There’s a decidedly worn out saying claiming it’s better to burn out than to fade away. Pontiac, arguably the most lamented casualty of GM’s bankruptcy, was mercifully able to go out with a bang by way of the slick G8 sedan (and, to a lesser extent, the Solstice roadster and good-luck-finding-one coupe). Basically a re-grilled, left-hand-drive version of Australia’s popular Holden Commodore, the G8 was a mid- to full-size, rear-drive sedan offered with a choice of a V6 or two V8s, though only the top V8 – the 6.2L LS3 in the GXP – was available with a stick. Nevertheless, the G8 was brilliant, but with the demise of Pontiac, it was gone from these shores almost as soon as it arrived.
However, this same basic car is still available in other parts of the world. One of those parts is Great Britain, where the Commodore is known as the Vauxhall VXR8. But the revised 2011 edition isn’t just based on any ol’ Commodore; oh no, the new VXR8 is a right cracking motor, gov’nah.
For the last couple of years, CAR magazine has challenged designers from major auto manufacturers to come up with designs that upgrade Santa’s sleigh to the toy-delivery vehicle of tomorrow. In 2008, the likes of Bentley, Ford, Nissan and Rolls-Royce all delivered spectacular creations. This year Vauxhall, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Audi and Land Rover came through with some crazy cool concepts.
Land Rover has created transportation for Kris Kringle that follows their brand aesthetic remarkably well. The particle accelerator propulsion system is a nice touch and we dig the optional CRS (Chimney Recognition Software) technology. But we’re not sure how Santa is supposed to see over the big dome of the reindeer in front of him and it looks like every time the animal swivels its head, it would skewer ole Saint Nicholas, but these are just minor quibbles.