Real Mario Karts in the Wild, You May Even Win One

(Click to see fullsize image)

Ever play Mario Kart and say to yourself “damn, I wish I could drive that in real life.” Well, if you’re a Gamestop PowerUp Rewards member, you may get the chance to make that into a reality. Nintendo and West Coast Customs (the guys who fix up cars from the MTV show Pimp My Ride) worked together to build the actual Mario karts, two of them, that really work. Or, if not, then you may be lucky enough to at least touch or sit in one at the LA Auto Show this and next week. Check out the pictures taken at the LA Auto Show inside.

The guys at West Coast Customs built two karts, the Mario Standard Kart and Luigi Bumble V. I’m more of a motorcycle Mario Kart player, but these are still damn awesome.

Reggie Fils-Aime was on-hand to reveal both Mario Kart 7 and the real karts in a press conference, which unfortunately we missed. However, Reggie was spotted later on shooting a video for the Nintendo Fanclub Facebook page (I subsequently stopped filming when I learned that, but we did catch the big man in the relatively-small kart. Let’s just say these aren’t made for tall people). As Nintendo spokespeople told me outside of the show floor, the karts are actually the first vehicles presented at the show floor that can actually fly in the air and drive underwater*.

The karts themselves weren’t being driven at the show, but you will be able to watch them in full use on TV on an episode of  Inside West Coast Customs in early 2012. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the crew in the body shop loves Mario and Mario Kart, and that at least some of them are living the dream building the first real driveable karts.

It was really surprising to see Reggie fit in the car. Christen barely fit in himself, and he’s just over 6′. Reggie didn’t exactly slide out though, as you may imagine.

Mario Kart 7 releases for the Nintendo 3DS on December 4th.

*”Note that while the gliders and propellers on the in-game go-karts let players soar through the air or drive underwater, these real-life karts do not. Trust us on this one.” – Nintendo Press Release

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.

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