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Lightning McQueen

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Speed. I am speed.
―Lightning ready to race

Lightning McQueen is the protagonist of the 2006 Disney/Pixar feature film Cars, and the deuteragonist of 2011's infamous sequel Cars 2. In Cars, McQueen is a rookie racer, tied with Chick Hicks and the King for the points lead in the Piston Cup stock car racing circuit.


Official Description

Lightning is built for speed and has just two things on his mind: winning and the perks that come with it. In his fast-paced life he has little time for anything or anyone, but who needs friends when you've got a stadium full of fans.[1]
To Lightning McQueen, the world's fastest race car, appearance is everything. Fans expect a celebrity like him to look great all the time: fresh, shiny, spotless! If only his fans could see him now.[1]
Lightning McQueen's dream is to be sponsored by Dinoco Oil! In his daydreams he looks great with his new Dinoco blue paint job and his very own brand of Lightning McQueen racing tires complete with custom spinners. Hey, and why decide on either gold or silver spinners when you can have both?[1]
The town fixed up Lightning McQueen just in time for a cruise down the strip, and Radiator Springs looks pretty cool on him. Then again, everything looks pretty cool under the glow of the neon on Route 66.[1]
Could anything be more embarrassing than being splashed in the face with mud right in front of the girl of your dreams? I don't think so.[1]
Could anything be more embarrassing than being splashed in the face with mud right in front of the girl of your dreams? Well, maybe being covered with leaves right after that. Yes, that would be more embarrassing...[1]
After winning the Piston Cup and getting The King's coveted Dinoco Sponsorship, McQueen imagines a movie deal will be the next logical step. He sees himself doing action movies, with a hint of comedy, a touch of drama and a truck load of explosions.[1]
Turning on dirt is not only harder than Lightning McQueen thought, it's also a lot more embarrassing.[1]
Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. Turn right to go left sounds easy enough, but McQueen's finding out it's a lot more painful than it seems.[1]
Lightning McQueen never stops for tires, even if it means driving right through them.[1]
When you don't have a nose to win by, a tongue is the next best thing.[1]
Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.
After his latest win, Lightning returns home to enjoy life in the slow lane for a while with sweetheart Sally, best friend Mater and the rest of his Radiator Springs family. His off-season is unexpectedly cut short when Mater inadvertently prompts Lightning to enter the World Grand Prix, a high profile, three-part exhibition race that will take him around the globe.
With a fresh custom paint job and real, working headlights, Lightning sets off to Japan, Italy and England with Mater in tow for the adventure of a lifetime. But competing against the fastest cars in the world tests more than his racing skills when Lightning realizes his wide-eyed best friend may not be the pit chief nor ambassador he needs to navigate the unfamiliar international terrain.[2]


At first, Lightning is self-centered, arrogant, conceited and overconfident, believing that he can win the Piston Cup on his own without help from any pit crews or coach. He is so full of himself to the point where he claims he does not need any friends and cannot even get anyone's names right. However, he is also something of a perfectionist, and will not cease to get something done right even if it was not in his best interest to indulge in it in the first place, as seen when he was tasked by the townsfolk to fix the road that he himself destroyed when he first arrived at their place. After a few grudging performances in his attempts to fix the road, he finally manages to do so. His sponsors are Rust-eze, a small company selling soothing ointment for rusty old cars, which Lightning hates. However, he transforms into a more sympathetic, understanding, and selfless character during his time in Radiator Springs on Route 66.

Physical Appearance

McQueen has blue eyes, and red paint as his main color. His car model is said to be a stock car and more curvaceous Le Mans endurance racer mixed together,[3] while the Cars Blu-ray Car Finder game states it to be a 2006 handmade one of a kind car.

When he is originally sponsored by Smell Swell in the World of Cars book, he has a red ducktail spoiler, the Smell Swell logo on his hood, and his racing number, 95, painted green on his sides, along with a thin, yellow lightning bolt.

McQueen in his original Rust-eze paint job.

When McQueen gets sponsored by Rust-eze, he has the team's logo on his hood and the back of his sides, along with the name put on his spoiler, which is still a ducktail. His own name is seen on each side of his roof, and he has chrome bolt stickers on his front fenders. He has a large lightning bolt shape on his sides that is yellow at the front, and orange at the back, and has individual black and white lines. His racing number is painted yellow, orange and red, and is located on his roof and sides. Additionally, he has several decals of the Piston Cup teams over and under the end of the bolt shape, as well as stickers that look like headlights, which he does not actually have, and are the reason why he is usually called "Stickers" by Sally. His racing number is also displayed on one of them. He even has black tires which have on them the Lightyear brand, that is a reference to Goodyear and Buzz Lightyear, and red rims. His back bumper is painted yellow, which references the yellow back bumpers of NASCAR rookies' cars.

While he helps out the residents of Radiator Springs, he gets a new paint job, which is a darker red, with a half of a long oval shape painted in wheat and with a thin bolt shape inside. His racing number, name inscription, bolt stickers and sponsor are absent along with his spoiler, and he gets his racing tires replaced with whitewalls. However, when he gets taken to the Los Angeles International Speedway by Mack and the press, he gets his Rust-eze customization and racing tires back.


McQueen in his Radiator Springs paint job.

