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CARS 2 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Pixar CEO and Cars Director John Lasseter looks tired. For the last eight hours, he's been engaged in interviews and fielding inane questions from an assortment of entertainment, foreign and automotive press. But as soon as I ask about his inspiration for CARS 2, his eyes light up. "I just love cars," he starts off, and then begins describing the various locales he visited while doing promotion for the 2006 original, all of which would later influence the sequel.

That's just one of several clear lines of inspiration between CARS and CARS 2. The original came about after Lasseter and his family took a roadtrip across the U.S. while towing a 1962 Ford Falcon. The kids named the Falcon "Arnold" and the RV "Betty."

For the sequel – and Lasseter's overdue return to the director's chair – he and his team decided to take the crew from Radiator Springs global. That includes stop-offs in Japan, Italy and Great Britain to compete in the fictionalized World Grand Prix, pitting racers of all disciplines against each other on circuits inspired by their countries of origin. Underlying all that racing action is a classic spy caper and, after viewing 26 minutes of footage, a slightly darker side to the world of Cars.

Continue reading For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of Cars 2...

Fair Warning: We'll be discussing a few plot points and several characters after the jump, and while there aren't any serious spoilers, if you want to enter the theater in a blissful state of ignorance, stop here.


  • CARS 2: (L-R) Finn McMissile, Mater, Lightning McQueen

  • CARS 2: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson)

  • CARS 2: Holley Shiftwell (voice by Emily Mortimer)

  • CARS 2

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Holley Shiftwell, Finn McMissile, Mater

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Lightning McQueen, Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore, Sarge

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Grem (voice by Joe Mantegna), Acer (voice by Peter Jacobson)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Mater (voice by Larry the Cable Guy), Lightning McQueen (voice by Owen Wilson)

  • CARS 2: Mater (voice by Larry the Cable Guy)

  • CARS 2: Professor Z (voiced by Thomas Kretschmann)

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)


  • "CARS 2" Mater (voice by Larry The Cable Guy) ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  • "CARS 2" Lightning McQueen (voice by Owen Wilson) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Finn McMissile
  • Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it’s his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes.. Finn’s design is sleek and timeless, but he’s also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise.

  • Finn McMissile
  • Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it’s his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes.. Finn’s design is sleek and timeless, but he’s also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise.

  • Holley Shiftwell
  • Holley Shiftwell is a beautiful young British desk agent, turned spy-in-training who’s stationed in Tokyo. Well-educated and sharp, she knows every trick in the book—or rather, she relies on every trick in the spy manual. She’s armed with the latest state-of-the-art spy equipment imaginable, from hidden cameras and concealed weapons to a telescoping utility arm and a holographic pop-up display. Holley is a highly motivated agent, but is fresh out of the academy, so her experience is based on lessons learned in school rather than real-life situations. When seasoned international spy Finn McMissile requires Holley’s technical expertise for his latest top-secret field operation, she finds herself pursuing a rendezvous with the most unlikely candidate—Mater, an innocent caught up in the intrigue, who is mesmerized by the beauty of his newest friend.

  • Rod "Torque" Redline (voice of Bruce Campbell)
  • Rod "Torque" Redline is considered by many as the greatest American spy in the world. Recruited after the Cold War for both his brains and brawn, Torque is a tough-as-nails Detroit muscle car with a mastery of disguises. In his latest deep-cover operation, he obtained vital information about the plot to sabotage the World Grand Prix. So Rod plans a rendezvous with his British counterparts to share his discoveries at the World Grand Prix welcome reception in Tokyo, Japan. But with the bad guys hot on his tailpipe, Rod is forced to ditch the intel early and with the first party guest he sees – a rusty American tow truck named Mater.

  • CARS 2 Siddeley (voice by Jason Isaacs)

  • "CARS 2" Miles Axlerod (voice by Eddie Izzard) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Professor Z
  • Professor Z, aka “The Professor” (voice of Thomas Kretschmann)

  • Grem
  • Grem is a dented, rusty orange AMC Gremlin. After years of being dismissed for his design, even being called a “lemon,” Grem has a big chip on his fender that has led him to the underworld of international espionage. As a henchman for a villainous boss Professor Z, Grem and his partner-in-crime Acer are trying to sabotage the World Grand Prix and the famous race cars competing in it. When Grem and Acer mistake Mater for an American agent with important top-secret information, the ruthless lemons set out on a round-the-globe chase to stop Mater from foiling their evil scheme.

