Tesla tried getting Mario Kart into its cars, but Nintendo refused, Musk says

Mario Kart

Tesla owners, you might have gotten excruciatingly close to getting to play Mario Kart inside your electric cars, according to Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk.

When asked by a fan on Twitter about whether Tesla could integrate a version of Mario Kart into its dashboard tablets for drivers to play while charging their vehicles, Musk simply replied, “We tried. Nintendo won’t license it to us.”

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It’s impossible to know how early in discussions Nintendo spiked (get it?) the idea, but either way, we got as close to getting Mario Kart in Tesla cars as it took for the company to refuse, according to Musk.

While Nintendo has been previously rather chummy with car manufacturers - far enough to include literal Mercedes-Benz-inspired karts in the latest Mario Kart game - the company has protected the use of the Mario Kart brand otherwise, often with litigation.

Earlier this year, Nintendo put the kibosh on a real-life Mario Kart attraction – using real go-karts on Tokyo city streets – in Japan. Meanwhile, the company has licensed its Mario Kart brand to Mattel for a line of Hot Wheels toys adorned with the characters.

“We have nothing to announce on this topic," Nintendo of America tells us in an email statement.

So, only Nintendo, and possibly Tesla, knows why the licensing attempt never got anywhere.

Unless Nintendo comes around, Tesla owners, you’re stuck with either bringing your Nintendo Switch along for the ride or holding out until the Mario Kart Tour mobile game in development debuts next year.


Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.