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Lightning McQueen

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Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen
Background information
Feature films Cars
Cars 2
Television programs Cars Toons
Video games Cars - The Video Game
Cars Mater-National
Cars Race-O-Rama
Cars 2: The Video Game
Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure
Park attractions Radiator Springs Racers
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Cars Race Rally
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators Mark Anthony Austin
Voice Owen Wilson (in the films)
Jan Lamb (Cantonese)
Keith Ferguson (Cars Toons, Disney Parks, Cars Mater-National Championship, Cars Race-O-Rama, Cars 2: The Video Game)
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names McQueen (by everyone)
Stickers (by Sally)
Mr. McQueen
Personality Selfish (formerly), arrogant (formerly), friendly, kind-hearted, over-confident, sweet, short-tempered (sometimes)
Appearance Red race car with stickers all over, and blue eyes (in the first film)
New logo called "Hudson Hornet Piston Cup" on his hood, new spoiler, new wheels (travel, party, and racing) and new headlights and tail lights
Occupation Rookie racer
Doc Hudson's former accused prisoner
Sally Carrera's boyfriend
Alignment Neutral (formerly)
Good (after realizing how arrogant and selfish he's been)
Goal To win the Piston Cup at the race (in the first film)
To get a sponsorship with Dinoco after the King (formerly)
To win the World Grand Prix (in the 2011 sequel)
Allies Mater (successor as his crew chief), his girlfriend Sally Carrera, Doc Hudson (former crew cheif), Fillmore, Sarge, Luigi, Guido, Sheriff Ramone, Flo, Lizzie, Red, Mack, Harv, The King, Finn McMissile, Holley Shiftwell, Francesco Bernoulli, Rust-eze
Enemies Chick Hicks, The King (formerly), his rival Francesco Bernoulli (formerly), Professor Z, Miles Axlerod, Ivan, Acer, Grem, Tubbs Pacer, J. Curby Gremlin, Vladimir Trunkov, Victor Hugo, Pacers, Gremlins, Trunkovs, Hugos, Sandy Dunes, Blue Grit, Shifty Sidewinder, Idle Threat
Likes Being himself, his fanclub, Mater, Sally, Doc Hudson's performances, Radiator Springs (currently), winning in first place.
Dislikes Rust-eze (formerly), rusty cars (formerly), Radiator Springs and its residents (formerly), other racecars stealing his "Ka-chow!" bit
Powers and abilities Speed
Racing skills
Fate Races with Sally (in the first film).
Races with Mater with rockets (in the 2011 sequel).
Quote "Speed, I am speed! Float like a Cadillac, sting like a Beemer!"
"In your dreams, Thunder."
"Checkered flag, here I come!"
"Chuck go! Everyone wants to see the bolt"
I'm faster than fast. Quicker than quick. I am Lightning!
―Lighting ready to race.
Chuck you're blocking the camera everyone wants to see the bolt!
—Lightning to Chuck

Lightning McQueen is the main protagonist of the Disney/Pixar 2006 feature film Cars and one of the two main protagonists 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. He is voiced by Owen Wilson in both films.


At first, McQueen is selfish, and arrogant, over-confident that he can win the Piston Cup on his own , without help from any pit crew or a coach. 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 townscars to fix the road that he himself destroyed when he first arrived at their place. After a few grudging performance 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 and understanding character during his time in Radiator Springs on Route 66.

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 is running in the race to win the 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 Chuck, one of his members to get lost. Strip Weathers admonishes him for his arrogance and lack of teamwork, but Lightning doesn't listen.

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 realise how arrogant and selfish he's been, and that there's more to racing than just winning. 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 popluar again and back on the map. Lightning now serves as the deuteragonist in Mater's very own show and subsequent projects such as the sequel.

Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales

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.

Cars 2

In the sequel, Lightning returns, but as a deuteragonist. This time around, Lightning is racing in the first ever World Grand Prix to determine who's the world's fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours, and hilarious surprises. 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.

Disney Parks

Lighting McQueen HKDL

McQueen posing for a photo at Hong Kong Disneyland.

He is seen with Mater at the Pixar Play Parade at Disney California Adventure in California.


  • Top speed: 200 mph
  • Zero to 60: 3.2 seconds
  • Engine: V-8
  • Horsepower: 750

Lightning has coil-over shocks with 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 flipping. He has a spoiler.


  • 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 beloved 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 McQueen in TS3

    Lightning McQueen in Toy Story 3

  • 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.[1]
  • After Lightning's redesign in Cars 2, he has working headlights instead of stickers. However, Sally still calls him "Stickers."
  • Capture plein écran 2011-06-17 145045
    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.[2] In Spanish, "rayo" means "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 or paint refreshes while the computer controls the way that the ride vehicle turns into each character's business.


