Mario Kart 8 200cc
The 200cc mode in action during the Nintendo Direct broadcast.Nintendo

Nintendo have announced that Mario Kart 8 will soon be getting faster, more difficult 200 cc races for all its tracks as part of a free update. The news formed part of their Nintendo Direct broadcast held on 1 April.

The faster mode will up the ante over 150 cc races, which had been the most difficult in any Mario Kart game to date. The new speedier class of kart also brings the game closer to the F-Zero inspirations it has worn of its sleeve since its launch last summer.

On 23 April a free update will bring the 200 cc option to all owners of Mario Kart 8, the same date as the game's second batch of DLC - which was also detailed during the Nintendo Direct by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata - is released.

That second batch of DLC is Animal Crossing themed and includes three new racers, four new vehicles and eight courses which will change with the seasons.

In a press release Nintendo said: "The fastest class ever in the history of Mario Kart adds a whole new dimension of challenge to the game, even for the most seasoned series veterans." Truer words have never been spoken, Rainbow Road certainly just got a lot more interesting!

The 23 April free update will also add support for nine more Amiibo characters: Wario, Pac-Man, Olimar, Bowser, Sonic, Toad, Villager, Rosalina and Mega Man. Tapping an Amiibo onto the GamePad will unlock new outfits for your Mii racer in the game.