After finishing the Piston Cup season, he gets another repaint, which regains the oval shape and thin bolt, but slightly shorter, with his racing number in black inside a white circle that has black borders. Additionally, his bolt stickers are again absent. He also has less Piston Cup decals, which are all located on the bottom of his sides. He uses this when he is not racing, as he has his original paint job in Cars: The Video Game.

In his first appearance in Cars 2, McQueen regains his original red shade, his bolt stickers and the original Rust-eze appearance of his racing number, and has a dark red bolt that is the same size as his original bolt shape, along with a thin yellow bolt across. The Rust-eze logo is absent at the back of his sides, and he has the "Hudson Hornet Piston Cup" logo beside his front fenders.

Cs072 5ccs.sel16.199

McQueen in his World Grand Prix customization.

When McQueen takes part in the World Grand Prix, he uses a new paint, which removes the Rust-eze logo and bolt stickers, and has the "Hudson Hornet Piston Cup" logo on his hood. His Piston Cup decals, which were all still on the bottom of his sides, are replaced by the World Grand Prix and allinol logos. His ducktail spoiler is replaced by a raised one, which has the name of Rust-eze replaced by the World Grand Prix logo. He also uses different sets of tires outside races, and has a large bolt shape that is again orange and yellow in the same locations, but with green borders, and the back of the bolt is styled after flames, which there is also a dark red flame behind the bolt. The borders of his racing number are also changed from white to green. Beside his front fenders, he has an idol that is almost shaped like a crest, which the World Grand Prix logo and symbol inside it on the top, with the United States flag and his racing number beneath. Additionally, he gets his headlight stickers replaced with actual headlights.

Soon after, as shown in Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs, McQueen regains his bolt stickers, and has all of his World Grand Prix markings removed. He regains the same number of decals from his original Rust-eze paint job, put in the exact same locations. On his spoiler, he has an inscription of Radiator Springs' name as well as a symbol of Radiator Cap Mountain.

Powers and Abilities

McQueen's top speed is 200 mph, and he can go zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. He has a V-8 engine, and a horsepower of 750. On him are coil-over shocks that have tubular A arm front suspension, a solid axle rear end and vented disc brakes at all four wheels. He also has air flaps on his roof to prevent himself from flipping.[4]

My Disney Experience

Lightning McQueen has 4 Piston Cups under his belts! He races around the world, but he calls Radiator Springs his home.




Lightning showing himself to his fans.

On the Racetrack

Lightning is running in the race to win the 2005 Piston Cup, with the incentive that the winner would be a the replacement for Dinoco's old mascot, Strip Weathers, who was retiring. However, during the race he denies tire changes from his pit crew, requesting only gas. But about 100 yards from his Piston Cup, his back tires blow out. Rather than winning the race, he barely manages a tie with Strip Weathers and Chick Hicks. His pit crew abandon him after he tells "Not Chuck", one of his members, to get out of the camera shot. Strip Weathers (aka, "The King") admonishes him for his arrogance and lack of teamwork, but Lightning doesn't listen because he is lost in thought about the joys of working for Dinoco.

In Radiator Springs

Now on his way to the tie-breaker race in Los Angeles, McQueen orders his driver Mack to drive all night, but he inevitably falls asleep. McQueen ends up lost in a little ghost-town called Radiator Springs, and after tearing up their main road, is sentenced to community service to repair the road.

While he is in town, he meets a selection of cars, most notably being Doc Hudson and Sally Carrera. He soon comes to realize how arrogant and selfish he has been, and that there is more to racing than just winning and what people in the real world have gone through in their lives. He also makes friends with every car in town, especially Mater, a rusty tow truck who chooses him as his best friend. At the end of the film, McQueen, Hicks, and The King vie for the Piston Cup in a tiebreaker race in Los Angeles.

Final Race

McQueen helps to have The King finish his last race.

McQueen is about to win the race by several car lengths, when The King is wrecked badly by Hicks. Lightning is reminded of Doc Hudson's horrible crash that brought an end to his career, and skids to a stop just in front of the finish line. McQueen heads back down the track to save The King and help him across the finish line to give him a respectable finish for his final race, coming in third place.

Happy Endings

Impressed by his showmanship, Dinoco offers the contract to be their mascot to Lightning rather than the now unpopular Chick Hicks, but McQueen turns it down, saying he needs to complete his contract with Rust-eze, the company who gave him his big break, first. He then sets up headquarters in Radiator Springs, drawing attention back to the little town and making it popular again and simultaneously returning it to the map. In the process, Route 66 becomes a historical tourist attraction.

Mater and the Ghostlight

McQueen with Mater in Mater and the Ghostlight.

McQueen appears in the short, seen at Flo's V8 Cafe with the rest of the townsfolk. Seeing a tow hook behind some cans, he starts to think that it belongs to Mater, and hopes that he would not be planning to scare him. However, Mater then jumps out of nowhere and freaks McQueen out, causing him to jump and knock down the rest of the cans, revealing that it was only one of Mater's signs. Mater tells McQueen that he looked like he had seen the ghostlight, to which Sheriff then tells the townsfolk a story about a couple who disappeared after coming across the ghostlight. He then informs the residents to keep their eye out for the ghostlight, before everyone, except Mater, quickly leave and say goodnight.

