Mario_Kart_8_Mercedes-Benz_001The Mario Kart game franchise is to feature real cars for the first time in a new association with Mercedes-Benz. 

Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Wii U will offer three Mercedes-Benz cars for free download: the 1930s Silver Arrow, 1950s 300 SL Roadster and a modern Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Yes, real cars, in Mario Kart. Well, what do you think of this? Let us know below.

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Mercedes-Benz will also launch the ‘Mercedes Cup’ online challenge so worldwide Mario Kart 8 players can race against one another, presumably for prizes.

Mario Kart 8 was initially launched on 30 May 2014, 22 years after Mario Kart originally debuted. Since then, more than 100 million copies have been sold and, says the firm, Mario himself is the world’s best-known video game icon.

The marketing appeal of a partnership is obvious.

Mercedes-Benz: getting down with the kids, yo

“Video and computer games are widespread throughout the world, and have a large fan community,” said Dr. Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Comms at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“With our presence in blockbuster games such as Mario Kart 8 we approach to modern focus groups and are achieving excellent results in making our brand more youthful.

“We are particularly proud of the fact that we are the first automobile brand to be represented with real vehicles in Mario Kart 8.”

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It’s the firm’s excitement (and potential marketing opportunities) that led to it devising the Mercedes Cup, which will run from 27 August, when the three cars are released for download, until 23 September.

The car maker said players will have the ability to upload highlights to Mario Kart TV – but didn’t confirm if any winners will, say, get a free Mercedes-Benz GLA. We certainly hope so (we’re assuming a 300 SL prize car would be a step too far).