Smiley News Blog

24 Dec

The world’s carmakers design Santa Claus’ sleigh

Bentley-designed Santa’s sleigh 
We reckon Father Christmas is probably a bit of a Bentley guy: he has a large number of miles to cover in speed and in great comfort – and he needs something big and plush to look after all those presents. What better solution than something mixing the design class of a Bentley with the snow-covering ability of a downhill toboggan?

Bentley designers John Paul Gregory imagined a futuristic Santa Azure Sleigh (complete with rifled tailpipes and exposed Bentley Blitzen powerplant), while Yunwoo Jeong turned the Continental GTC cabrio into a sleigh with quad-outrigged headlamps and begoggled Santa. ‘This includes a classic piece of Bentley form and function with Rudolph’s nose providing extra illumination!’

bentley santa sleigh

 bentley designed Santa sleigh

Ford-designed Santa’s sleigh
Blue Oval designers at Dunton in Essex, UK, penned this trio of Ford-inspired sleighs to help fashion Santa’s just-in-time delivery system. It’s a job they’re familiar with, working on successive series of Transit vans in the past – and they’ve put their practical skills to good use on their Ford sleighs.

These sledges are seen through the prism of Ford’s latest ‘kinetic design’ mantra. Just check out the sweptback, Fiesta-style headlamps and the latest Ford grille at ease on Paul Wraith’s red Kuga-style sleigh with pop-out silver snowboards. Simon Collins’ cool white Rudolph model is captured here in our latest spy photos beamed straight from Lapland where it’s terrorising polar bears with its Star Wars-inspired design. And Tony Fox’s Santapod red bullet bears the RS badge denoting that this is the fastest sleigh to be in when airspace gets busy around 24 December.

 ford santa sleigh

 ford designed santa sleigh

 ford sleigh

Nissan-designed Santa’s sleigh
Canadian designer Martin Uhlarik penned Nissan’s sleigh, which dispenses with reindeer altogether and can be used instead in conjunction with a rather faster steed, a Nissan GT-R. It’s quickly apparent that Nissan’s SC01 sledge will have a much greater load capacity than rival designs – and we’d certainly pull over fast if we saw this in our rear-view mirrors.

Uhlarik is project design leader at Nissan’s Paddington design centre in London and was senior exterior designer on the Qashqai+2 and NV200 concept. Before joining Nissan, he worked in the design departments at Skoda and Lotus. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was posted to Lapland next.

nissan santa sleigh

 nissan designed santa sleigh

Rolls-Royce-designed Santa’s sleigh
Today CAR has an unusual scoop on our hands – as we publish the Rolls-Royce sleigh. This amazing artwork was produced exclusively for CAR by Rolls designer Andreas Thurner, who perfectly captures the regal magic of a Rolls-Royce driven by a stately Santa. Just check out the Greek temple-style, architectural front end of the sleigh – and the hints of top-end speedboats in the profile. It’s the indulgent Phantom meets upmarket Sledges R Us.

We think you’ll agree that Santa would be extremely comfortable in this Rolls-Royce of sleighs. So how about it Goodwood? The man has a difficult task, and he needs pampering at this busy time of year. We can think of no more comfortable transport for Father Christmas!

 rolls-royce santa sleigh

 rolls designed santa sleigh

 rolls-royce design

 rolls-royce santa sleigh

 santa sleigh by Rolls-Royce

18 Dec

Miss World 2008 – Wrong Flag Again

miss world 2008

It’s kind of not funny now. We had a few days ago the Russian Miss something contest winner who was holding Russian flag up-side-down so that it looked like Serbian flag. Now again – this time the glorious Miss World 2009 winner Xenia – first thing she made in airport after arriving to Moscow was taking the wrong flag! Though this time journalists corrected her but still there were a few minutes of total fail.

miss world wrong flag

russian miss

16 Dec

Utterly Unconventional Lamps & Lighting Designs

lights main montage

Gone are the days when lighting was a background feature designed to showcase the rest of your home. Now, thanks to material and technological advances such as new forms of affordable, versatile LED lighting, the way you light your home has become just as important as what’s being illuminated. These 20 wildly unconventional examples would hog the limelight in any home.


The natural world is clearly the inspiration for the Arbre branch-like lighting system and the Akiko pendant light. You build the Arbre yourself, fitting its sections together until it’s winding up your wall or across your ceiling in exactly the way you want it to – while the metal and glass Akiko should probably be housed somewhere just out of reach, in case someone’s feeling peckish and tries their luck.


We are generally heavy-handed when it comes to outdoor lighting, hence the problem of light pollution. This gorgeous alternative is the work of Bruce Munro, and is formed of acrylic tubes containing optical fibers – fields and fields of them. The design is currently being showcased at the Eden Project in England, but as soon as it’s an affordable option in the marketplace, expect to see these glowing softly in every garden.


Maybe there’s such a thing as imitating Nature a little too much. The paper and textile Cocoon lampshade from Julie Roberts looks for all the world like it is the remnants of something that scuttles on rather too many legs. If you’re comfortable with feeling like something could leap out from behind the sofa at any moment, it’s a gorgeous centrepiece to any room. Rock Salt lamps will also look strangely familiar to movie buffs, or those familiar with Temples of Doom.


The inspiration for the Cumulus lighting system is obviously the kind of summery day where you lay on your back, watching feathery clouds scud across the sky. Steven Haulenbeek’s method of cloudmaking is to string clusters of white umbrellas together, backlighting them and hanging them upside-down – and as you can see, it works beautifully.


Man’s best friend? That’s the idea behind the Lightmate heated and illuminated body pillow, designed to be hugged and wrapped around the wearer / user. It certainly is a striking design – Trendhunter compared it to a length of intestine – and there’s no denying its practicality, but perhaps something that looks a little less…biological? On aesthetically safer ground is Nicolas Gonzalez Garrido’s Guide Dog Lamp, which lights up when you whistle for it.


This glowing sea of plastic ribs is called the Mobile Lights system. Each LED-studded unit contains solar cells that soak up the sun’s energy during the day and emit it during the evening, hung from the ceiling with tough nylon fishing line. No external power source needed – and the reflection in your windows should look fabulous.

09 Dec

Ripsaw gets a gun. Run.

ripsawYou remember Ripsaw, don’t you? The unmanned, remote control tank that can go from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and reach 80 mph while driving over piles of rubble and lesser UGVs? Well, guess what… Now it’s got a big frikkin’ gun on it.

Ripsaw and its weaponry are independently remotely controllable from two different mobile base stations. In can carry an extra 2000 pounds of payload, too. It’s not armored, but it doesn’t look likely to be stopped by anything short of explosives (not like those are hard to come by, though). If it does get damaged, it’s designed to be cheap and easy to repair. While it’s unquestionably impressive, it remains to be seen whether it’s going to turn into anything field deployable.

03 Dec

Race for Scotland’s $15 Million Marine Energy Prize Begins

Solving our energy crisis requires serious manpower— and serious incentives. That’s why Scotland has launched the $15 million (€10 million) Saltire Prize Challenge to create commercially viable wave or tidal power.


race challenge marine

In order to win the award, teams have to prove out their technology in Scottish waters. The winning team is required to supply sea power for a two year period.

Ocean power is a big deal for Scotland, which has been called the “Saudi Arabia of marine energy”. The country holds a quarter of Europe’s wave power potential.

But while Scotland will certainly reap the majority of the benefits from the contest, other countries with lesser ocean power potential will still be able to make use of the technology— once marine power is economically viable, it will become much more attractive to nations around the world.

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