Shortly after arriving at his home, Mater notices a blue light behind him, believing it to be the ghostlight, and drives away in fright. It then turns out to be a prank, as McQueen and Guido have actually put a lamp on Mater's tow hook. McQueen and the townsfolk all watch as Mater continues driving around the town, until he gets tired and eventually realizes what it actually was. McQueen and the others then laugh, to which Mater sarcastically says that he knew it was a prank all along. After Sheriff and Doc tell Mater to only be scared of his imagination and the Screamin' Banshee, McQueen and everyone else quickly leave Mater and drive back to their homes to sleep.

Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales


Lightning with Mater in the Mater's Tall Tales short El Materdor.

McQueen appears in every episode of Mater's Tall Tales released.

In each episode, a random thing makes Mater mention to McQueen about things he did years ago. McQueen listens to each of Mater's stories, and always makes a comment about them. McQueen's comments often make Mater say that McQueen is also there. Sometimes, McQueen gets into trouble depending on the story's subject, such as being trapped in a burning building in Rescue Squad Mater, unable to reach the end of Carburetor Canyon in Mater the Greater, and being chased by bulldozers in El Materdor. Otherwise, he would help Mater on numerous occasions, such as taking out Kabuto's ninjas in Tokyo Mater, arrest Big D in Mater Private Eye, and catch a falling Mater in Air Mater. However, McQueen never believes that these stories ever happened, due to the fact that he knows he would not have been present, but he would then usually see someone or something that comes from Mater's stories, leaving him either shocked or confused. However, there are a couple of times where he fails to see these, such as when he fails to see Mater fly at the end of Unidentified Flying Mater (due to trying to get away from the noises Mater was making), and does not see his biggest fans, Mia and Tia, cheering for Mater like how they did in Mater's story in El Materdor (due to that he himself was being chased by a herd of bulldozers).

Cars 2

Lightning arriving back in Radiator Springs.

Return to Radiator Springs

After he won his fourth Piston Cup, McQueen comes back to Radiator Springs, where the townsfolk are happy to see him return, including Mater. While McQueen is spending time at the Wheel Well Motel with Sally, Mater makes a call to the Mel Dorado Show when it features Miles Axlerod, who is aiming to promote a fuel called allinol for improving clean energy by hosting the World Grand Prix. McQueen intervenes, and accepts the deal to be one of the racers, along with bringing Mater along following advice from Sally.

World Race


McQueen on stage with Miles Axlerod.

Getting a new paint job for the World Grand Prix, McQueen travels to Tokyo with Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Sarge in time for the opening ceremony. On the journey, McQueen and Mater are enjoying their time together: watching a game show on their plane's television, amazed by Tokyo's neon signs, and attending a karate show. At the opening ceremony, McQueen meets up with fellow racers Lewis Hamilton and Jeff Gorvette, but he soon notices that Mater has been acting the same since living in Radiator Springs, and tries to explain that he should change his behavior so to get used to all the different things outside Radiator Springs. However, Mater does not completely understand, deciding to help McQueen by introducing him to Italian racer Francesco Bernoulli. Although reluctant by this, McQueen is forced to mention to Francesco that it is an honor for them to meet. They both agree to have a toast, but both of them make the same dedication of their own win in the initial race to Sally. Additionally, McQueen turns against Francesco, determined to beat him in the race the following day. To make matters worse, McQueen's interview with Axlerod in front of the press is disrupted by Mater rushing to the fountain after taking a huge amount of wasabi. McQueen is more angered when he sees what appears to be Mater leaking oil in public, and orders him to go and sort himself out right away.


McQueen trying to take the lead from Francesco in Tokyo, thanks to a miscommunication from Mater.

Moments before the first race begins, McQueen makes his usual preparations, closing his eyes and talking to himself about keeping focus, only for Francesco to immediately mock him by making the same preparations. Annoyed, McQueen once again comments about his goal to beat Francesco. As the race begins, McQueen makes his way up the field, getting up to second place and behind Francesco. However, McQueen is not able to get past Francesco until they come up to the dirt section, where Mater, who is working as McQueen's crew chief, gives him the advice of using the same trick Doc had taught him. With Francesco struggling to drive on the dirt, McQueen makes an easy pass at the following chicane and takes the lead. However, drama occurs as a couple of the racecars flame out, leaving fans wondering if allinol is responsible for the accidents. Next, McQueen begins hearing random words from Mater through his team radio, unaware that Mater is actually talking to someone else. Still being confused by Mater's words, McQueen moves to the outside of the loop up to Rainbow Bridge, enabling Francesco to snatch the lead. Shocked by what happened, McQueen goes after Francesco, and goes side-by-side with him as they head towards the finish line. However, Francesco is able to cross the finish line first, while McQueen finishes second.

"I lost the race because of you!"

Feeling unhappy, McQueen is left wondering why this all happened, as Francesco brags during the podium interview about making a move whenever someone makes a mistake. Just then, McQueen notices Mater driving to the pits, and when no one is looking, he drives out of the podium interview and meets up with Mater, asking him why he was talking nonsense throughout the race. Mater explains that he had been away from the track because he heard a woman's voice talking to him out of nowhere and directing him through the streets, where he had seen a couple of cars involved in a fight and using flame-throwers. McQueen becomes enraged, telling Mater that it is all his fault for making him lose the race, and that he should not have brought him along so he could spend time imagining a girlfriend and watching people using flame-throwers in fights. Realizing what McQueen meant, Mater tries to make up by suggesting to talk to someone about what happened, but McQueen is still furious, berating Mater by saying that he does not want any help from him at all.


McQueen finds out that Mater had left his team.

