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"From this moment, everything will change."

Cars 3 is Pixar's eighteenth feature film, and the second sequel to the 2006 and 2011 films Cars and Cars 2, released on June 16, 2017. It was directed by Brian Fee.


Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!

In May 2016, Fee gave the first details regarding the plot: the film sees Lightning McQueen, now a veteran in the racing world, facing the rise of a new generation of race cars epitomized by Jackson Storm. Following a defeat to Jackson Storm, Lightning enlists the help of a new trainee, Cruz Ramirez, a sleek female race car, to prepare him for the the Florida 500, in the hope that he can give a game-changing performance. Fee elaborated: "Think of where he'd be in his career now in real time. [Lightning] is not an old man, but he's one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire."[1]


Lightning McQueen, now a seven-time Piston Cup champion, is preparing for a big race, when suddenly Mater visits him in his trailer, keeping him company. Lightning, who appreciate his friend for the company, then asks Mater to give him some quiet. Mater leaves and Lightning soon races with his rivals Bobby Swift and Cal Weathers. One day, a rookie named Jackson Storm, who is part of a new generation of race cars who use the latest technology to run faster than veteran racers, comes from nowhere and beats him. After a few more races, most of the other veterans (including Bobby and Cal) have either retired or dismissed by their sponsors to make way for the Next Gens. On the last lap of the final race of the season, Lightning has the lead, but Storm, Danny Swervez and Chase Racelott catch up and overtake him. Lightning tries to catch up, but pushes himself so hard that he spins out of control, has one of tires blown out, and collides with the wall, launching him into a rollover crash, leaving him seriously injured.

Four months later, Lightning is recovering back in Radiator Springs, but is afraid he might never be able to race again. Lightning has mostly been watching a video of the last race of his late mentor Doc Hudson. Lightning tells his girlfriend Sally that he doesn't want to be forced into retiring, like Doc, but also that he can't race like before. She tells him to try something new, and Lightning decides to start training again.

Lightning calls Rusty and Dusty, the CEOs of Rust-Eze, saying that he wants to train like Jackson Storm, and they inform him that they're opening the new Rust-eze Racing Center. Lightning travels there, only for Rusty and Dusty to tell him that in order to pay for the facility, they sold Rust-eze to a car named Sterling, who introduces him to his trainer, Cruz Ramirez, who is a big fan of him. After Lightning accidentally destroys a simulator, Sterling then tells Lightning in his office that his racing days are ending, and that in order to provide Sterling with revenue, he will be selling legacy merchandise instead. Lightning, annoyed at the realization that Sterling cares more about him as a brand than a racer, asks for one more race, and makes a deal with Sterling: if Lightning wins, he gets to decide when he's done racing, otherwise he'll retire and sell Sterling's merchandise. Sterling agrees to Lightning's deal, and lets him train at Fireball Beach with the help of Cruz.

Lightning is able to train on the beach and help Cruz become experienced as well, but his top speed is 198 mph, which is still slower than Storm. Lightning sees a sign for a dirt track known as Thunder Hollow and decides to do more difficult training there. At the speedway, Lightning (disguised as Chester Whipplefilter to avoid paparazzi) comes upon the Crazy Eight Demolition Derby and he and Cruz are joined by a huge school bus named Miss Fritter. The derby starts and after Lightning challenges Miss Fritter to avoid hitting Cruz, she becomes the last undamaged car. Because of this, Cruz is declared the winner and Lightning becomes upset that he failed to win. Not only that, Cruz accidentally trips over a water truck that blasts water on Lightning, blowing his cover and revealing his identity to the crowd.

While leaving Thunder Hollow, Lightning lashes out at Cruz, angrily yelling at her that instead of making progress in being faster than Storm, he is too busy taking care of her. And in the process, he deliberately breaks her trophy. Angry, Cruz commands Mack to pull over. Cruz says she wanted to become a racer her whole life because of him, but when she got to her first race, she saw that all of the other cars looked stronger, and therefore left. Cruz then leaves Lightning and Mack on her own.

