Five fun Christmas facts about Santa and his sleigh

- With Christmas just around the corner, here at Hyundai Motor Europe Newsroom we’ve decided to take a look at the science behind Santa and how he managers to deliver all those presents on time.

Have you ever wondered how Santa manages to visit every home on Christmas Eve? Or questioned how he manages to glide through the air on a vehicle powered by reindeer? Here are five fun facts about Santa and his sleigh.

How fast does Santa’s sleigh travel?

With nearly 7 billion people in the world, Santa has a lot of homes to visit in the 36 hours between sunset on Christmas Eve in Australia and dawn on Christmas morning in Alaska – 10 million kilometres in total. To visit every house, he has to move at an average speed of 77 kilometres per second!

Though it’s not quite as fast as Santa’s sleigh, the i30 N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine available with two power outputs: the Standard Package, which delivers 250 PS and accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds; and the Performance Package, where maximum power is boosted to 275 PS, enabling it to reach 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. Both outputs reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h.

The aerodynamics of Santa’s sleigh

You might think Santa’s sleigh is a clunky old wooden toboggan, but the bearded man’s elves have worked hard to ensure its shape generates as little drag as possible. Shapes that are jagged or non-streamlined create a lot of drag, because they cause the flow of air to suddenly change and make the air push up against the object, so Santa’s sleigh features smooth lines and curves so that it can handle supersonic speeds.

Similar methods are used in the production of Hyundai’s cars, as modern design techniques help reduce drag and include a low, smoothly sloping nose to cut through the air. Other aerodynamic features include side windows that are nearly flush with the bodywork, wheel trims with a minimal amount of contours and the elimination of raised gutters around the edges of a car’s roof.

How does Santa navigate his sleigh?

One of the biggest challenges Santa faces is getting to every house in an efficient and sensible way. Thanks to the development of global positioning systems (GPS), he can pinpoint each destination using satellite navigation.

Hyundai’s cars are equipped with a navigation system, and owners of the All-New Kona with Display Audio can use Apple Carplay or Android Auto without purchasing a navigation system. Apple Maps and Google Maps allow drivers to plan their route, much like Santa would, with real-time traffic updates, explore points of interest and even use maps offline on their smart device.

How does Santa deliver all his presents?

In order to deliver every present to children across the planet, Santa needs to pack some serious space into his sleigh. Modern sleighs are like modern station wagons as they combine a sleek bodystyle with ample room inside, ensuring no child goes without their Christmas presents – if they’ve been good, of course.

The i30 Wagon features a tapering roofline and dynamic proportions without compromising on boot space. It boasts 602 litres of space (VDA 211) and 1,650 litres (VDA 214) with the seats folded, and has one of the biggest boots in the segment. It also has additional storage space beneath the boot floor and several compartments.

What’s the technology behind Santa’s sleigh?

Although Santa’s sleigh features a modern GPS system, its on-board technology is remarkably basic, as he relies on the instincts of his trusty reindeer herd to ensure he makes his deliveries on time.

Cars, on the other hand, feature modern technology like cruise control, which use front radars to automatically control the speed of a vehicle, often by maintaining a pace preset by the driver. Models like the Hyundai i30 feature Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) systems that incorporate automatic braking, which allows them to reduce speed or come to a halt if there is a sudden slow down by a vehicle in front.