The next day, McQueen finds a note from Mater saying that he has decided to head back home following their argument, not wanting to responsible ever again for making him losing any future races. However, McQueen begins to feel down, as he did not mean for Mater to leave. Despite being relieved that he would know Mater would be safe being in Radiator Springs, McQueen still feels down, thinking that he should not have been too hard on him. Arriving in Italy, McQueen and his team come across Luigi and Guido's old hometown, Carsoli, where the latter two are proud to be reunited with Uncle and Mama Topolino. The whole village hosts a celebration of Luigi and Guido's return, but Uncle Topolino begins to notice how down McQueen is. Having been told the whole thing by Luigi, Uncle Topolino explains to McQueen that everyone, even best friends, get into fights, as he remembers Luigi and Guido fighting all the time when they used to live with him.


McQueen and Francesco fighting for the lead in Porto Corsa.

Meanwhile, many of the fans of the World Grand Prix are still wondering if allinol is safe, leading to Axlerod telling them that the fuel has been examined and is proven to be safe, leaving the second race to remain, taking place in Porto Corsa. However, Team McQueen begin to notice that McQueen feels sad. Fillmore advises him not to worry about his fuel, but McQueen admits that he is actually missing Mater. Furthermore, he gets insulted by Francesco saying that he is glad to be at home with his mother and fans. As the race goes ahead, Francesco soars into the lead as McQueen follows, trying to make numerous moves such as at the town's hairpin. On the final lap, McQueen temporarily leads, but as they approach the finish line, he and Francesco begin fighting for the lead, ending with McQueen crossing the finish line just ahead of Francesco. With this, McQueen celebrates his victory, but it immediately ends as numerous ambulances rush past, making McQueen and Francesco notice on the television screen that the other racecars have crashed out as a result of their fuel blowing up once again. This leads to everyone now completely concerned about its safety, which makes Axlerod decide that the last race in London will still be held, but no longer to be run on allinol.

The Final Race

McQueen gets advised by Axlerod and Sally to not give up the final race.

McQueen, however, feels that it is impossible for something like that to occur, furthermore declaring that he will be using allinol for the final race. Soon, as a press liaison is leading him to the press, McQueen starts to hear Mater's voice from somewhere in the crowd. Taking another look, he sees a flash of Mater's roof in the distance, while the photographers try to get his attention. Trying to get closer, McQueen moves through the crowd, as the press liaison calls out to come back. However, as all the photographers finally move out of the way, McQueen instead finds a blue tow truck known as Ivan, saying that it was him who called out. As the press liaison takes him away, McQueen starts to get confused, pretty sure that he saw and heard Mater in the crowd. Before heading to London, McQueen contacts Radiator Springs so to talk to Mater, but he finds out that Mater had not been there at all. As he comes to his pit stall, he finds Sally and the rest of his friends present, having heard about what happened. While Sarge leaves with Sheriff to search for Mater, the rest of the townsfolk stay behind to assist McQueen in the race. However, still feeling concerned about Mater, McQueen is unsure about if he can keep his focus on the race, but Axlerod comes to thank him for his decision to use allinol, encouraging him to prove to the world that they had been wrong about it being unsafe. Plus, Sally advises him to do the race for Mater.

McQueen tries to stop Mater from getting away, not understanding Mater's warning about someone having put a bomb on him.

As the race begins, Francesco gets into the lead as they head up to the Victoria Memorial, but after they go through Admiralty Arch, McQueen snatches the lead. As McQueen soon comes in for his pit stop, he is glad to find Mater already there. However, in a panic, Mater drives onto the racetrack, ordering McQueen to keep away from him. Misunderstanding, McQueen chases after Mater, trying to tell him that what he said before no longer matters. Still panicking, Mater yells out that "he's the bomb", making McQueen believe that he is saying he is excellent. Again, Mater yells out to keep away, but McQueen refuses to listen, not wanting to lose Mater again, and grabs onto his tow hook, which causes Mater to activate a pair of rocket jets, making the two friends zoom along the track's straight, past a shocked Francesco, and go off the circuit at the following corner, zooming through the streets of London. However, McQueen declines Mater's request to let go, still not understanding what is going on.

McQueen, Mater, Finn and Holley being completely surrounded by Professor Z's gang of lemons.

As the two friends finally screech to a halt, British secret agents Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell arrive, convincing McQueen that some thugs had planted a bomb on Mater so that they could try and kill them both, all because of McQueen's decision to use allinol in the race. McQueen is left wondering who would do that to Mater, to which Finn brings in a captive Professor Zündapp, who angrily questions about his electromagnetic pulse generator not working right. McQueen is now left completely shocked by the fact that Professor Z had been having those same thugs try to kill him with the emitter when it was supposed to come into contact with allinol, only that he did not explode when the plan was being performed. Finn demands answers from Zündapp about how to deactivate the bomb, and as the bomb begins to tick, Professor Z reveals that the only way to turn it off is to get a voice command from the person who turned it on in the first place. To make matters worse, the thugs, who reveal themselves as lemons, block any chance of McQueen, Mater, Finn and Holley escaping, but they are soon taken out by McQueen and Mater's friends.

McQueen watches as Mater tries to prove to everyone that Axlerod is the lemons' mastermind.

