Thanks fo ryour thoughts.
Most of those Carrera pieces come at the price of no longer being analog compatibility if I understand correctly.
I never understood why they have so many straight lane changes except that it does force you to drive in a more tactical manner because you could get "stuck" in one lane.
You could of course disable half of a straight lane change (XLC) for the same effect but you may have trouble getting people to realize the flippers are disabled.
I wondered about the straight analog lane crossovers when I got back into slot cars a while ago. Nearly all track manufacturers have them in straights. Then I "twigged": Like so many things in the Scalextric catalog they realized that have a switch in the straight was pretty much a guarantee for massive crashes. By putting it in a curve where you have to slow down anyway you reduce that risk. That is part of the reasoning why the old straight lane chicane requires 3 whole straights to complete: You need to give people a chance to slow down. Also the person racing from outside to in is actually on the "racing line" and it looks more realistic.
All manufacturers that heavily support clubs (mostly of Spanish persuasion) have curved analog lane crossovers. Even the Germans have that in their Go line.
Apart from the lack of analog compatibility I vaguely remember there being other reasons why the curves lane changers (CLC) won't be back (apart from the cost) any time soon. The brain is night firing on all cylinders but there was a good reason for it.
The narrow (chicanes) will never work with ARC PRO as it needs to keep the lanes seperate for analog compatibility. Making a "digital only" version of ARC PRO though would be cost prohibitive.
You could get darn close though with the C8222 adapters and the classic straight lane and R2 curve chicanes. The Spanish facsimile is sometimes .2 mm deeper than the Hornby Classic original but still shallower than Sport. I have sometimes dreamt of just cutting the Classic track along the slot and gluing or affixing the track to thin wood or stable plastic to get the guide depth.
To be honest though, I have not met many racers who like the cars getting that close. This is again what I be bold enough to say the modern Sport "squeeze" track is genius in that the cars get close enough to touch but not so close as to cause horrific crashes. Narrower cars can even go through side by side but the visual appeal is them getting close.
Personally I would like an R2 or even R3 version of the "squeeze/hairpin" R1.
At the end of the day the major inhibitor is cost. With Scalextric finally seeing some light we have to give them some time. The old adage is still true today: Good, Fast, Cheap: You can only have 2. If we want good pieces at a good price we will have to wait.
Without going to far down the politics rabbit hole with a a "no-deal" Brexit a real possibility any major investment or export is going to have to wait until the 51.89% get what they asked for. We all want them to be successful nonetheless.
As far as lack of different digital lane changers causing a lack of appeal: I would like to see hard evidence to prove that. I would argue most clubs are analog or analog plus digital. Very few are digital only (based on the lists of Clubs at SlotForum which is of course not exhaustive)
Digital racing is very different from analog and in many cases few people do both (I do both, but all very, very, poorly: My motto "Someone has to be last!") when you add in simulations and pitting I think having only XLCs is sufficient.
As you say yourself: If you want something more challenging there is a community to support you.