- “Electric cars don't use oil, you twit!”
- ―Axlerod to Mater
Sir Miles Axlerod is the true and hidden main antagonist of the 2011 animated film, Cars 2.
- Sir Miles Axlerod is a former oil baron who has sold off his fortune, converted himself into an electric vehicle and has devoted his life to finding the renewable, clean-burning energy source of the future—ultimately discovering what he believes is the fuel everyone should be using. Axlerod is also the car behind the World Grand Prix, a three-country race he created that attracts the world's top athletes—but it's really an excuse to show off his new wonder-fuel, Allinol.
When Cars 2 was under development, the filmmakers had a character named Zil in the original story. Zil would have been a Russian who had the role of trying to make the world go against alternative energy, and also be in place of Professor Zündapp. However, the filmmakers soon decided to use Axlerod and Professor Z instead.
Apparently, Axlerod's name seems to originate from a joke that his voice actor Eddie Izzard made about the invention of wheels and axles on one of his tours.
Axlerod was originally thought by others to be friendly, but it later turned out that he is actually ruthless, greedy, deceptive and very manipulative. He is also smart, as shown when he made the plan to get rid of alternative fuel. Additionally, he can speak in a deeper voice that is hard to be descrambled.
Axlerod is painted dark green, with a roof that is black, and blue eyes. He is modeled after a modified Range Rover L322, with chrome rims which do not turn like his tires, which have a texture that makes a repetition of a leaf-shaped motif. His rims also contain the words "REGEN R8," which means "Regenerate."
After he was thought to have converted himself into an electric car, he has a license plate that reads "ALT NRG", which makes up the words "alternative energy". He did not carry this license plate before the "conversion".
Axlerod has been known by the world for trying to traveling around without using a GPS, but in doing so, is thought to be dead when he runs out of fuel and comes into a rainforest. He eventually emerges more than a month later, using a fuel that is said to be made out of the natural elements. He is then reported to have sold his oil company, switched to an electric car, and invents a clean-burning fuel named allinol. To try and get the world to use alternative energy, he creates the World Grand Prix. On Mel Dorado's show, he announces that after the World Grand Prix, everyone around the world should switch to alternative energy. One of the racers he had invited to take part in the World Grand Prix is Lightning McQueen, but they only heard that McQueen is taking a break after his latest Piston Cup season. Soon, Mater contacts the show to tell them that another one of the World Grand Prix racers, Francesco Bernoulli, should not insult McQueen, which gets Francesco and Mater into a conversation as Axlerod and Mel Dorado listen. McQueen immediately gets on the phone to deal with Francesco himself, and afterwards, Axlerod offers McQueen to take part in the World Grand Prix, to which McQueen agrees.
At the opening ceremony in Tokyo, one day before the first race, Axlerod goes on stage to introduce the World Grand Prix racers to the press. While Axlerod is introducing McQueen, Mater suddenly rushes to the fountain behind them, having eaten too much wasabi. Feeling embarrassed, McQueen tries to explain to Axlerod about Mater, but Axlerod seems glad, as he thanks Mater for calling into the Mel Dorado Show. However, Axlerod then notices some oil beneath him and Mater, which it is immediately thought that Mater had leaked oil (being the car equivalent of urinating). While McQueen scolds Mater and orders him to take care of himself, Axlerod gets a member of staff to clean the oil up. The first race starts as usual, but throughout the whole race, a couple of the racers get their engines blown, leading the press to believe that allinol might be the reason why. Axlerod dismisses this to the press, saying that his fuel would have nothing to do with it.
In Porto Corsa, where the second race is taking place, Axlerod speaks to the press to answer their questions about the safety of allinol. He informs them that scientists have been examining it, and have proved that it is completely safe. However, throughout the race, a couple more of the racers' engines explode, which makes the fans believe once again that allinol is responsible, and begin to go against it. It only gets worse when one of the racers, Shu Todoroki, skids after his engine explodes, causing a huge pile-up with most of the other racers. Hearing what had happened, Axlerod rushes to the press and informs that the last race in London will still be held, but will no longer require the racers to use allinol, having decided not to risk any more lives. However, McQueen decides to use allinol, not believing that that kind of crash would happen at all.
