All for a good Claus: Land Rover builds compact Christmas cabin for Santa

Tiny ‘Christmas cabin’ fits in the back of compact Discovery Sport SUV; ingenious structure measures just 3.5 square metres and can sleep two adults; withstands freezing Lapland temperatures with minimal impact on environment

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 10 Dec 2016 Views icon16394 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Santa's chilly grotto could be consigned to Christmas past thanks to Land Rover's engineers. They have created a cosy cabin that can be transported for a much-needed festive getaway – it fits inside a Land Rover Discovery Sport compact SUV.

The cleverly designed cabin has space for two adults to sleep snugly in North Pole temperatures as low as -20degC. It folds down to fit in the rear of Land Rover's top-selling Discovery Sport, so Santa could even fit it on his sleigh this Christmas.

Land Rover engineers carefully used every bit of the versatile Discovery Sport’s 1,698-litre rear load space to carry the wooden cabin’s components. Even the glovebox, cupholders and door bins were filled with nuts, bolts and festive decorations fit for Santa himself.

Tested in cold climate chamber

The Christmas cabin was tested in Land Rover’s own cold-climate chamber, in which all Land Rovers are subjected to sub-freezing temperatures, by mountaineer and 12-times Everest climber Kenton Cool. It was then transported by Discovery Sport – not sleigh – to its final secret location in the heart of the frozen wilderness.

Kenton Cool said: “There is a growing trend for off-grid living and ‘wilderness cabins’ and only Land Rover could create a ‘go anywhere’ cabin like this. The design is cleverly engineered and incredibly robust, making it perfect for remote locations across the world.”

The Discovery Sport has been on sale for two years, and is Land Rover’s biggest-selling model, with more than 100,000 vehicles sold so far in 2016. Designed for active lifestyles, it features generous luggage capacity, innovative stowage solutions and configurable 5+2 seating. Land Rover prioritised head-, knee- and shoulder-room when designing the vehicle, ensuring excellent interior space in all derivatives thanks to a wheelbase of 2741mm.

Helen Ali, Vehicle Package Team Leader, said: “We wanted to create a Christmas cabin for Santa, in a truly Land Rover way. The spacious and versatile Discovery Sport was perfect for this project. The seats can be folded flat at the push of a button from the load space, which is wide and square and there are plenty of hidden storage spaces like the area under the front cup-holders.

“Building a cabin that utilised all these features was a lot of fun. We could have built this in one of our bigger models, but we wanted to prove just how versatile the baby of the Discovery family truly is.”

Land Rover engineers made a virtual model of the cabin to get the most from every millimetre of space. Then they worked with specialist Danish architects LUMO to build it from sustainable materials. Designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, it rests on 212mm wooden struts that exactly match the Discovery Sport’s ride height.

The cabin shares several features with Discovery models, including an optional tailgate seat on the deck. The wide horizontal door opening is inspired by the vehicle’s full-length panoramic roof and provides epic landscape views. There’s a solar charger on the roof, while lights and a kettle can be connected to the Discovery Sport’s 12V power socket.

Land Rover packaging engineer Muhammed Malik helped design and build the cabin. He said: “Anything that wears the Land Rover badge has to be capable and versatile, with beautiful, simple design. Our cabin also had to be sustainable and easily transportable. We are used to working with VIP clients at Land Rover, but this was definitely one of the most unusual.”

Land Rover says it will be using the cabin over the next few years to support ongoing partnerships and upcoming events, and it will be making appearances through its network of Land Rover Experience centres. 

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