Santa Has a New Sleigh, and It's Maybe Not What Students in Mechanic Schools Would Have Expected
November 14, 2018
If you’re woken up by the rumbling of a Hellcat Hemi V8 on your roof this holiday season, don’t be alarmed: it’s probably just Santa’s new supercharged sleigh, courtesy of Dodge.
The new ride was recently unveiled in a 30-second commercial featuring former wrestler (and avid muscle car collector) Bill Goldberg as the man in red. The ad sees Santa Claus and his elves taking inspiration from the Dodge brand lineup—the Challenger, the Charger, and the Durango—to upgrade their old sleigh, ultimately showing off a unique holiday twist on the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. The spot is our first look at a social media series that will be run across Dodge’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts through December, chronicling the sleigh’s upgrade in detail through a series of videos parodying popular car restoration reality shows. The series will also feature All Girls Garage host Cristy Lee as Mrs. Claus.
Read on to find out more about Santa’s new high horsepower ride.
Santa’s New Sleigh Is a Heavily Modified Dodge Challenger
The new sleigh is adapted from a Dodge Challenger with the powerful Hellcat Redeye upgrade, giving it a 797-horsepower, 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi V8 engine under the hood. The windshield has been lowered, and the roof and doors have been removed for a more open-air look, with plenty of room for presents in the back. Instead of wheels, the body sits on two metal sleigh runners. If you look closely at the Hellcat logo on the front grille, you’ll also see an added pair of reindeer antlers.
That’s all we know for now, but expect to find out more details of the supercharged sleigh as more videos roll out through December.
Watch the full 30-second commercial here to see Goldberg’s Santa Claus reveal the new modified Hellcat sleigh:
Auto Mechanic School Students Might Recognize the Challenger Hellcat Redeye
Students in mechanic schools with an interest in high-performance muscle cars might already be familiar with the Challenger Hellcat Redeye, a recent addition to Dodge’s Challenger SRT Hellcat line.
The Redeye builds on the gains of previous Hellcat models, with 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. Its supercharged V8 engine is paired with a TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. Some of its electronic systems are adopted from the Challenger SRT Demon, including launch control, launch assist, line lock, and its Torque Reserve system. On the road, Dodge says the Redeye can do 0 to 96 kph in 3.4 seconds, and run 0.4 kilometers in 10.8 seconds at 210 kph.
Looking at the exterior, one of the most striking aspects of the Redeye is the dual-snorkel hood, which maximizes air intake to the engine and pays homage to design elements from famous mid-1960s and early-1970s Dodge muscle cars like the 1970 Dart Swinger and the 1971 Demon.
Not the First Time Auto Manufacturers Have Reimagined Santa’s Sleigh
This isn’t the first time a car company has taken a stab at redesigning Santa’s sleigh, though, and students in auto mechanic school might be interested in seeing some of the other approaches that have been taken.
In 2016, for example, Jaguar revealed its own take on Santa’s sleigh in the form of an ice sculpture. The Jaguar F-Sleigh took inspiration from Jaguar’s F-Type convertible, with skates replacing the wheels, and a generous open luggage compartment for gifts.
Unlike Dodge’s Christmas Hellcat, however, which was actually built, these other designs have mostly remained in the realm of fantasy.
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