The next version of Mario Kart now has a release date of April 10th in Japan. At a price of 5800 Yen (US$54), it'll be packaged together with a steering wheel accessory for fitting the Wiimote in.
On the game side of things, there will be new vehicles to race in with new moves such as doing tricks in mid-air to dash. There's a total of 32 tracks, half new and half remakes. The same will be for the 10 battle stages that will be available.
The 4 available cups will be comprised of four tracks each; Shell and Banana Cups will use remade tracks while the Mushroom and Flower Cups will use all new tracks.
However, I'm sure the online features will be the most exciting aspect of the game because not only do the races support up to 12 players, there is also a dedicated "Mario Kart Channel". Through the channel you'll be able to join the online leaderboard, download ghost data for the time attack mode and take part in the occasionally held tournaments. Of course, you will also be able to use your Mii.
When playing online, you'll be able to choose to play local, friends only or worldwide just like the DS game. Or you can always have a four player split screen in your own home.
Now the question is when will the Western world be getting this? Since there's a worldwide option when playing online, I'm thinking the release dates will be very close but we'll see. It's going to be a lot of fun unless all people do is spend time "snaking" their way to the finish line.