With the lemons arrested, everyone tries to figure out a way to get rid of the bomb. Thinking of only one option, Guido makes an attempt to unfasten the bolts, but his wheel gun would not fit. Then, Mater figures out who had put the bomb on, but he does not reveal it straight away, worried that no one will believe him, but McQueen encourages him, telling him to just be his regular self and that anyone not believing him should instead change themselves, not Mater himself. With no time to lose, Mater grabs McQueen and heads off to Buckingham Palace, where Axlerod is waiting with the Queen of England. With the Queen's bodyguards preventing Mater from getting any closer, Mater explains to them, McQueen, Finn and Holley that Axlerod is the one who activated the bomb, remembering that the bomb is attached with the same bolts used on an old engine shown on a photo that Finn and Holley had got, also that old engines contain oil. Axlerod, however, tries to tell everyone that none of this is true, but Mater keeps on talking, saying that Axlerod is the leader of Professor Z and the lemons, trying to make the world dismiss alternative fuel and buy regular oil from a secret oil reserve, because they had been laughed at for their entire lives. As the bomb gets closer to detonation, everyone braces themselves, while Axlerod tries to take Mater's comments as lies, but as he is encountered by Mater, he is forced to make a voice command, which successfully turns off the bomb, and proves that Mater was right about everything.

McQueen listens to Mater telling his friends about his spy story.

To congratulate his bravery, the Queen makes Mater a knight, which also makes him as popular as his best friend McQueen. As they arrive back in Radiator Springs, Mater tells McQueen and their friends about how he met Finn and Holley, and helped them to learn information about Professor Z and the lemons. Just then, Finn and Holley arrive, paying Mater and his friends a visit. McQueen is also given the time to ask how come he did not explode when the lemons were using their EMP emitter on him in London, but Finn and Holley point out that they do not know the reason, but also found out that allinol was just gasoline upgraded by Axlerod to blow up when coming into contact with an electromagnetic pulse. McQueen then begins to realize that Fillmore had told him back in Italy that allinol was safe, and everyone assumes that something had been done to McQueen's supply of allinol before the race. Fillmore does note that before the race, McQueen's supply was replaced by his own organic fuel, but that Sarge actually did it, not Fillmore.

McQueen and Mater competing together in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix.

Later, McQueen invites all of the World Grand Prix racers to compete in Radiator Springs' unofficial Grand Prix, as a way to treat them to a great race, even knowing that thanks to the fate of the World Grand Prix, still no one knows who is the fastest in the world. Before lining up on the grid, McQueen has Francesco meet Sally, who is honored by Francesco's comment about McQueen being very lucky to be racing, especially when racing against his rivals. Not long before the race, McQueen adds to Sally to wish him luck, to which Sally knows he will be lucky enough to win. This time, McQueen and Francesco are calmer towards each other, both having grins as they battle for the lead, while the other racers are enjoying it. Not long after, Mater joins in, having been given his rocket jets by Finn and Holley, and he and McQueen happily race each other to the end of the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, as Finn and Holley leave for their next mission.

Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs


McQueen in Spinning.

In Hiccups, after having a drink at Flo's V8 Cafe, McQueen gets the hiccups, which all of the residents try to help cure them. They eventually go away after Sally kisses McQueen on the cheek.

In Spinning, he notices Guido having great skills with spinning a sign, and watches along with a crowd consisting of some visitors and most of the residents. After Guido catches the sign from the air on a set of tires, McQueen and the crowd congratulate him, before they drive away.

In The Radiator Springs 500½, he dresses up as Stanley for the town's annual "Stanley Days" celebration, planning to do a leisurely drive with the townsfolk, until a group of Baja racers led by Sandy Dunes arrive to challenge him to a race, which he gets customized for off-road racing. However, during the race, McQueen and the other racers take a wrong turn after Mater confused them with saying that left is right, when he actually meant that it is correct. Following this, they go over bumpy hills and a cliff, drive through a cactus patch, get covered in soot from some tailpipes in a cavern, and come across a spooky forest, where they get frightened by all of the corpses scattered around, before arriving back in Radiator Springs.

McQueen will also return in the short To Protect and Serve, where Didi 05 and Mike 07 temporarily take over Sheriff's job.[5]

Cars 3

In the upcoming third film, McQueen seeks help from new trainer Cruz Ramirez to learn some new tricks for challenging rookies like Jackson Storm in the Florida 500.[6]

Cameos and other appearances

McQueen makes numerous appearances in commercials for other companies like State Farm Insurance, Target, AT&T, Hertz and Opel, also promoting the Cars films. He also appears in a Russian advertisement that promotes road safety, where Mater is teaching a forklift how to cross the road safely.

As each short promoting Planes begins, McQueen and Mater are seen driving along, before they feel a vibration and look up to see some planes flying over them.

McQueen makes a cameo in Planes: Fire & Rescue, where a picture of him is seen on a newspaper that Sparky is reading with Dusty Crophopper and his friends.

Video games

Cars: The Video Game


McQueen in Cars: The Video Game.

McQueen appears in the video game based on the first film, preparing to win his first Piston Cup. Throughout the story, he competes in races with other cars, goes tractor tipping with Mater, learns powersliding lessons from Doc, gets taught about driving backwards, and gets his gear back from the Delinquent Road Hazards, who were ordered by Chick to steal it. After that, he wins the next Piston Cup race, and comes to an agreement to have three Grands Prix around Radiator Springs, before competing in the final Piston Cup race. He manages to win, and goes on a drive with Mater and Sally, leaving his trophy with Doc's.

Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures

McQueen appears in the cutscenes of the activities, encountering the Radiator Springs townsfolk. He is also controlled by the player in some of the activities, and in all Legends Races.

Cars: Mater-National Championship


Lightning on the character select screen in Cars: Mater-National Championship.

In the Cars: Mater-National game, McQueen invites racers from around the world to take part in the Mater-National, which is supposed to take place while his racing headquarters is being built. He first comes across Philip, a British car who struggles to drive on the correct side of America's roads, and later races a German car named Otto Von Fassenbottom.

When he arrives in Tailfin Pass, he meets a Japanese drifter named Koji, and challenges him to a race. Finally, he wins in a race that is held at the new racing stadium, competing against racers such as an Italian car named Giovanni. Luigi and Guido want them to race again, to which they agree to do a team relay. Afterwards, the headquarters is finished, and McQueen and the rest of the townsfolk and visitors get together for a photo.

Cars: Race-O-Rama


Lightning on the character select screen in Cars: Race-O-Rama.

McQueen is one of the playable characters in Cars: Race-O-Rama. In the story mode, he races with Doc's Racing Academy at the Radiator Springs Speedway. However, he finds out that the green cars who are competing against them are not racing cleanly, after they purposely cause a couple of Doc's students to crash. It is learnt straight away that the green students are working for Chick, who plots to win the Race-O-Rama series and take over Radiator Springs.

For each new location, McQueen gets his bodywork customized for racing against Candice, El Machismo and Stinger, who try to help Chick. Finally, he challenges Chick to the final race at the Radiator Springs Speedway, and wins the series. However, Chick vows to get back for his revenge. Meanwhile, Candice, El Machismo and Stinger apologize to McQueen for their behavior, to which he allows them to stop by the Doc Hudson Racing Academy any time they want.

The World of Cars Online

McQueen would appear around the town in the now-closed online game The World of Cars Online, outside his racing headquarters, where players can buy items from. Players were also to play as McQueen in the Lightning Storm McQueen minigame that puts him against a train version of Emperor Zurg from the Toy Story franchise.

Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales: The Video Game

McQueen only makes three appearances in the gameplay, compared to the clips from the episodes being used in the game. In the final level of Mater the Greater, rather than being at Carburetor Canyon, he appears in mid-air and falls down as the player prepares to make one last dive into a paddling pool. It would be assumed that McQueen fails to land in the pool, since it is big enough for only one car. During the final level of Monster Truck Mater, after the player's character jumps off Dr. Frankenwagon's monster, McQueen appears out of nowhere while as a monster truck, and follows the player around the arena as the monster tries to crush them. As the player completes the final level of Unidentified Flying Mater, McQueen joins the player, Mater and Mator as they get chased by the military, before being rescued by Mator's mother.

Cars 2: The Video Game

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McQueen in Cars 2: The Video Game.

In the game based on the second film, McQueen helps out at C.H.R.O.M.E. to work for secret agents. He is playable from the start, and has medium speed and power. He also has two unlockable customizations, Carbon Fiber Lightning and Radiator Lightning, which are unlocked by collecting certain badges and crests. To get the Carbon Fiber Lightning customization, the player has to collect twenty badges and crests so to collect the "Agent - Third Class" crest, while the Radiator Lightning customization is unlocked by hitting a landing airplane three times in Runway Tour. Two other customizations of McQueen can be downloaded on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. These are Dragon Lightning (which is from Tokyo Mater) and Daredevil Lightning (which is from Mater the Greater).

Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure

McQueen appears in the Fancy Drivin' level, where he tries to find someone to compete in his racing team. Seeing that that someone is the player, Mater sets up a challenge to do fancy driving. After the level is complete, McQueen sees that the player has done some great driving and will be perfect for being added to his team. The player can also play as McQueen in the Cars levels by collecting all the Buddy Coins in each level.


Lightning McQueen DI Render

Lightning McQueen is available as one of the playable characters in Disney INFINITY. His figure comes with Holley and the piece for the Cars Play Set. In the play set, he and the townsfolk get ready for a racing event coming to Radiator Springs. A crystal figure of McQueen is also available to use in the play set and Toy Box. Both versions are compatible in the Toy Box of the second and third games, with the level cap increased to 20, and a Skill Tree added.

In the first game, McQueen has an exclusive Toy Box Adventure called Lightning's Collector Course, where the player has to collect orbs around a stunt arena.

Cars: Fast as Lightning


McQueen having won a race in Cars: Fast as Lightning.

McQueen first appears as a character that the player plays as in two tutorials at the start of the game. He is the last character to be unlocked on the Radiator Springs map, and will unlock his pit and the Doc Hudson Statue for putting around the town. Before he is unlocked, he also gives the player some missions that relate to races, such as winning a number of races with the selected character, perform a number of tricks, win races without crashing, or placing selected track pieces and decorations around the track.

He also has seven customizations that can be unlocked by winning practice races on his track, or purchase them with gems. They are: Retro Look, Champion, Winter, Speed Demon, ICE, Eastern Breeze, and Neon McQueen.

Disney Parks

Lighting McQueen HKDL

Lightning McQueen posing for a photo at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Lightning appears in Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure, as a "drive-around" character, and regularly stops outside the Cozy Cone Motel's office.