  • Acer
  • Acer has always felt like an outcast in the car world. The beat-up green AMC Pacer joined forces with fellow “lemon” cars as henchmen for the devious Professor Z, whose clandestine mission is to wreak havoc at the highly visible World Grand Prix. Acer must hunt down the American and British secret agents who’ve stolen crucial information about Professor Z’s underhanded plot—his primary target just happens to be Mater, who’s been mistaken for a spy. Acer tries very hard to be a tough guy, but he’s over-eager compared to his no-nonsense accomplice Grem.

  • Francesco Bernoulli
  • Francesco Bernoulli grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn. He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number. As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix, which also makes him McQueen’s chief rival.

  • Shu Todoroki
  • Shu Todoroki is a Le Motor Prototype racer representing Japan and bearing #7 in the World Grand Prix. Shu was raised at the base of the active Mount Asama volcano in Japan, and soon became a champion on the Suzuka Circuit. His sleek design sports a fiery red Ka-Riu dragon, which Shu borrowed from Japanese legend because he relates to the small, yet fierce nature of the dragon. His team legacy is filled with victories – his coach, a Mazda, was the only Japanese car to ever win at Le Mans – and Shu hopes to prove his champion-level racing on the international stage of the World Grand Prix.

  • "CARS 2" Nigel Gearsley �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Raoul ÇaRoule
  • Known as the “World’s Greatest Rally Car,” #6 Raoul ÇaRoule was born in Alsace, France. A restless soul, Raoul joined the famous ‘Cirque du Voiture’ French circus where he learned Gymkhana – a graceful, drift-filled motorsport that taught him pinpoint timing and an unparalleled ability to navigate tricky courses with ease. He’s the first car to ever win nine consecutive rallies. Raoul is confident he can use his rally experience to pull ahead of his fellow World Grand Prix racers during the three courses’ touchy dirt sections, especially with his fans in the stands waving banners that read: “ÇaRoule Ca-Rules!

  • Carla Veloso
  • World Grand Prix contender Carla Veloso hails from Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The sweet but powerful Latin diva can dance the night away at “Car-nival,” but spends most of her time on the racetrack. After setting a new track record at the local Interlagos circuit, she was drafted to join the 24-hour endurance racing team in Europe, where she posted a consistent series of podium finishes. In the World Grand Prix, the proud Brazilian Le Motor Prototype racer is the only female in the field, and Carla is ready to prove to the world that #8 is there to win for her home country.

  • Tomber
  • Tomber (voice ofMichel Michelis)is a dubious little French car with an unusual, and very unstable, three-wheeled design that befits the meaning of his name - to fall. By trade he deals car parts from a stall in a Parisian market - though his questionable merchandise sources have led to his reluctant acquaintance with British secret agent Finn McMissile.

  • Rip Clutchgoneski
  • The former European colony and newly independent Republic of New Rearendia is desperate to put their name on the map – the #10 open-wheeled racer Rip Clutchgoneski is their best bet. After putting together a remarkable string of qualifying races, Rip’s entry into the World Grand Prix is clearly the Cinderella story of the competition. Though Rip credits luck for his chance on the international stage, it’s really skill and exuberance that brought the proud New Rearendian racer to the starting line.

  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Lewis Hamilton (voiced by Lewis Hamilton), the famously sleek and seriously fast #2 Grand Touring Sports champion, has been a determined and winning racer for nearly his entire young life. Like all youngster cars, Lewis spent his childhood going to school, taking karate lessons and winning the British Karting Championship by the age of 10. Today, the celebrated native Brit continues to bring an exceptional work ethic and soft-spoken confidence to the race course where his extraordinary achievements speak for themselves via a spotless track record on the junior and professional circuits. With his striking metallic black and yellow paint scheme, Lewis will represent Great Britain at the World Grand Prix. His car also carries the flag of Grenada, home to his family who emigrated to Britain in the 1950s. His unrivaled technical skills, natural speed ability and cool, karate-inspired attitude make him a powerful contender too.

  • Jeff Gorvette (voice of Jeff Gordon)
  • Jeff Gorvette is one of the greatest American racecars alive today. Donning the stars and stripes of his country’s flag, the #24 Corvette C6.R has proven his ability to succeed on the big ovals and the road courses of the Grand Touring Sports circuits. Having moved from his hometown of Vallejo, California to Indiana to be closer to the racing world, Gorvette’s ability to accelerate at such a young age has turned hoods wherever he competes. His championships and number of victories are unmatched, making him a respected competitor—and legitimate threat—at the World Grand Prix.