Lightning sees a report on TV that Storm set a new record for the fastest lap in a race. He calls up Mater to get some good advice and he replies that Doc's trainer would know the most about racing. Knowing his trainer to be an old truck named Smokey, Lightning persuades Cruz to help look for him. Arriving at Doc's hometown, Thomasville, they come across Smokey and Lightning says he doesn't want to be forced out of the sport he loves like Doc was. Upon hearing a story of one of Doc's races, Lightning remarks that he wishes he could have seen Doc at the happiest part of his life, his racing years. This prompts Smokey to show Lightning a garage containing a whole wall of pictures of himself and Doc together. He tells Lightning that coaching him was the best part of Doc's life and that while he can never be faster than Storm, he can be smarter than him. Lightning participates in a practice race against Cruz, but he still can't catch up to her. After watching footage that shows Doc pulling ahead of another car after drafting, Cruz and Lightning are successfully able to complete the exercises. They perform a final practice race, and Lightning takes the lead down the final stretch. However, he then has a flashback to his crash and loses the race, before heading off with Cruz and Smokey to Florida.

At the race, Lightning lines up in the last position due to missing all qualifiers and he passes the other racers using the skills he learned at the dirt track. However, Sterling asks Cruz to leave because she is merely a trainer, and when a wreck occurs on the track and Lightning pulls into the pits, he decides to have Cruz finish for him in order for her to have a chance at racing, remembering her story about wanting to be a racer. Lightning and his pit crew get Cruz ready to race while Mater distracts Sterling from intervening. While Cruz races, both Smokey and Lightning act as her crew chiefs. After several laps, Cruz pulls up behind the pack and she picks her way between them before pulling right behind Storm on the last lap. Cruz taunts Storm and he says he's not angry. Storm loses his focus and rams her into the wall, but Cruz drives up the wall and flips in the air over Storm in a manner similar to Doc, thereby winning the race. Upon this victory, Sterling immediately offers Cruz to race for him, which she declines, and takes Tex's offer to become the new Dinoco racer instead. After both Lightning and Cruz are declared the winners due to both wearing #95, he says he will continue racing.

Back at Radiator Springs, Cruz (now as Dinoco #51) and Lightning (now as The Fabulous Lightning McQueen, to honor Doc Hudson) learn that Tex has bought Rust-eze from Sterling and taken over their sponsorships. Lightning says that he will take on the role of Cruz's new crew chief, implying that he will "continue racing" through his frequent training with Cruz. They then perform a practice race together using their newfound skills.

In a post-credits scene, Mater has trouble with his smartphone when he tries answering a call.

Voice cast[]


It was previously assumed that Pixar would order a third film in the Cars franchise after the box office and merchandising success of Cars 2. On August 17, 2013, voice actor Michael Wallis (the voice of Sheriff) told radio audiences that Cars 3 would take place on California's Route 99.[10]

At the Disney stockholder meeting on March 18, 2014, Disney CEO Bob Iger first announced that Pixar had begun pre-production on Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2.[11][12]

At the 2015 São Paulo Disney Expo, it was hinted that the film would be released in Brazil in 2018.[13] In an interview John Lasseter did with Autoweek on the occasion of Pixar's 2015 bi-annual Motorama car show, he gave a potential release date of summer 2018 or 2019.[14]

Randy Newman revealed during an interview with The Advertiser in the February of 2016 that he would be the film's composer.[4]

Lasseter later revealed on June 8, 2016, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly's Marc Snetiker, that Doc Hudson, a character from the first film who died before the events of the second film, would be referenced several times in Cars 3.[15]

On November 21, 2016, the first teaser trailer for Cars 3 was released on the Pixar YouTube channel. An extended teaser aired January 9, 2017.[16]

A full trailer was released on April 26,[17][18] and a one-minute sneak peek was revealed at the Radio Disney Music Awards.[19]

A "Rivalry" trailer was released on May 10.[20]

A clip showing Cruz's command assistant Hamilton was released on Lewis Hamilton's social media accounts on May 25.[21][22][23]

Another clip showing McQueen and Storm was released on the Movieclips Trailers YouTube channel on June 6.[24] It was then released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 14,[25] and the Pixar YouTube channel on June 15.