An audio-animatronic version of Lightning appears in the ride Radiator Springs Racers, first with Sally Carrera as they greet the riders while heading into either Luigi's or Ramone's, and again at the end of the ride with Mater. He wears his World Grand Prix paint job in the park, and his original Rust-eze paint job on the ride.

He is seen with Mater at the Pixar Play Parade at Disney California Adventure, and Paint the Night Parade in Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland with Mack and DJ.


The Disney Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Lightning McQueen.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Lightning McQueen.


  • His racing number was going to be 57 at first, as a reference to John Lasseter's birth in 1957, but the filmmakers later changed it to "95", which references the first Toy Story's release in 1995.
  • McQueen is named after deceased Pixar supervising animator Glenn McQueen.
  • For some reason, McQueen is in his original Rust-eze paint job in the second film's teaser trailer, even though it never appeared in the film. However, it could be that the filmmakers did not have his new customization completed at the time.
Lightning McQueen in TS3

Lightning McQueen in Toy Story 3

  • One of the children in Toy Story 3 who plays in Sunnyside's Caterpillar Room wears a T-shirt that includes McQueen's bolt and racing number in the same style.
  • A toy that looks similar to McQueen can be seen in the Butterfly Room in Toy Story 3.
  • In the first film, McQueen noted the reason why he did not have any actual headlights was because he thought racers do not need them on a racetrack that is always lit with lights. However, in the second film, when he was being upgraded for the World Grand Prix, he decided to replace his headlight stickers with actual headlights, though Sally still calls him "Stickers".
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  • When McQueen and Mater arrive in Tokyo in Cars 2, they notice an advertisement that shows a vacuum cleaner called "Lightning McClean".
  • McQueen's first name is different in several languages:
    • In the Spanish version, he is called Rayo McQueen,[7] which "rayo" is the Spanish meaning of the words "lightning", "beam" and "ray."
    • In the French version, he is named Flash McQueen.
    • In the Polish version, his first name is Zygzak (z-ih-g-z-ah-k). This means "zigzag" in Polish.
    • In the Danish version, he is named Lynet McQueen. "Lynet" means "the lightning" in Danish.
    • In the Dutch version, his first name is Bliksem, which means "lightning".
    • In the Italian version, his first name is changed to Saetta, which is the Italian word for "flash of lightning".
    • In the Swedish version, he is renamed Blixten McQueen. "Blixten" is the Swedish word for "the flash".
    • In the Albanian version, he is called Vetëtima McQueen. "Vetëtima" means "lightning" in Albanian.
    • In the Portuguese version, his first name is changed to Faísca, which means "spark".
    • In the Finnish version, he is named Salama McQueen. "Salama" means "lightning bolt" in Finnish.
    • In the Brazilian Portuguese version, he is called Relâmpago MacQueen, which means "lightning".
  • Throughout the first film, McQueen had fourteen different appearances, counting the different amount of dirt and dust he received in several scenes.[8]
  • His catchphrase, "Ka-chow!", is said briefly by Mayday in Planes: Fire & Rescue, when he is showing some Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment on his bumper.
  • A life-size Lightning McQueen is preserved at the Petersen Automotive Museum.[9]
  • A 1:55 scale die-cast of Lightning McQueen, with Chick Hicks and Brush Curber, appears in one of the exhibit elements at The Science Behind Pixar.


v - e - d

Cars/Soundtrack | Cars 2/Soundtrack | Cars 3 | Mater and the Ghostlight | Cars Toons | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Little Golden Book | Video

Disney Parks

Cars Land | Disney's Art of Animation Resort | Art of Animation | Cars Quatre Roues Rallye | Disney Animation Building | Luigi's Flying Tires | Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters | Mater's Junkyard Jamboree | Radiator Springs Racers
Entertainment: Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular | World of Color: Celebrate!
Restaurants: Cozy Cone Motel | Fillmore's Taste-In | Flo's V8 Cafe |
Shops: Radiator Springs Curios | Ramone's House of Body Art | Sarge's Surplus Hut
Parade: Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade | Paint The Night Parade | Pixar Play Parade


Cars: Lightning McQueen | Mater | Sally Carrera | Mack | The King | Chick Hicks | Not Chuck | Mia and Tia | Boost | DJ | Wingo | Snot Rod | Bob Cutlass | Darrell Cartrip | Doc Hudson | Flo | Ramone | Sheriff | Luigi | Guido | Sarge | Fillmore | Red | Lizzie | Stanley | Junior | Tex Dinoco | Lynda Weathers | Van | Minny | Michael Schumacher Ferrari | Jay Limo | Fred | Todd | Frank | Tractors | Mike | Sulley | Vroomaroundus Bugus
Cars 2: Finn McMissile | Holley Shiftwell | Crabby | Tony Trihull | Leland Turbo | Rod "Torque" Redline | Miles Axlerod | Mel Dorado | Professor Zündapp | Grem | Acer | Francesco Bernoulli | Lewis Hamilton | Jeff Gorvette | Max Schnell | Miguel Camino | Raoul ÇaRoule | Nigel Gearsley | Carla Veloso | Brent Mustangburger | David Hobbscap | Vladimir Trunkov | Victor Hugo | Tubbs Pacer | J. Curby Gremlin | Fred Pacer | Ivan | Alexander Hugo | Uncle Topolino | Mama Topolino | Otis | Siddeley
Cars 3: Cruz Ramirez | Jackson Storm
Mater and the Ghostlight: Screamin' Banshee
Cars Toons: Kabuto | Big D | Sandy Dunes | Blue Grit | Idle Threat | Shifty Sidewinder | Didi 05 | Mike 07


