The world’s largest automotive manufacturer will begin offering hot, customized rides to the U.S. consumer for under $25. Mattel, which produces more Hot Wheels cars than any "full sized" carmaker, today announced the retail introduction of its Hot Wheels Whips collection, a fresh new line of die-cast cars inspired by the nation’s hottest custom car influencers — Team Baurtwell, 310 Motoring and West Coast Customs. Certain to be the hottest cars in the 2004 Hot Wheels adult collection, these vehicles are designed to reflect what’s on trend in car culture today. “Whips,” the common slang name for customized cars inspired by urban-influenced trends and styles, are featured on such TV shows as MTV’s “Cribs” and Spike TV’s “Rides,” highlighting the “living large” lifestyle of many of today’s leading musicians, athletes and actors. Embodying all the features of the hottest “Whips” on the street, Hot Wheels and its partners created a line of exotic European and classic American cars that feature huge rims, premium paint jobs and luxurious interiors. The Hot Wheels Whips lineup includes vehicles to reflect authentic automotive designs developed by Team Baurtwell, 310 Motoring and West Coast Customs for their clientele. Ranging in styles from luxurious to sporty, the Whips line reflects a variety of dub cars that auto buffs and music fans alike will find appealing. Vehicles in the Whips line include a Lamborghini Murcielago, 360 Ferrari Spider, 1966 Pontiac GTO and Mercedes G-Wagon. Whips are available now nationwide in both 1:64 and 1:18 scale die-cast versions for approximate retail prices of $3.99 U.S. and $24.99 U.S., respectively. “Hot Wheels is privileged to work with companies like Team Baurtwell, 310 Motoring and West Coast Customs, who give their high-end clientele breakthrough custom designs,” said John Coyne, director, Hot Wheels marketing. “At Hot Wheels(R) we make it a priority to be on the cutting-edge of car culture and lifestyle trends, so that we are able to bring die-cast versions of what’s hot on the street today right into the hands of the next generation of car enthusiasts.” Hot Wheel will add more flash to the Whips collection with the special 1:18 scale Whips XXL line. These vehicles have functioning interior and exterior lights, working music (including an MP3 plug-in that will work with the die-cast car’s speakers) and an additional “super” feature that is specific to each type of Whip relevant to the lifestyle the particular car represents (e.g., air bag suspension in the 1965 Chevrolet Impala, drop down DVD screens in the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and bouncing speakers in the Acura RSX Tuner). The 1:18 Whips XXL lineup will be available nationwide in August for an approximate retail price of $29.99 U.S. each.