This morning, SEGA announced the return of everyone's favorite blue hedgehog in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. 

Sonic and friends will race their way across land, air and water yet again in SEGA's newest racing thriller.

If you're familiar with the original Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing, you know that this isn't your typical racing game. Not only will you race through the three different terrains, but you'll do so in the same transforming super-vehicle. The transition between them looks awesome, to say the least.

In the newest version of the game, you can expect to see all your favorite characters like Sonic, Dr Eggman and AiAi, along with some all new members of the gang including Gilius Thunderhead of Golden Axe and Vyse of Skies of Arcadia. Each character has their own unique way to transform their vehicle and interact with the environment. Speaking of the game's environment, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will offer all new terrains ready for you dominate.

The development of this game really seems to be based on the success of its predecessor. David Coreles, Global Sonic Brand Director (yeah, Sonic has his own brand director) had this to say:

"Given the fantastic feedback we received from critics and consumers alike for the first game, we really wanted to push the boundaries on our follow up game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed."

Along with the new characters and game environments, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will see an all new mechanic that allows your All-Star bar to power up faster based on the risk and style you race with. New to the game will also be a brand new fair weapon system, allowing all projectiles coming your way to be either blocked or evaded, making for a more balanced race.

If you can't wait to get your hands on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed you'll be pleased to hear that the game is expected to drop in late 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.

[via Sega]