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Nintendo x West Coast Customs Life-Size Mario Karts @ LA Auto Show

Just caught wind of this via Hypebeast and the Autoblog. I wanted to go to the LA Auto Show purely for this exhibit since I'm a huge Mario Kart fan.

Nintendo recently tapped well-known automotive phenomenon West Coast Customs to create life-size models of two signature Mario Karts from the upcoming Mario Kart 7 video for the Nintendo 3DS system.

Nintendo has taught millions of underage kids to drive, thanks to its immensely popular handheld Mario Kart video game. The driving routes are all virtual – thankfully – as they include not only unexpected sheer cliffs, but also driving under the water while evading baddies.

Selecting two prominent fixtures from the forthcoming video game, West Coast Customs was commissioned to bring to life both the Mario and Luigi models. The two fully functioning electronic vehicles were revealed today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where attendees were also given the chance to sample the Mario Kart 7 game prior to its official December 4th release date. In addition to the auto show preview, an episode of the 2012 Inside West Coast Customs television series will highlight the collaborative process between West Coast Customs and Nintendo.

The detail on the full-size working models is... well... interesting. Mario's kart appears to be front-wheel drive, with 18-inch wheels on the rear. Noted for its Super Glider option for cliff jumping, the attachment is mounted prominently overhead. Luigi's kart, decked-out with 16-inch wheels and disc brakes, is also front-wheel drive.