Mater's Tall Tales: Rescue Squad Mater | Mater the Greater | El Materdor | Tokyo Mater | Unidentified Flying Mater | Monster Truck Mater | Heavy Metal Mater | Moon Mater | Mater Private Eye | Air Mater | Time Travel Mater
Tales From Radiator Springs: Hiccups | Bugged | Spinning | The Radiator Springs 500½ | To Protect and Serve


Dinoco | 2006 Piston Cup | The Delinquent Road Hazards | World Grand Prix


Radiator Springs | City Hall | Municipal Impound | Tow Mater Towing & Salvage | Flo's V8 Cafe | Luigi's Casa Della Tires | Ramone's House of Body Art | Cozy Cone Motel | Fillmore's Taste-In | Sarge's Surplus Hut | Sarge's SUV Boot Camp | Doctor Hudson: Dr. of Internal Combustion | Racing Museum | Mrs. Piston | Willy's Butte | Radiator Springs Curios | Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre | Wheel Well Motel | London, England | Paris, France | Porto Corsa | Tokyo | California | U.S. Route 66 | Interstate 40 | Los Angeles International Speedway | Motor Speedway of the South | Ornament Valley | Cadillac Range | Carburetor County | Big Ben | Top Down Truckstop | Big Bentley | NASCA


Real Gone | Life is a Highway | Our Town | Sh-Boom | Route 66 | Find Yourself | Behind the Clouds | You Might Think | Collision of Worlds | Nobody's Fool

Video Games

Cars: The Video Game | Cars 2: The Video Game | Cars: Mater-National Championship | Cars: Race-O-Rama | The World of Cars Online | Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures | Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure | Disney INFINITY | Cars: Fast as Lightning

See Also

The Science Behind Pixar | Pixar in a Box

v - e - d

Disney INFINITY | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition | Disney INFINITY: 3.0 Edition

Playable Characters

Disney INFINITY: Jack Sparrow | Mr. Incredible | Sulley | Sorcerer Mickey | Lightning McQueen | Woody | Mater | Buzz Lightyear | Mike Wazowski | Randall Boggs | Hector Barbossa | Davy Jones | Helen Parr | Dash Parr | Violet Parr | Syndrome | John Reid | Tonto | Jack Skellington | Phineas Flynn | Perry the Platypus | Jessie | Wreck-It Ralph | Vanellope | Rapunzel | Elsa | Anna | Holley Shiftwell | Francesco Bernoulli
Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition: Iron Man | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | Thor Odinson | Hawkeye | Nick Fury | Loki Laufeyson | Maleficent | Merida | Spider-Man | Venom | Iron Fist | Nova | Green Goblin | Rocket Raccoon | Groot | Star-Lord | Gamora | Drax the Destroyer | Stitch | Tinker Bell | Aladdin | Jasmine | Donald Duck | Baymax | Hiro Hamada | Falcon | Yondu | Sam Flynn | Quorra
Disney INFINITY: 3.0 Edition: Yoda | Ultron | Luke Skywalker | Fa Mulan | Anakin Skywalker | Leia Organa | Han Solo | Ahsoka Tano | Darth Vader | Darth Maul | Obi-Wan Kenobi | Finn | Rey | Poe Dameron | Kylo Ren | Joy | Sadness | Anger | Fear | Disgust | Minnie Mouse | Olaf | Chewbacca | Hulkbuster Iron Man | Ezra Bridger | Kanan Jarrus | Garazeb Orrelios | Sabine Wren | Boba Fett | Spot | Judy Hopps | Nick Wilde | Peter Pan | Baloo | Captain America - The First Avenger | Black Panther | Vision | Ant-Man | Alice | Mad Hatter | Time | Dory | Nemo

Non-Playable Characters

Disney INFINITY: Hamm | Rex | Slinky Dog | Emperor Zurg | Joshamee Gibbs | Pintel and Ragetti | Edna Mode | Rick Dicker | Mirage | Luigi | Ramone | Flo | Chick Hicks | The King | Guido | Finn McMissile | Carla Veloso | Tractors | Art | Scott "Squishy" Squibbles | Terri and Terry Perry | Don Carlton
Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition: Wasp | Captain Marvel | Ant-Man (Hank Pym) | Sif | MODOK | Frost Giants | Iron Patriot | Winter Soldier | Mysterio | Doctor Octopus | Black Cat | White Tiger | Power Man | J. Jonah Jameson | Cosmo the Spacedog | The Collector | The Witch | Pleakley | Golden Harp
Disney INFINITY: 3.0 Edition: R2-D2 | C-3PO | Jabba the Hutt | Jar Jar Binks | Mace Windu | Padmé Amidala | King Candy | Marshmallow | Yokai | Battle Droids | Marlin | Bruce | Anglerfish | Seagulls | Hank | Destiny | Bailey | Jellyfish


Cruella's car | Ratcatcher | Pumpkin Coach | Lightsaber | Darkwing Duck's gas gun | Black Pearl | Identity Disc | Plasma Cannon Mark I | Candy Kart | King Candy's Royal Racer | Pizza Planet truck | Recognizer | Light Runner | Pixar Ball | The Jolly Roger (Disney Parks version) | The Electric Mayhem Bus | Baseball Launcher

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