  • Miguel Camino
  • Spain’s most renowned, admired and captivating car is Pamplona’s Miguel Camino. He first caught his home country’s attention by participating in the infamous Running of the Bulldozers. His flair, style and speed as a toreador in the dozer ring has inspired a generation of young bulldozer fighters, and soon that same speed and verve turned headlights of fans and competitors alike on the Grand Touring Sport racing circuit. Bearing the #5 and the fiery colors of the Spanish flag, Miguel Camino is hoping to race his way into more hearts at the World Grand Prix.

  • Max Schnell
  • Max Schnell started as a humble production sedan from Stuttgart, Germany. An avid amateur racer, Max would practice alone in the back roads of the dense Black Forest—a trek that eventually caught the eye of a racing team owner. Soon Max was on a professional circuit, bearing the #4, and as his horsepower increased, he converted himself to carbon fiber, dropping his weight and getting into prime racing shape. He’s won more races at Motorheimring than any other World Torque Champion League car in history. A naturally brilliant engineer, he used logic and analytics to refine his build, and plans to approach the World Grand Prix in the same perfectly calculated manner.

  • Darrell Cartrip (voice of Darrell Waltrip)
  • Darrell Cartrip is a legendary multi-Piston Cup champion turned beloved racing announcer. The Kentucky-born #17 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is known for his wild color commentary, delighting Piston Cup fans with his humor, charisma and signature catch phrases—"Boogity, Boogity, Boogity! Let's go racin' boys!" He’s spent years on the track, in the pits and in the grease, and he’ll tell you all about it. This American Southern gentleman knows what it takes to win, and plans to bring that fervent expertise to calling the World Grand Prix.

  • David Hobbscap
  • As a handsome forest green 1963 Jaguar Coombs Lightweight E-Type, David Hobbscap (voice of David Hobbs), originally from Royal Leamington Spa, England, is a worldwide racing luminary. His 30-year career in professional racing spans the globe and all types of motorsports. Now David shares that priceless knowledge as an announcer, where he’s also well known for providing comic relief during race broadcasts. A former champion with 20 starts at 24 Hours of Le Mans, his storytelling comes from personal experience. Anything but your ordinary television sportscaster, David can’t wait to enlighten and entertain the World Grand Prix audiences.

  • Uncle Topolino
  • In the small village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy, Luigi’s favorite uncle, Uncle Topolino, resides with his beloved wife, Mama Topolino. Uncle Topolino is the owner of the village’s tire shop, where he taught Luigi and Guido everything they know, though Uncle Topolino is full of sage advice about more than just tires.

  • Mama Topolino
  • To all who know her, Luigi’s aunt, Mama Topolino, is a masterful cook with the best fuel in the village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy. Though she has a loving, but fiery relationship with her husband, Uncle Topolino, she shows her love and generosity for both family and friends by feeding everyone her renowned delizioso fuel.

  • Zen Master
  • A master in the art of sculpting the serene zen rock garden at the Tokyo museum, Zen Master wears his old woven reed hat and uses his antique wood rake to create mesmerizing patterns in the garden’s sand.

  • Okuni
  • Okuni is a micro car Kabuki dancer who dons the traditional white-painted face and an exquisite colorful kimono for her performances at the Kabuki theater in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Pinion Tanaka
  • Pinion Tanaka is a gold-painted micro van and a professional Sumo wrestler from Tokyo, Japan, who’s always a menacing sight in the ring in his signature teal mawashi.

  • Kingpin Nobunaga
  • As a professional Sumo wrestler at an arena in Tokyo, Japan, Kingpin Nobunaga is a gold-painted micro van who fights his fiercest matches when he’s wearing his lucky purple mawashi.

  • Prince Wheeliam
  • Prince Wheeliam of England is an avid racing fan. He can’t believe his luck that the final race of the one-of-a-kind World Grand Prix is happening on the streets of London. Though he must remain impartial when by his grandmother the Queen’s side, he is privately rooting for his fellow Brits Lewis Hamilton and Nigel Gearsley to cross the finish line first.

  • The Queen
  • With the final stage of the World Grand Prix racing through the historic streets of London, England, the Queen (voice of Vanessa Redgrave) is quietly elated she was invited to preside over the finish line by Sir Miles Axlerod. Painted in shades of the most royal blues and never without her jeweled crown, the Queen is the definition of decorum and regality, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy a bit of first-rate competition!

  • Topper Deckinton III
  • Topper Deckington III is a classic British double-decker bus in a vivid shade of red who relishes in his daily Killswitch route through London’s famous bustling Petroldilly Circus.

