The Fire Whirl takes the form of a fiery tornado that is launched by the user, both as an icon and on the tracks.
In gameplay, the Fire Whirl can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Blaze. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Fire Whirl if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Fire Whirl by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. When used, the user sets loose the Fire Whirl which travels down the lane it was deployed on in front of the user. As this power-up moves forward, the Fire Whirl will pass through any obstacle and mow through any rival character until it wears off. Rival characters that make contact with the Fire Whirl will take damage, causing them to lose Rings and slow down momentarily. To avoid the Fire Whirl, the playable character has to step out of its lane.
The Fire Whirl can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 6 and 12 respectively. For each upgrade, the player will get the chance to obtain more Fire Whirls to use in the Projectile Item slot from a single Item Box; at level 6, there is a chance of getting two Fire Whirls, and at level 12, there is a chance of getting three Fire Whirls.