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

Media: Cars | Cars 2 | Cars 3 | Cars (soundtrack) | Cars 2 (soundtrack) | Cars: The Video Game | Cars 2: The Video Game | Cars Mater-National Championship | Cars Race-O-Rama | The World of Cars Online | Mater and the Ghostlight | Cars Toons | Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures | Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure | Disney Infinity | Radiator Springs Racers | Cars: Fast as Lightning

Characters: Lightning McQueen | Mater | Sally Carrera | Mack | Doc Hudson | Flo | Ramone | Sheriff | Finn McMissile | Holley Shiftwell | Luigi | Guido | Sarge | Fillmore | Red | The King | Chick Hicks | The Delinquent Road Hazards | Tractors | Larry | R.M. | Not Chuck | Charlie Cargo | T.J. Hummer | Murphy | Frank Pinkerton | Miles Axlerod | Francesco Bernoulli | Professor Z | Grem | Acer | Siddeley | Tomber | Tony Trihull | Lizzie | Victor Hugo | Vladimir Trunkov | Tubbs Pacer | Minny | J. Curby Gremlin | Mia and Tia | Alexander Hugo | Uncle Topolino | Mama Topolino | Van | Ivan | The Queen | Leland Turbo | Crabby | Ichigo | Jay Limo | Mac iCar | Pope Pinion IV | Chauncy Fares | Mario Andretti | Jeff Gorvette | David Hobbscap | Rip Clutchgoneski | Galloping Geargrinder | Tex Dinoco | Petrov Trunkov | Clayton Gentlebreeze | Mel Dorado | Rod "Torque" Redline | Shu Todoroki | Lewis Hamilton | Carla Veloso | Miguel Camino | Snot Rod | DJ | Brent Mustangburger | Nigel Gearsley | John Lassetire | Austin Littleton | Marco | Stu Bop | Sulley | Mike | Boost | Wingo | Dex | Elvis | Kabuto | Harv | Wilmar Flattz | Stanley | Bud | Raoul ÇaRoule | Max Schnell | Vroomaroundus Bugus | Mama Bernoulli | Bob Cutlass | Darrell Cartrip | Frank | Al Oft | Todd | Donna Pits | Stacy | Greta | Patty | Rusty Rust-eze | Dusty Rust-eze | Fred | Artie | Barney Stormin | Sven | Bessie | Giulia | Fred Pacer | Gil | Trev Diesel | Junior | Kori Turbowitz | Leroy Traffik | Lynda Weathers | Screamin' Banshee | Zil | Vern | Tow | Popemobile | Dustin Mellows | Zen Master | Sandy Dunes | Shifty Sidewinder | Idle Threat | Blue Grit

Locations: Dinoco | 2006 Piston Cup | 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 Organic Fuels | Fillmore's Taste-In | Sarge's Surplus Hut | Sarge's SUV Boot Camp | Doctor Hudson: Dr. of Internal Combustion | Racing Museum | Oil Rigs | Mrs. Piston | Willy's Butte | Radiator Springs Curios | Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre | Wheel Well Motel | Interstate 40 | U.S. Route 66 | London, England | Big Ben | Paris, France | Porto Corsa | Tokyo | California | Los Angeles International Speedway | Ornament Valley | Motor Speedway of the South | Cadillac Range | Carburetor County | Big Bentley | Top Down Truckstop

Attractions: Cars Race Rally | Cars Land | Radiator Springs Racers | Mater's Junkyard Jamboree | Luigi's Flying Tires

Songs: Real Gone | Life is a Highway | Our Town | Route 66 | Behind the Clouds | You Might Think | Collision of Worlds | Nobody's Fool


Games: Disney INFINITY | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 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 | Ferb Fletcher
Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition: Iron Man | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | Thor Odinson | Hawkeye | Nick Fury | Loki | Maleficent | Merida | Spider-Man | Venom | Iron Fist | Nova | Rocket Raccoon | Groot | Starlord | Gamora | Drax the Destroyer | Stitch | Tinker Bell

Non-Playable Characters
Disney INFINITY: Hamm | Rex | Slinky Dog | Emperor Zurg | Joshamee Gibbs | Pintel | Ragetti | Edna Mode | Rick Dicker | Mirage | Luigi | Ramone | Flo | Chick Hicks | The King | Guido | Finn McMissile | Shu Todoroki | Carla Veloso | Tractors | Rotor Turbosky | Art | Scott "Squishy" Squibbles | Terri and Terry Perry | Don Carlton

Objects: Cruella's car | Ratcatcher | Pumpkin Coach | Lightsaber | Darkwing Duck's gas gun | Black Pearl | Identity Disc

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