  • Chauncy Fares
  • No one knows the sites, streets or shortcuts of London better than the jovial Chauncy Fares, a quintessential London black cab.

  • Sgt. Highgear
  • Sgt. Highgear is a member of the regiment assigned to London’s landmark Buckingham Palace. With a recognizable tall bearskin cap atop his scarlet body, he stands guard at his sentry box with pride and conviction.

  • "CARS 2" (L-R) Fillmore (voice by Lloyd Sherr), Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni), Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub), Mater (voice by Larry The Cable Guy)
  • "CARS 2" Sally (voice by Bonnie Hunt) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Mack (voice by John Ratzenberger) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Sheriff (voice by Michael Wallis) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Sarge (voice by Paul Dooley) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Fillmore (voice by Lloyd Sherr) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" (L-R) Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub), Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Ramone (voice by Cheech Marin) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Flo (voice by Jenifer Lewis) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Lizzie (voice by Katherine Helmond) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" John Lassetire �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Images ©Disney/Pixar

The inspiration for CARS 2 came about from Lasseter's (Garage: Mercedes-Benz SL55, 1952 Jaguar XK120, 1964 Messerschmidt) aforementioned trip across the world and a scene that was cut from the original feature. If you ever wondered why Pixar and Co. never used the obvious trope of a drive-in theater in CARS, they did. But the scene between Lighting McQueen and his Stuttgartian love interest, Sally, was left on the virtual cutting room floor and later rekindled for Pixar's latest feature.

The protagonist of the drive-in flick was Finn McMissle, a classic spy cut from the same cloth as Sean Connery's James Bond, and he's one in a slew of new characters in Cars 2.

McMissle (voiced by Michael Caine), joins fellow secret agent Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) to form the perfect juxtaposition between old- and new-school spies, with McMissle rendered in an understated British coupe body (there's a little Italian flare included as well) and contrasting with Shiftwell's more modern supercar aesthetic.

CARS 2: Finn McMissileCARS 2: Holley Shiftwell

The movie opens in the middle of the ocean, with McMissle hunting down the feature's villain, Professor Z (Thomas Kretschmann), and within the first five minutes, it's obvious this latest flick is a far cry from the down-home atmosphere of the original. Explosions, fire fights and an honest sense of danger makes CARS 2 a real action-adventure – enough to make Michael Bay want to give up real-life actors in favor of even more over-powered computers.

When asked about the decidedly dark atmosphere of the opening scene and the imaginative deaths of several characters, Lasseter admits that while it's still a movie for kids, "There is peril. There is threat. You want the bad guys to be bad."

And they are bad.

CARS 2: Professor Z

The Lemons, as they're referred to in the film, serve as Professor Z's minions, an unloved assortment of Eastern European and American metal headed up by American Motors Corporation's own redheaded stepchildren: Grem (a Gremlin) and Acer (a Pacer). The diabolical duo were licensed by Pixar from Chrysler just as the automaker entered into the throes of bankruptcy, allowing the animators to create near-perfect representations of the two for a fraction of the licensing costs. And they play their parts to perfection.

Naturally, the rest of the Radiator Springs crew is along for the ride, with Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) traveling around the globe to compete in the World Grand Prix.

CARS 2: Acer and Grem

Cars-spotters will notice that McQueen has gotten a bit racier since we last saw him, with more venting, a bigger exhaust, new side skirts, spoiler, a rear diffuser and graphics penned by none other than Chip Foose. Foose, a friend of Lasseter's, came up from LA after being asked to create McQueen's new look. He flew up in the morning and was back down in So. Cal. before lunch, taking all of 52 seconds to produce the first sketch. It took Pixar's team of artists nearly three months to render the flame/lighting-bolt combo he created.



One character that won't be making an appearance in Cars 2 is Doc Hudson, voiced by the late, great Paul Newman. "When an actor passes away, you've got to find a voice replacement," Lasseter tells us, "but I just couldn't do it for Paul." Lasseter and Newman were tight, going to races and assorted auto-related events right up until the end. "I love driving and I love racing. And Newman was like a drug-pusher." But with Newman's passing in 2008, Lasseter knew that he couldn't bring Doc's character back into the sequel, so "the implication is that Doc isn't with us," Lasseter says, "So we play a deep homage to him. And that's my homage to Paul."

The depth and respect for Newman, in particular, and racing in general comes across in the variety of environments and events featured throughout the film.

