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A Bombardier Santa Car concept - the vehicle has one large seat in the front, and a large cargo area behind the front seat to store gifts and luggage.

Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The SantaCar is a special convertible concept created for Christmas. It retains some of the same design features of Old St. Nick's sled, but it uses existing technology – you won't find any rocket engines in it. Part of the inspiration for the design is drawn from the Rally Fighter by Local Motors, an innovative auto maker based in Arizona.

How it works

The SantaCar is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell stack similar to the Honda Clarity. The vehicle would be equipped with a 200-horsepower electric motor. It would already be quiet, but it will also be fitted with a noise-cancellation system. Children would never hear it coming up the driveway. The car is outfitted with narrow, oversized wheels mounted on aggressive snow tires. Santa could replace those tires with four motorized tracks, enabling him to operate in deeper snow, and to cut across vast open fields.

The SantaCar has a convertible rooftop that deploys at the touch of a button, to help protect Santa when he drives really fast on snow-covered roads. It will also keep him cool when he's driving in more tropical climates.

The vehicle has one large seat in the front – technically there is usually only one driver – and a large cargo area behind the front seat to store gifts and luggage. The trunk looks a little like that of an El Camino, and it can carry more than 450 kilograms of presents. At the back of the car, there is a tailgate door to make loading and unloading those gifts easier.

What it's used for

Santa will no doubt deploy his special car to deliver gifts on Christmas morning, but he could also use it for visits with friends or just to drive around his village. The rear cargo area can be outfitted with two extra seats, any time he feels like taking some kids for a ride.

The SantaCar images were created by Sebastian Campos Möller, who owns a design studio in Mexico and specializes in furniture, transportation, product development and design.

Charles Bombardier is a member of the family that owns Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which are in the business of designing and manufacturing vehicles. Mr. Bombardier left BRP in 2006 to work on his own ventures, and in March, 2013 he began to create his own concept vehicles and publish them on his website.

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