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The Editorial team puts an automotive spin on four of the world's favourite Christmas characters with some of the best cars we've driven this year.

21 Dec 2017

In this season of giving, we ponder over some of the best cars we have driven this year and four of which are a perfect representation of four beloved Christmas characters who make the season of giving that much more special.

1. To Nigel, the Audi S5 Sportback is as much of a piece of art as the iconic Snowman

The Snowman was a phenomenon in the Middle Ages, built with great skill and thought. At a time of limited means of expression, snow was a gift of art supplies, which rained from the sky. Famous artists including a 19-year old Michelangelo who in 1494 was commissioned by the ruler of Florence to sculpt a snowman in his mansion's courtyard, were some of the early artists who popularised Frosty.

Calm, cool and a work of art, the S5 Sportback is the modern day automotive representation of Frosty
Now, I am no expert on the subject of art but I'm sure many would share my sentiment that like the snowman, a car is a form of kinetic art - a sculpture in motion.

The art of cars goes back to a time before many of us were even born, thanks to designers like Giorgetto Giugiaro who was named Car Designer of the Century in 1999.

Unfortunately, in this modern day, as sports cars are developed to provide more power and aerodynamic downforce, they have gained crazier designs. Think the latest Honda Civic Type R and the Aston Martin Vulcan, for example.

There are, however, a rare few whose beauty lies in simplicity, like the new Audi S5 Sportback. It's a car whose subtly beautiful design meets utmost functionality; a car that melds the curling roofline of a coupe, the four portals of a sedan, and an ingeniously disguised hatch.

The Audi designers have brought together refined shapes and athletically taut surfaces in its design, such as the wave-pattern shoulder line,wraparound front lid with power dome and three-dimensionally modeled Singleframe grille, of which impart emotional elegance. Like Frosty, its an iconic styling that won't ever go out of style.

But the beauty of the S5 Sportback isn't just the success of it as a design exercise either. The soundtrack of its turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 and the way its 349 horses are delivered, too, constitute as art. Depending on how you drive it, the S5 Sportback can be as calm as a wintry Christmas morning or as fierce as a snowstorm.

Oh, and don't even get us started on the work Audi has put into its cabin.

2. Julian believes that this one Bentley will supersede eight reindeers easily

You see that fat man with his arms filled to the brim with tattoos? That's our very own version of Santa Claus. See that beauty of a car beside him? That's Santa's very own reindeer.

Santa's deserved ride this year has to be the Flying Spur, according to Julian
But instead of having eight of them pull a sleigh through the night sky to help the fat man deliver Christmas presents to the nice and the naughty, the Bentley Flying Spur that you see here has eight cylinders that will ensure Santa's tight schedule is loose.

Powered by a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged powerplant, the Bentley is the best choice of transport for Santa Claus. Why not the Rolls-Royce Phantom, you ask?

Well, simply because that's just far too flashy for the man who comes from a charitable organisation.

The Flying Spur, on the other hand, is a humble gentleman's ride, is luxurious is every way you can possible imagine, has copious amounts of room for a man of his size and has 520bhp and 680Nm of twisting force to rush from one place to another without breaking a sweat.

Of course, you could also argue that a car like the Audi RS6 Avant would do well to transport Santa, but that's the kind of car best left for drivers to enjoy, not as a passenger. With all the crazy deliveries he has to do around town and from the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day, he deserves to be chauffeured and pampered.

All these requirements or, pre-requisites if we may, are right up the Bentley Flying Spur's alley. After all, Santa wants the best for us, and the least we can do is to ensure that he gets the best from us, too.

3. Desmond thinks we should give Rudolph a break and use the Mercedes-AMG E 43 Estate instead

What's up with Rudolph and the reindeers man? In this modern day and age, why do we still need a bunch of slave-driven Arctic animals dragging an overweight man in pyjamas across rooftops all across the globe?

Like Rudolf, the E 43 Estate can light the way for all the others in its class to follow
No, we need a more modern way of doing present-delivery. This is 2017 after all, not 1917.

We now have a computer that can comprehensively destroy the Go world champion, we've embraced online shopping like never before (making Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world), and we live in a world where Pokemon Go is a thing. These are modern times, my friend.

So what is our modern Rudolph? Well, it has to be the new Mercedes-AMG E 43 Estate. It'll more than capably do every job Rudolph needs to do.

It's got ample V6 power to pull Santa's fat ass wherever he needs to go, generous boot space to fit all the gifts for children naughty or nice, and 4MATIC all-wheel drive to conquer even the harshest of terrains. But wait, what about the deluge of sport utility vehicle options available? Or perhaps something more humble like the Volvo V90 Cross Country?

Yes, if this were any other reindeer then sure. But Rudolph isn't any ordinary reindeer. He's unique, head of the pack, and has got to stand out and light the way. With the E 43's sleek and handsome looks, boisterous noise and unique standing, it'll light the way for all the others to follow. Also, it helps that with 396bhp and 520Nm of torque, it'll easily be always at the front of the pack.

So yes, it's time we gave Rudolph and his reindeers a modern update. He could hardly do better than with the Mercdes-AMG E 43 Estate. Now dear Rudolph, please make sure there's one of this on my doorstep come this Christmas Day.

4. Anthony feels Santa's little helpers deserve a little credit

The obese old man and red-nosed furball always get all the credit during the festive season. Everyone's so hung up on leaving milk and cookies out for Santa. But what about the little guys? The ones who make and wrap your presents in the freezing Arctic.

While the Golf GTI may not be able to maintain the pace of the Flying Spur and the E 43 Estate, it will make even the shortest of trips some of the peppiest ever
These are the unsung heroes, without whom there wouldn't even be a Christmas to celebrate.

Christmas elves are peppy, energetic little balls of fun. They run around all perky and cheery, happy to help their boss with the little things. And they always seem to walk with a pep in their step.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI epitomises the Christmas elf in every respect.

It's perky, energetic and full of life. It'll zip around Santa's workshop effortlessly, thanks to its compact footprint and lightning-quick reflexes, a 380-litre boot that allows it to haul presents of various sizes, as well as 227bhp and 350Nm of torque coming from a peppy 2.0-litre EA888 engine.

The GTI may not be able to keep pace with Santa and Rudolph, but that doesn't matter since it doesn't need to travel around the world in a single night.

It does, however, feel right at home in Santa's workshop, promising a ball of a time and always raring to go with a smile on its face.

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