Every city has been properly "Carified," with Big Ben turned into Big Bentley and completed with Latin engravings reading something to the effect of "Long Live Crown Victoria." That level of detail seeps into the vehicles flooding the roads of each city, with Pixar licensing hundreds of cars and rendering them to perfection. You'll see Audi and Renault models littering the landscape in Italy, and classic Nissan 240Zs running through the neon-lit streets of Japan. After CARS 2 hits theaters on June 24, you'll want to watch and re-watch the film, picking out all the auto-related easter eggs scattered throughout before picking up the DVD and watching it again.

CARS 2

And as for those races – pitting Formula One cars against rally machines and LeMans prototypes – it might be a bit of a stretch, but as Lasseter reminds us, "it's a movie."

Taking cues from the Race of Champions, the Pixar crew wanted to bring race cars of all disciplines together to find the Best of the Best. To do that, they had to create tracks that – as Jay Ward (Garage: Motoguzzi V11 Sport, 1957 Pontiac Safari Wagon, 1939 Mercury Convertible, 1929 Model A), Cars franchise manager tells us – had an equalizer. To that end, the circuits in Tokyo, Italy and London all include a dirt portion that wreaks havoc on McQueen's antagonist, open-wheeled champion Francesco Bernoulli.

Bernoulli is joined by 11 other Carified racers ranging from Carla Veloso, a sequins-covered "LeMotor Prototype" from Rio, to an impressive interpretation of the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R played by Jeff Gordon. DTM-inspired carbon-bodied sedans mix it up with dirt-bred rally machines, while Lewis Hamilton gets in on the action with his own custom-designed McLaren MP4-12C lookalike.

CARS 2: Francesco BernoulliCARS 2: Carla VelosoCARS 2: Jeff GorvetteCARS 2: Lewis Hamilton

It's obvious that Lasseter, Ward and CARS 2 character artist Jay Shuster (Garage: Honda Element) sweated the small stuff, despite lopping off a year from the normal four-year production timeline. "I grew up in Detroit," Shuster exclaims with what sounds like just a hint of embarrassment, "My dad worked in the design department at GM for 43 years, so I've always been around it."

But the level of detail isn't just limited to the character's exteriors. Pixar's sound designers were adamant about getting the noises just right, recording not just engine sounds, but the clicking of starters to include before the characters motored away. Getting proper emotions also proved to be difficult, with Bernoulli's character in need of a new front suspension that allowed him to gesture in the most stereotypical Italian fashion. "The normal pushrod design just wouldn't work," according to Shuster, so he developed a telescoping control arm that allowed Bernoulli to emote with the kind of passion and fervor you'd expect from an Italian racing champion.

It's exactly this level of OCD detail that makes Pixar's films stand apart, and the passion that Lasseter and his team evoke while speaking about the characters and environments in CARS 2 is enough to turn even the most jaded cinema-goer into a slobbering fanboy. We're officially one of them. And you'll see us in line on opening day doing our part to celebrate Pixar's 25th anniversary the best way we know how.


  • CARS 2: (L-R) Finn McMissile, Mater, Lightning McQueen

  • CARS 2: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson)

  • CARS 2: Holley Shiftwell (voice by Emily Mortimer)

  • CARS 2

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Holley Shiftwell, Finn McMissile, Mater

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Lightning McQueen, Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore, Sarge

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Grem (voice by Joe Mantegna), Acer (voice by Peter Jacobson)

  • CARS 2: (L-R) Mater (voice by Larry the Cable Guy), Lightning McQueen (voice by Owen Wilson)

  • CARS 2: Mater (voice by Larry the Cable Guy)

  • CARS 2: Professor Z (voiced by Thomas Kretschmann)

  • CARS 2: Finn McMissile (voice by Michael Caine)


  • "CARS 2" Mater (voice by Larry The Cable Guy) ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  • "CARS 2" Lightning McQueen (voice by Owen Wilson) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Finn McMissile
  • Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it’s his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes.. Finn’s design is sleek and timeless, but he’s also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise.

  • Finn McMissile
  • Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it’s his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes.. Finn’s design is sleek and timeless, but he’s also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise.

  • Holley Shiftwell
  • Holley Shiftwell is a beautiful young British desk agent, turned spy-in-training who’s stationed in Tokyo. Well-educated and sharp, she knows every trick in the book—or rather, she relies on every trick in the spy manual. She’s armed with the latest state-of-the-art spy equipment imaginable, from hidden cameras and concealed weapons to a telescoping utility arm and a holographic pop-up display. Holley is a highly motivated agent, but is fresh out of the academy, so her experience is based on lessons learned in school rather than real-life situations. When seasoned international spy Finn McMissile requires Holley’s technical expertise for his latest top-secret field operation, she finds herself pursuing a rendezvous with the most unlikely candidate—Mater, an innocent caught up in the intrigue, who is mesmerized by the beauty of his newest friend.

