I just tried a crazy setting today : Hard AI, Wild Speed, 8 laps, and destroyable vehicles.
The result was very challenging - it's not only about racing the fastest, it's also about staying alive.
Instead of driving the fastest possible, you drive the safest possible to avoid any mines, you don't take the lead when you don't have a shield, but you gotta drive fast too because you have the privilege of being a real mine dropper when you're first..
My idea would be basically a mix between this setting, and Elimination.
The number of laps is infinite, the vehicles are destroyable. The goal is to last the longest possible (and so, blast your opponents until you're the only one left).
In addition to this, whenever you're last, a counter of 30 seconds start. This counter decreases of 1 per second when you're last - it increases of 0.5 per second when you're not last. When this counter reaches 0, your vehicle explodes.
To win such a mode will require both speed (you have an advantage when you're out of the pack - you get all the power-ups, and are only hit by assassins), and carefulness. You will pay attention to your power-ups more than ever, it might even become strategic at some point.
What are your thoughts on a mode like this ?