Casey Williams | Contributing Writer
It’s been a rough year during which many of us thought Christmas would never come. While the Grinch of COVID Present has certainly tried to stop it, the holiday season has arrived right on time. And as Santa prepares for his vast winter ride, we look at three fantasy sleighs — a sedan, SUV and supercar — that will have us looking forward to the sparkle of a better New Year.
2022 Maserati MC20
Imagine waking up and finding this Italian ornament under the giant lighted spruce by your wide circle drive!
The exotic mid-engine design was developed at the Centro Stile Maserati in Turin and spent 2,000 man hours in Dallara’s wind tunnel to refine its clean, aerodynamically efficient forms. The composite-intensive structure will be shared by Coupe, Cabrio and Electric variants.
The interior is arranged like the cockpit of a racing car, with carbon fiber central tunnel, minimal switches, twin screens and a digital rearview mirror. Owners can customize colors and interior materials to their personal preferences.
Santa may have to trim down to fit beneath the butterfly doors and into body-hugging racing seats, but once implanted, will enjoy the drive.
It starts with a 621 horsepower 3.0-liter turbo V6 that employs twin combustion technology from Formula 1 racers. Connected through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, the car gallops from 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds on the way to a 202 mph top speed. Add to that a chassis comprised of lightweight carbon fiber components, active shock absorbers to adjust for varying road conditions and a low speed lift system to keep chins unbloodied.
Choose from five drive modes: WET, GT, SPORT, CORSA or ESC OFF.
Prices will start around $210,000 when sales begin next fall.
2021 Cadillac Escalade
Sports cars are as intoxicating as an eggnog-laced holiday party, but they are horrible at delivering presents. For that, The Jolly One will turn to the all-new Cadillac Escalade — recognizable by its barn-size grille, sharp creases and razor tail lamps that run bumper to roof.
Interiors are a gadgeteer’s dream, with curved OLED infotainment display, 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio, night vision camera and augmented reality navigation with directional overlays. If Santa needs a rest, Cadillac’s Super Cruise system allows hands-off driving on 200,000 miles of compatible highways.
Rear seat entertainment with navigation monitoring lets rear seat “drivers” suggest directions to the actual driver.
Pull any enameled wagon you want with the standard 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 or optional 3.0-liter turbo-diesel with 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines route power to the all-wheel-drive system through a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Enabling greatly enhanced passenger space in the second and third rows plus a smoother ride are an independent rear suspension with air adjustments and Magnetic Ride Control. The truck can be lowered for entry or raised to clear obstacles (like deep snow … or trail streams). This is an entirely new season of luxury.
Shake open the Christmas cards to amass at least $76,000 for this fly ride and get one now.
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580
Once Santa finishes his global journey, he’s going to be ready to let one of the elves do his driving. He and Mrs. Claus can slide into the back of the all-new Mercedes-Maybach S580 sedan with its optional two-tone paint and glistening chrome grille. Since the S580 is seven inches longer than an already generous S-Class, passengers will revel in executive loungers with work tables, calf massagers and optional refrigerator. The finest veneers, Nappa leather, suede headliner and 30-speaker Bermester 4D audio elevate the festive mood. Active noise cancellation rebuffs the riff-raff.
Up front, the chauffeur is spoiled, too. Among the cabin’s five standard display screens are flat screen instruments and OLED central display. It all helps manage this complicated sleigh that packs a 496 horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, mild hybrid system that contributes 21 horsepower, standard all-wheel-drive and air suspension with forward-scanning stereo cameras to erase rough roads.
Rear steering shrinks its size, while lane-centering steering and active lane change keep it on-path. There’s even a chauffeur mode with gentler throttle response, as not to disturb the big one.
You’ll need Santa’s AmEx Black Card to tote the $180,000 note when cars start rolling out next summer.
Whichever car you choose, I wish you a magical holiday season. Send me your thoughts at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow me on YouTube @AutoCasey.