  • Rod "Torque" Redline (voice of Bruce Campbell)
  • Rod "Torque" Redline is considered by many as the greatest American spy in the world. Recruited after the Cold War for both his brains and brawn, Torque is a tough-as-nails Detroit muscle car with a mastery of disguises. In his latest deep-cover operation, he obtained vital information about the plot to sabotage the World Grand Prix. So Rod plans a rendezvous with his British counterparts to share his discoveries at the World Grand Prix welcome reception in Tokyo, Japan. But with the bad guys hot on his tailpipe, Rod is forced to ditch the intel early and with the first party guest he sees – a rusty American tow truck named Mater.

  • CARS 2 Siddeley (voice by Jason Isaacs)

  • "CARS 2" Miles Axlerod (voice by Eddie Izzard) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Professor Z
  • Professor Z, aka “The Professor” (voice of Thomas Kretschmann)

  • Grem
  • Grem is a dented, rusty orange AMC Gremlin. After years of being dismissed for his design, even being called a “lemon,” Grem has a big chip on his fender that has led him to the underworld of international espionage. As a henchman for a villainous boss Professor Z, Grem and his partner-in-crime Acer are trying to sabotage the World Grand Prix and the famous race cars competing in it. When Grem and Acer mistake Mater for an American agent with important top-secret information, the ruthless lemons set out on a round-the-globe chase to stop Mater from foiling their evil scheme.

  • Acer
  • Acer has always felt like an outcast in the car world. The beat-up green AMC Pacer joined forces with fellow “lemon” cars as henchmen for the devious Professor Z, whose clandestine mission is to wreak havoc at the highly visible World Grand Prix. Acer must hunt down the American and British secret agents who’ve stolen crucial information about Professor Z’s underhanded plot—his primary target just happens to be Mater, who’s been mistaken for a spy. Acer tries very hard to be a tough guy, but he’s over-eager compared to his no-nonsense accomplice Grem.

  • Francesco Bernoulli
  • Francesco Bernoulli grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn. He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number. As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix, which also makes him McQueen’s chief rival.

  • Shu Todoroki
  • Shu Todoroki is a Le Motor Prototype racer representing Japan and bearing #7 in the World Grand Prix. Shu was raised at the base of the active Mount Asama volcano in Japan, and soon became a champion on the Suzuka Circuit. His sleek design sports a fiery red Ka-Riu dragon, which Shu borrowed from Japanese legend because he relates to the small, yet fierce nature of the dragon. His team legacy is filled with victories – his coach, a Mazda, was the only Japanese car to ever win at Le Mans – and Shu hopes to prove his champion-level racing on the international stage of the World Grand Prix.

  • "CARS 2" Nigel Gearsley �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • Raoul ÇaRoule
  • Known as the “World’s Greatest Rally Car,” #6 Raoul ÇaRoule was born in Alsace, France. A restless soul, Raoul joined the famous ‘Cirque du Voiture’ French circus where he learned Gymkhana – a graceful, drift-filled motorsport that taught him pinpoint timing and an unparalleled ability to navigate tricky courses with ease. He’s the first car to ever win nine consecutive rallies. Raoul is confident he can use his rally experience to pull ahead of his fellow World Grand Prix racers during the three courses’ touchy dirt sections, especially with his fans in the stands waving banners that read: “ÇaRoule Ca-Rules!

  • Carla Veloso
  • World Grand Prix contender Carla Veloso hails from Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The sweet but powerful Latin diva can dance the night away at “Car-nival,” but spends most of her time on the racetrack. After setting a new track record at the local Interlagos circuit, she was drafted to join the 24-hour endurance racing team in Europe, where she posted a consistent series of podium finishes. In the World Grand Prix, the proud Brazilian Le Motor Prototype racer is the only female in the field, and Carla is ready to prove to the world that #8 is there to win for her home country.

  • Tomber
  • Tomber (voice ofMichel Michelis)is a dubious little French car with an unusual, and very unstable, three-wheeled design that befits the meaning of his name - to fall. By trade he deals car parts from a stall in a Parisian market - though his questionable merchandise sources have led to his reluctant acquaintance with British secret agent Finn McMissile.

