- “Speed. I am speed.”
- ―Lightning ready to race.
Lightning McQueen is the protagonist of the Disney/Pixar 2006 feature film Cars, and the deuteragonist of its 2011 sequel. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- Turning on dirt is not only harder than Lightning McQueen thought, it's also a lot more embarrassing.
- 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.
- Lightning McQueen never stops for tires, even if it means driving right through them.
- When you don't have a nose to win by, a tongue is the next best thing.
- 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.
At first, Lightning McQueen 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's so full of himself to the point where he claims he doesn't need any friends and can't 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 wasn't 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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, although Sally still occasionally calls him "Stickers".
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.
- Lightning McQueen has 4 Piston Cups under his belts! He races around the world, but he calls Radiator Springs his home.
Lightning is running in the race to win the 2005 Piston Cup, with the incentive that the winner would be a great candidate for Dinoco's new mascot - their old mascot, Strip Weathers, is 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.
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's in town he meets a selection of cars, most of them at least 30 years old. Most notably are Doc Hudson and Sally Carrera. He soon comes to realize how arrogant and selfish he's been, and that there's 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.
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.
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 back on the map. In the process, Route 66 becomes a historical tourist attraction.
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 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.
Lightning now serves as the deuteragonist in Mater's very own show.
Each installment of Mater's Tall Tales begins with Mater telling Lightning what he used to be and did in the past. However, Lightning never believes Mater (as he wasn't there), and whenever he asks Mater if the stories really happened, Mater will always say something along the lines "Don't you remember? You was there, too!" Then, Mater continues the stories, including Lightning's sudden participation, confusing him in the results. The episodes end with Mater leaves, often followed by the characters and/or references from Mater's stories, implying that the stories might be real.
In the sequel, Lightning returns as the deuteragonist.
After he wins his fourth Piston Cup, he comes back to Radiator Springs, where the townsfolk are happy to see him return, especially 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.
During a race against several other competitors including an Italian car named Francesco Bernoulli, Lightning unexpectedly loses the race in Tokyo after Mater is unexpectedly mistaken for a spy and therefore abandoning his position as crew chief, unintentionally give him. McQueen gets mad at Mater and claims that he doesn't need or want his help anymore, causing the tow truck to feel dejected. The next morning, Lightning and the others discover a farewell note from Mater, apologizing for what he had done. Lightning, saddened that his friend left, reassured himself and his friends that at least Mater will be safe back home, though he felt awful for his harsh words. Little that he knew that Mater had been mistaken from a spy and was caught up in a plot involving Lemon cars and the race.
In Porto Corsa for the second race, Lightning manages to win one over on Francesco. However, they then spot most of the other racecars having suffered engine damage from the Allinol fuel in their tanks exploding. Though Axlerod is forced to suspend Allinol's use from the final race in London, Lightning announced that he would continue to use Allinol, stating that Fillmore said it was safe. Unknown to him, the Lemons decided to target and kill him during the final race to fully discredit Allinol.
Lightning later called Radiator Springs to talk to Mater, only to learn that he didn't return home. In response, Sally and the others joined him in London, Sheriff and Sarge departing their company to consult respectively with Scotland Yard and the British Military to find Mater. He was then personally approached by Axlerod, who thanked him for giving Allinol another chance. When Sally reminded him that Mater would want him to race, Lightning resolved to race in his best friend's name.In the middle of the race in London, he chases Mater through the streets, trying to apologize, not knowing that he had a bomb in his engine. After the chase, they hear from Professor Z that it's voice activated and can only be deactivated by the one who activated it in the first place. Mater soon realizes that Miles Axlerod is the criminal behind the World Grand Prix, but is worried that nobody will believe him. Then, Lightning tells him what he learned, and Mater goes to the palace and forces Miles to deactivate the bomb. For that, Lightning decides to bring Mater to all his races from now on.
After Mater is formally knighted by the Queen, everyone returns to Radiator Springs, where they receive a visit from Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Fillmore reveals that Sarge replaced Lightning's Allinol before the last race with his own organic fuel mixture, which is what prevented Lightning from being affected by the electromagnetism, hence why Lightning didn't explode.