A "The Limit" trailer was released on June 9.[26]

A "My Senior Project" clip was first released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 14.[27]

A "Legacy of 95" featurette was released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 22.

Life-size models of Lightning and Jackson Storm were shown at the 2017 Formula 1 British Grand Prix as part of a promotion by Disney and the Formula One Group to promote the UK release of the film.[28]


Along with original score by Randy Newman, there are rock and pop songs, including "Ride" by ZZ Ward and Gary Clark Jr.[29] The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Original Score Soundtrack were both released on June 16, 2017.[30]

Attached Short Film[]

The short film Lou, directed by Dave Mullins (one of the film's animators), was attached to the theatrical release of Cars 3.

Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool[]

A short called Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool appears in the Cars 3 home video

Cars 3: Driven to Win[]

In January 2017, after it was reopened and bought by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Avalanche Software confirmed a game based on the film.[31] On April 5, 2017, the title of the game was revealed to be Cars 3: Driven to Win, and it was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in North America on June 13,[32][33] Australia on June 14,[34] and Europe on July 14.[35]



Character Poses[]


Concept Art[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Sneak Peek Exclusive Cars 3 New Character Cruz Ramirez
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Cars 3 Production Notes
  3. Disney Studios LA Twitter (9:00 AM - 31 May 2016 Tweet)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Newman on Putin, people, politics, music
  5. Cars 3 | AMC Theatres
  6. https://www.youtube.com/post/Ugkx0H7q-T8Al48qibL4fBwhcAuaQZo-XBzp
  7. https://www.youtube.com/post/UgkxPOcV-W7XPZlRhy11xsASH8BAWzBmXHou
  8. https://www.youtube.com/post/Ugkx9QUN8_nUZ3pVwDvMeZOAmNKsChuTP0Ew
  9. https://www.youtube.com/post/UgkxBPn_CqfvwnxXt1cL-verutjSuWjwFy5l
  10. Michael Wallis confirms there will be a "Cars 3"
  11. Disney Plans Third Cars, The Incredibles 2
  12. Incredibles Animated Sequel
  13. Cars 3 and Incredibles 2 Slated For 2018 and 2019 Release Dates?
  14. Pixar Motorama is the Coolest Car Show You've Never Heard Of
  15. Pixar boss John Lasseter: Cars 3 is 'very emotional,' closer in tone to Cars 1
  16. Cars 3 Trailer Announcement; Full Trailer Next Week
  17. New Cars 3 Teaser; Official Trailer Arrives Tomorrow
  18. Lightning McQueen Faces Retirement In The Full Trailer For Pixar's Cars 3
  19. Cars 3 Disney Channel Sneak-Peek Trailer Airs During The Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMAs)
  20. New Cars 3 Trailer Greases Wheel For Rocky-Like Showdown
  21. Lewis Hamilton on Facebook
  22. Lewis Hamilton on Twitter
  23. Lewis Hamilton on Instagram
  24. Cars 3 Movie Clip - Meet Jackson Storm (2017) | Movieclips Trailers
  25. CARS 3 | Meet Jackson Storm | Official Disney UK
  26. 5 Things We Loved About the New Cars 3 Trailer
  27. CARS 3 | My Senior Project | Official Disney UK
  28. Disney Pixar teams up with Formula 1 to launch Cars 3
  29. Cars 3 Soundtrack First Listen: ZZ Ward & Gary Clark Jr's Energetic Track, "Ride" and Dancing With The Stars Performance
  30. Cars 3 Receives an Impressive Two-Soundtrack Release (Covers, Originals & Score) [UPDATED Track-Listing & Pre-Order]
  31. Disney Infinity dev revived and re-opened by Warner Bros.
  32. Cars 3: Driven to Win Release Date Revealed
  33. Former Disney Infinity Dev's New Game Cars 3: Driven To Win Coming Soon
  34. Cars 3: Driven to Win - EB Games Australia
  35. Cars 3: Driven To Win On Nintendo Switch Is An Argos Exclusive In The UK