  • Rip Clutchgoneski
  • The former European colony and newly independent Republic of New Rearendia is desperate to put their name on the map – the #10 open-wheeled racer Rip Clutchgoneski is their best bet. After putting together a remarkable string of qualifying races, Rip’s entry into the World Grand Prix is clearly the Cinderella story of the competition. Though Rip credits luck for his chance on the international stage, it’s really skill and exuberance that brought the proud New Rearendian racer to the starting line.

  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Lewis Hamilton (voiced by Lewis Hamilton), the famously sleek and seriously fast #2 Grand Touring Sports champion, has been a determined and winning racer for nearly his entire young life. Like all youngster cars, Lewis spent his childhood going to school, taking karate lessons and winning the British Karting Championship by the age of 10. Today, the celebrated native Brit continues to bring an exceptional work ethic and soft-spoken confidence to the race course where his extraordinary achievements speak for themselves via a spotless track record on the junior and professional circuits. With his striking metallic black and yellow paint scheme, Lewis will represent Great Britain at the World Grand Prix. His car also carries the flag of Grenada, home to his family who emigrated to Britain in the 1950s. His unrivaled technical skills, natural speed ability and cool, karate-inspired attitude make him a powerful contender too.

  • Jeff Gorvette (voice of Jeff Gordon)
  • Jeff Gorvette is one of the greatest American racecars alive today. Donning the stars and stripes of his country’s flag, the #24 Corvette C6.R has proven his ability to succeed on the big ovals and the road courses of the Grand Touring Sports circuits. Having moved from his hometown of Vallejo, California to Indiana to be closer to the racing world, Gorvette’s ability to accelerate at such a young age has turned hoods wherever he competes. His championships and number of victories are unmatched, making him a respected competitor—and legitimate threat—at the World Grand Prix.

  • Miguel Camino
  • Spain’s most renowned, admired and captivating car is Pamplona’s Miguel Camino. He first caught his home country’s attention by participating in the infamous Running of the Bulldozers. His flair, style and speed as a toreador in the dozer ring has inspired a generation of young bulldozer fighters, and soon that same speed and verve turned headlights of fans and competitors alike on the Grand Touring Sport racing circuit. Bearing the #5 and the fiery colors of the Spanish flag, Miguel Camino is hoping to race his way into more hearts at the World Grand Prix.

  • Max Schnell
  • Max Schnell started as a humble production sedan from Stuttgart, Germany. An avid amateur racer, Max would practice alone in the back roads of the dense Black Forest—a trek that eventually caught the eye of a racing team owner. Soon Max was on a professional circuit, bearing the #4, and as his horsepower increased, he converted himself to carbon fiber, dropping his weight and getting into prime racing shape. He’s won more races at Motorheimring than any other World Torque Champion League car in history. A naturally brilliant engineer, he used logic and analytics to refine his build, and plans to approach the World Grand Prix in the same perfectly calculated manner.

  • Darrell Cartrip (voice of Darrell Waltrip)
  • Darrell Cartrip is a legendary multi-Piston Cup champion turned beloved racing announcer. The Kentucky-born #17 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is known for his wild color commentary, delighting Piston Cup fans with his humor, charisma and signature catch phrases—"Boogity, Boogity, Boogity! Let's go racin' boys!" He’s spent years on the track, in the pits and in the grease, and he’ll tell you all about it. This American Southern gentleman knows what it takes to win, and plans to bring that fervent expertise to calling the World Grand Prix.

  • David Hobbscap
  • As a handsome forest green 1963 Jaguar Coombs Lightweight E-Type, David Hobbscap (voice of David Hobbs), originally from Royal Leamington Spa, England, is a worldwide racing luminary. His 30-year career in professional racing spans the globe and all types of motorsports. Now David shares that priceless knowledge as an announcer, where he’s also well known for providing comic relief during race broadcasts. A former champion with 20 starts at 24 Hours of Le Mans, his storytelling comes from personal experience. Anything but your ordinary television sportscaster, David can’t wait to enlighten and entertain the World Grand Prix audiences.

  • Uncle Topolino
  • In the small village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy, Luigi’s favorite uncle, Uncle Topolino, resides with his beloved wife, Mama Topolino. Uncle Topolino is the owner of the village’s tire shop, where he taught Luigi and Guido everything they know, though Uncle Topolino is full of sage advice about more than just tires.

  • Mama Topolino
  • To all who know her, Luigi’s aunt, Mama Topolino, is a masterful cook with the best fuel in the village of Santa Ruotina, near Porto Corsa, Italy. Though she has a loving, but fiery relationship with her husband, Uncle Topolino, she shows her love and generosity for both family and friends by feeding everyone her renowned delizioso fuel.