As all the WGP racers are invited for the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, Lightning and Francesco's rivalry had toned down, as they both agreed that the race is better off without cameras or press. Lightning then sported off his new stickers saying, "Ka-Ciao Francesco", which amused his rival, before the latter added that he'll need luck to beat him. Lightning is joined by Mater on his rocket jets in the middle of the race and races Lightning for first place as the film ends.
During the credits, Lightning and Mater are seen visiting many places around the world before returning home.
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.
Video gamesDelinquent 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
- His racing number, "95", is a reference to the year 1995, when Pixar's first feature-length film, Toy Story was released. Originally, his number was going to be 57, which is the year John Lasseter was born.
- Lightning's last name "McQueen" is a reference to Glenn McQueen, a supervising animator at Pixar who passed away in 2002.
- In the first official teaser trailer of Cars 2, for unknown reasons, Lightning McQueen has on his original Rust-eze customization, which never appeared in the sequel. It may be because the new paint job wasn't finalized at the time of the release of the teaser trailer.
- Lightning, along with other countless versions of him, have been released in the Cars, Cars Toons, and Cars 2 Die-Cast Lines.
- According to a Storytellers Book, Lightning's original sponsor was Smell Swell before Rust-eze.
- In Toy Story 3, in the Caterpillar Room at Sunnyside Daycare, you can see one of the kids with a white T-shirt with red sleeves and has in the middle of the shirt the 95 racing number with the lightning bolt of Lightning McQueen. A toy similar to Lightning can also be seen.
- Lightning's back bumper is yellow. This follows NASCAR's tradition of putting yellow rookie stripes on rookie drivers' cars.
- Lightning's design was inspired by stock cars, and a more curvaceous Le Mans endurance racers.
- After Lightning's redesign in Cars 2, he has working headlights instead of stickers. However, Sally still calls him "Stickers."
- In Tokyo, an advertisement for a vacuum cleaner named "Lightning McClean" is seen.
- Lightning has several names in other languages:
- His Spanish name is Rayo McQueen. In Spanish, "rayo" means "lightning", "beam" or "ray."
- His French name is Flash McQueen.
- In Polish, he is called Zygzak McQueen. (z-ih-g-z-ah-k) The word "zygzak" means "zigzag" in Polish.
- His Danish name is Lynet McQueen. The Danish word "lynet" means "the lightning."
- His Dutch name is Bliksem McQueen. The Dutch word "bliksem" means "lightning."
- His Italian name is Saetta McQueen. The Italian word "saetta" means "flash of lightning."
- His Swedish name is Blixten McQueen. The Swedish word "Blixten" means "the flash."
- His Albanian name is Vetëtima McQueen. The Albanian word "Vetëtima" means "lightning."
- His Portuguese name is Faísca McQueen. The Portuguese word "faísca" means "spark."
- His Finnish name is Salama McQueen. The Finnish word "salama" means "lightning bolt."
- Lightning and his girlfriend Sally appear in Radiator Springs Racers as audio-animatronics who greet guests in their ride vehicle. They announce the qualities that a racing champion needs and who can provide the tire changes by Luigi and Guido or paint refreshes by Flo and Ramone, while the computer controls the way that the ride vehicle turns into each character's business.
- Lightning McQueen has 14 different paint variants, ranging from subtly different amounts of dirt and dust to the completely new paint jobs near the end of the film.
- In Planes: Fire & Rescue, Mayday uses Lightning's famous catchphrase: "Ka-chow!", although the home video subtitles say that he is sneezing.
- A life-size Lightning McQueen is preserved at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 "Car Finder" (supplementary material on Blu-ray Disc release of Cars). 2007. Blu-ray Disc. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2007.
- ↑ Cars 2: New International Poster + Character Shots! [UPDATE]
- ↑ A grease geek will guide you: 'Cars' decoded
- ↑ 'Cars 2' Introduces Nearly 1,000 New Characters and More Fun Facts (Minor Spoilers)
- ↑ A grease geek will guide you: `Cars' decoded
- ↑ Spanish Cars 2 site
- ↑ The Science Behind Pixar Fun Facts
- ↑ Petersen Automotive Museum