Just before the last race, Axlerod comes to the pits to thank McQueen for his decision, telling him to show everyone that allinol is safe. As the race starts, Axlerod stands outside Buckingham Palace with the Queen and Prince Wheeliam. The race turns out well, but soon everyone notices Mater going onto the track while McQueen chases him. Later, Mater arrives at Buckingham Palace to tell everyone that Axlerod is actually the head of a group of lemons, who had been responsible for sabotaging the racers by using an electromagnetic pulse generator, disguised as a camera, to make the allinol inside them explode, so to make the whole world think alternative fuel is unsafe and buy regular oil from their huge oil field. Mater also reveals that Axlerod is actually the one who leaked oil back in Tokyo, having blamed it on Mater, and did not actually convert to an electric car. Axlerod tries to convince that all of this is not true, but eventually reveals his true self when he is forced to deactivate a bomb that he had put on Mater. Afterwards, he gets surrounded by police officers, as Mater opens his hood to reveal that he has the same engine shown in a photo that Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell had found. After Axlerod is arrested, it turns out that he actually used gasoline to make allinol and change it so that it would blow up when coming into contact with an electromagnetic pulse.
Axlerod is one of the characters who is playable in Cars 2: The Video Game. He is seen occasionally during races, as part of a simulation where Mater's friends train for the C.H.R.O.M.E. organization. Axlerod is one of the heavy characters, not having a lot of speed, but he does have a lot of power.
Axlerod is one of the characters who has to be unlocked during progress. To unlock him, the player must collect enough points to get to Clearance Level 5.
McQueen is one of the enemies of Axlerod in secret when he was thought to be a good guy. When McQueen was talking to Francesco, Axlerod was able to give him the offer of taking part in the World Grand Prix, having invited him before. In Tokyo, Axlerod stated to McQueen that he would be excellent in the competition, but also that Mater was in excitement.
When Axlerod made the decision not to have the last World Grand Prix race run on allinol, McQueen chose to use allinol for the race. This prompted Axlerod to tell Professor Z that allinol would be finished if McQueen was killed. While in London, Axlerod came to McQueen's pit stall to "thank" him for his decision, because of how the fans reacted to the race in Porto Corsa. Soon, Axlerod was revealed by Mater to be an enemy.
Along with McQueen, Mater is an enemy of Axlerod in secret. He felt amazed when Mater called into the Mel Dorado Show, so to talk to Francesco about McQueen. He felt like he had to thank Mater for doing so, since it made McQueen agree to compete in the World Grand Prix. He did thank Mater while in Tokyo, only for Mater to say he is the one who should thank. Immediately, Axlerod leaked oil, and took the blame on Mater so that no one could find out that he was actually not an electric car.
In London, Mater proved to the British Royal Family and police that Axlerod had been leader of the lemons, along with that he was the one who leaked oil. Axlerod tried not to reveal his cover, telling everyone that Mater was out of his mind, and ordering him to keep away when Mater prevented him from escaping. However, Axlerod's cover was revealed when he deactivated the bomb that the lemons had put on Mater, which had only been seconds away from detonating. Afterwards, Axlerod was left wondering how Mater was able to figure out the whole thing.
While Axlerod had been secretly owning an oil field, he and Professor Z were both leaders of the lemons, cars that do not function properly like other cars. They both made agreements to invent an electromagnetic pulse generator that has the appearance of a TV camera, so that they could try and get people to think that allinol is not safe, and instead use gasoline. While in Tokyo, they both found out that Rod "Torque" Redline had passed along a device containing Axlerod's engine down to Mater, to which Professor Z told Axlerod on the phone that it would be taken care of.
Axlerod's only other interaction with Professor Z in the film is when he phoned Professor Z in Porto Corsa to say that McQueen had to be killed during the final race in London upon deciding to still use allinol. However, the plan did not work, due to that McQueen was actually filled up with Fillmore's organic fuel by Sarge, and the lemons, as well as Professor Z, were all later arrested, while Mater revealed that Axlerod had been working with Professor Z.
- The parts that Axlerod uses are manufactured by a company called "British Wheeland". "British Wheeland" spoofs British Leyland, a company who had made both the Range Rover and their V-8 engines. As stated by Mater in the film, British Leyland's parts do not fit on other cars, because they use a different kind of bolts.
- While Axlerod is traveling around the world, he gets lost in a jungle which is actually the same one that Carl Fredricksen and Russell travel to in Up. This is easily shown when comparing the shot of Axlerod to the shot of Dug chasing one of the tennis balls on Carl's cane.
- According to the film's DVD commentary, the scene where Mater comes to Buckingham Palace and reveals Axlerod's actual personality and his plan to make the lemons rich had been used in production earlier than any other scene. As a result, Pixar went backwards to make the scenes where it looks as if Axlerod is a good guy, so to make the viewers figure out at the end that Mater is so brilliant after all of his foolishness throughout the film.