  • Zen Master
  • A master in the art of sculpting the serene zen rock garden at the Tokyo museum, Zen Master wears his old woven reed hat and uses his antique wood rake to create mesmerizing patterns in the garden’s sand.

  • Okuni
  • Okuni is a micro car Kabuki dancer who dons the traditional white-painted face and an exquisite colorful kimono for her performances at the Kabuki theater in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Pinion Tanaka
  • Pinion Tanaka is a gold-painted micro van and a professional Sumo wrestler from Tokyo, Japan, who’s always a menacing sight in the ring in his signature teal mawashi.

  • Kingpin Nobunaga
  • As a professional Sumo wrestler at an arena in Tokyo, Japan, Kingpin Nobunaga is a gold-painted micro van who fights his fiercest matches when he’s wearing his lucky purple mawashi.

  • Prince Wheeliam
  • Prince Wheeliam of England is an avid racing fan. He can’t believe his luck that the final race of the one-of-a-kind World Grand Prix is happening on the streets of London. Though he must remain impartial when by his grandmother the Queen’s side, he is privately rooting for his fellow Brits Lewis Hamilton and Nigel Gearsley to cross the finish line first.

  • The Queen
  • With the final stage of the World Grand Prix racing through the historic streets of London, England, the Queen (voice of Vanessa Redgrave) is quietly elated she was invited to preside over the finish line by Sir Miles Axlerod. Painted in shades of the most royal blues and never without her jeweled crown, the Queen is the definition of decorum and regality, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy a bit of first-rate competition!

  • Topper Deckinton III
  • Topper Deckington III is a classic British double-decker bus in a vivid shade of red who relishes in his daily Killswitch route through London’s famous bustling Petroldilly Circus.

  • Chauncy Fares
  • No one knows the sites, streets or shortcuts of London better than the jovial Chauncy Fares, a quintessential London black cab.

  • Sgt. Highgear
  • Sgt. Highgear is a member of the regiment assigned to London’s landmark Buckingham Palace. With a recognizable tall bearskin cap atop his scarlet body, he stands guard at his sentry box with pride and conviction.

  • "CARS 2" (L-R) Fillmore (voice by Lloyd Sherr), Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni), Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub), Mater (voice by Larry The Cable Guy)
  • "CARS 2" Sally (voice by Bonnie Hunt) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Mack (voice by John Ratzenberger) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Sheriff (voice by Michael Wallis) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Sarge (voice by Paul Dooley) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Fillmore (voice by Lloyd Sherr) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" (L-R) Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub), Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Luigi (voice by Tony Shalhoub) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Guido (voice by Guido Quaroni) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Ramone (voice by Cheech Marin) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Flo (voice by Jenifer Lewis) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" Lizzie (voice by Katherine Helmond) �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
  • "CARS 2" John Lassetire �Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Images ©Disney/Pixar


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 4 Years Ago
      We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the first Cars movie at the cinemas with my entire family. The more trailers or snippets we see of the new movie and the story behind it, the more we look forward to the release of the new movie, Cars 2.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sure to be a pretty spectacle, and my 5yo loves the original, but he's 5 & the original cars is the least scary/violent Pixar movie. Nowadays it seems all Pixar movies must include unrepentant baddies who meet righteously gruesome ends, with lots of threat & harm beforehand. NOT APPROPRIATE FOR KIDS, IMO. Made the mistake of taking my son to Toy Story 3 - Thanks, Pixar, for giving my kid his first prison flick.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Really looking forward to this film. The first one was great and one of my all-time favorite Pixar movies. Thank you for all the fantastic coverage AB!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Note to the editors: That's Moto Guzzi (two words). Founded on 1921 by a three guys in the Italian Air Force - Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli, and Giorgio Parodi. But then, I like the brand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Someone in the Autoblog headquarters is really into this movie. I would not have guessed that this movie would get so much coverage on this site.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correction: It's a GOOD, CHARMING movie about cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Enough already.
      Oh Riley!
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is hosting a benefit preview screening of Cars 2 on June 11, 2011 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. This black tie event also features a live and silent auction (with lots of unique Pixar items!) and sit down dinner. Visit http://www.jdrfbayarea.org/cars2/index.php for more information and tickets.
      zxl153
      • 3 Years Ago
      I also thought this film had an inside look at the making of cars.Really powerful! http://www.tradeinfo365.com