kinder to the environment than his current means of transporting gifts to the world’s children.

As an added benefit, the EcoBoost engine – which is finely tuned for high-speed performance – would offer speeds much faster than Santa ever travelled in his former 36-hoofpowered sleigh. The expected upgrade comes as a record number of children earn spots on the “nice” list, increasing the payload weight of his bag of gifts beyond the normal tow rating of his nine-reindeer team

Santa told me that changing his mode of transportation will not compromise his ability to remain true to his mission.

“My goal is and always has been giving presents to good girls and boys, and a new sleigh will make that process more effective,” he says. “Let’s face it, every year there are more children who earn presents. Things are simply getting out of control, and my old sleigh just isn’t going to be able to hack it much longer. With the new sleigh, I will be able to travel faster and carry more toys.”

Ford engineers developed the Transit Connect Wagon sleigh concept weeks after hearing of Santa’s dilemma during cold weather testing in the North Pole.

“This is a winning situation for all,” says Darren Goddard, chief engineer for Ford Transit Connect Wagon. “The increased efficiency means added time for Santa to enjoy milk and cookies at stops. His new ride will offer 100 cubic feet of cargo space and versatility to haul up to 2,000 pounds, which Santa will need.”

Reindeer spokesperson Dasher says the nine reindeer look forward to some time off. Every year, the flying animals travel 200,194,557 kms and they’d like some time to rest, he says, explaining there are still splinters embedded in his hoofs from a particular wooden roof in northern BC.

“You really can’t beat this new sleigh,” says Goddard. “It offers outstanding fuel economy without sacrificing power. It even offers an electric windshield defroster, making short work of icy windshields in wintry conditions. So, if there’s a foggy Christmas Eve, we won’t need a red-nosed reindeer to guide Santa around the world.

Some extras appear to have swung Santa in the direction of the Transit Connect. SYNC with MyFord Touch offers a touch screen display with navigation so Santa can easily find all the good children, even in more remote areas

The child observation mirror would allow him to keep a close eye on his gifts in the second and third row

From its 60/40 three-passenger second-row bench seat through fold-flat second- and third-row seating with third-row independent fore-and-aft sliding capability, the wagon quickly adapts to accommodate multiple combinations of elves and presents

MyKey programmable ignition key restricts maximum speed should a mischievous elf get behind the wheel while Claus is down a chimney leaving gifts

With eight cupholders, Claus and his elves would have plenty of space to take along a few glasses of milk as they continue through their busy night

Rain-sensing wipers would keep Claus on the move, as there’s always a chance he’ll encounter nasty weather

“As always, we are busy making toys and checking long lists,” says Santa. “That said, Merry Christmas to all!”

Of course, Mrs. Claus will have the final say on this purchase because as any dealership owner will tell you, women make the final decision in 80 percent of new vehicle purchases. Keep your eyes peeled Tuesday night to see if Santa got his Christmas wish.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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