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Mario Kart meets reality: real cars get video game makeovers

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, released in October 2020, has flipped the ever-popular game series on its head, mixing gaming and reality through a remote-controlled car and camera that links to your TV.

So, with Nintendo bringing Mario Kart into the real world, we decided to go one step further. We’ve modified existing motors so that they’re track ready for the main man and his fellow racers.

Mario – Ferrari SF90

As an Italian with a love for red, there was only ever one option for the eponymous character – a Ferrari. And bringing him up to speed with the latest trends, it was only right to go with the 1,000bhp SF90 hybrid.

We’ve swapped out the Prancing Horse badge for a Mario Star and also given a nod to his flat cap with a more pronounced lip above the taillights. Performance wise, his SF90’s upgraded with racing bodykit, wheels and exhausts.

Bowser – Ford Ranger Raptor

As Mario’s main enemy and one of the universe’s larger characters, there are few cars that match Bowser as well as the Ford Ranger Raptor, a two-ton pickup with a range-topping diesel engine – perfect for roughing up the competitors.

Bowser’s model gets a grille guard and studded alloys, inspired by his armbands, for shunting opponents, and a custom paintjob. The wing mirrors are also removed, as we reckon he isn’t one for looking over his shoulder.

Princess Peach - Rolls Royce Dawn Convertible

Being a royal, Princess Peach deserves a stately real-life ride, and as Nintendo’s answer to Lady Penelope, the only real choice is a Rolls-Royce. We’ve picked the RR Dawn convertible, a droptop as comfortable at a cruise as it is on the North side of 100mph.

Peach’s upgrades include Formula One-spec wheels, side exhausts and of course dignitary bonnet flags, if the pink colour scheme and huge Rolls grille didn’t already give it away.

Donkey Kong – Land Rover Defender

Deserving of his home in the jungles of Donkey Kong Island, DK gets the new Land Rover Defender. On the style front, it gets upgraded Mario Kart-esque rims and Donkey Kong lettering across the front end, but it’s the structural changes that could give him an edge on the track.

We’ve removed the roof and converted it into a pickup, complete with barrels to fling at opponents – a key feature of the 50-plus games that Kong’s featured in.

Toad – Smart ForTwo Cabrio

Toad, one of Mario Kart’s smallest racers, would surely opt for a Smart car. For its kart-like appearance, it’s the ForTwo Cabrio, upgraded with a racier bodykit, vertical exhausts and his red, white and blue theme.

You might question his chances on the track, with the smallest of the six cars, but Toad’s size affords him better acceleration and handling than the competition.

The more we look at these, the more we’re wishing they were genuine brochure options.

Luigi - Tesla Model 3

For Mario’s sidekick Luigi, it’s a car as green as he is – in style and substance. The Tesla Model 3 is the only all-electric model on our starting grid, but don’t think it’s at a disadvantage; even the ‘standard’ Model 3 does 0-60mph in only 5.3 seconds.

Luigi, however, has the Performance upgrade, shaving more than two seconds off that – enough to trump even Peach’s 6.6-litre Rolls-Royce. On top of the green-blue colour scheme, he gets a racing bodykit and moustache-inspired grille upgrade.

For more in the way of blog features, news and comment, keep an eye on the Select news page.

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Sunday, 29/05/2022