Cars 3 is Pixar's eighteenth feature film, and the second sequel to the 2006 film Cars, released on June 16, 2017. It was directed by Brian Fee.
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!
Lightning McQueen is preparing for a big race, when suddenly Mater visits him in his trailer, keeping him company. Lightning then asks Mater to give him some quiet. Mater leaves and Lightning soon races with his long time friends Bobby Swift and Cal Weathers. One day, a mysterious black car named Jackson Storm, who is part of a new generation of racers who use the latest technology to run faster than veteran racers, comes from nowhere and beats him. After a few more races, there are six more high-tech cars, and Bobby, Cal, and the rest of the old racers decide to retire. At the next race, Lightning has the lead, but Jackson Storm, Danny Swervez and Chase Racelott catches up and overtakes him. Lightning tries to catch up, but pushes himself so hard that he spins out of control, has one of tires blown out, and collides with the tracks wall, launching him into a rollover crash, leaving him seriously injured.
Four months later, Lightning is recovering back in Radiator Springs but is afraid he might never be able to race again. Lightning has mostly been watching a video of the last race of his late mentor Doc Hudson. Lightning tells his girlfriend Sally that he doesn't want to be forced into retiring, like Doc, but also that he can't race like before. She tells him to try something new, and Lightning decides to start training again.
Lightning calls Rusty and Dusty, the CEOs of Rust-Eze, saying that he wants to train like Jackson Storm, and they inform him that they're opening the new Rust-eze Racing Center. Lightning travels there, only for Rusty and Dusty to tell him that in order to pay for the facility, they sold Rust-eze to a car named Sterling, who introduces him to his trainer, Cruz Ramirez, who is a big fan of him. Lightning attempts to use the simulator in the facility to train, but he shoots forward and crashes into the screen in the process. Sterling then tells Lightning in his office that his racing days are ending, and that in order to provide Sterling with revenue, he will be selling legacy merchandise instead. Lightning, annoyed that Sterling cares more about him as a brand than a racer, asks for one more race, and makes a deal with Sterling: if Lightning wins, he gets to continue racing; if he loses, he'll retire and sell Sterling's merchandise. Sterling agrees to Lightning's deal, and lets him train at Fireball Beach with the help of Cruz.
Lightning is able to train on the beach and help Cruz become experienced as well, but his top speed is 198 mph, which is still slower than Storm. Lightning sees a dirt track known as Thunder Hollow and decides to do more difficult training there. At the speedway, Lightning (disguised as Chester Whipplefilter to avoid paparazzi) comes upon the Crazy Eight Demolition Derby and he and Cruz are joined by a huge school bus named Miss Fritter. The derby starts and after Lightning challenges Miss Fritter to avoid hitting Cruz, she becomes the last undamaged car. Because of this, Cruz is declared the winner and Lightning becomes upset that he failed to win. Not only that, Cruz accidentally trips over a water truck that blasts water on Lightning, blowing his cover and revealing his identity to the crowd.
While leaving Thunder Hollow, Lightning Mcqueen lashes out at Cruz, telling her that instead of making progress in being faster than Jackson Storm, he is too busy taking care of her. And in the process, he deliberately breaks her trophy. Angry, Cruz commands Mack to pull over. Cruz says she wanted to become a racer her whole life because of him, but when she got to her first race, she saw that all of the other cars looked stronger, and therefore left. Cruz then leaves Lightning and Mack on her own.
Lightning sees a report on TV that Jackson Storm set a new record for the fastest lap in a race. He calls up Mater to get some good advice and he replies that Doc's trainer would know the most about racing. Knowing his trainer to be an old truck named Smokey, Lightning persuades Cruz to help look for him. Arriving at Doc's hometown, Thomasville, they come across Smokey and Lightning says he doesn't want to be forced out of the sport he loves like Doc was. Upon hearing a story of one of Doc's races, Lightning remarks that he wishes he could have seen Doc at the happiest part of his life, his racing years. This prompts Smokey to show Lightning a garage containing a whole wall of pictures of himself and Doc together. He tells Lightning that coaching him was the best part of Doc's life and that while he can never be faster than Storm, he can be smarter than him. Lightning participates in a practice race against Cruz, but he still can't catch up to her. After watching footage that shows Doc pulling ahead of another car after drafting, Cruz and Lightning are successfully able to complete the exercises. They perform a final practice race, and Lightning takes the lead down the final stretch. However, he then has a flashback to his crash and loses the race, before heading off with Cruz and Smokey to the opening Piston Cup race in Florida.
At the race, Lightning lines up in the last position due to his failure to appear at the qualifier and he passes the other racers using the skills he learned at the dirt track. However, Sterling asks Cruz to leave because she is merely a trainer, and when a wreck occurs on the track and Lightning pulls into the pits, he decides to have Cruz finish for him in order for her to have a chance at racing, remembering her story about wanting to be a racer. Lightning and his pit crew get Cruz ready to race while Mater distracts Sterling from intervening. While Cruz races, both Smokey and Lightning act as her crew chiefs. After several laps, Cruz pulls up behind the pack of racers and she picks her way between them before pulling right behind Storm on the last lap. Cruz taunts Jackson Storm and he says he's not angry. Jackson Storm loses his focus and rams her into the wall, but Cruz drives up the wall and flips in the air over Jackson in a manner similar to Doc in the racing story from earlier, thereby winning the race. Upon this victory, Sterling immediately offers Cruz to race for him, which she declines, and takes Tex's offer to become the new Dinoco racer instead. After both Lightning and Cruz are declared the winners due to each racing for part of the race, he says he will continue racing.
Back at Radiator Springs, Cruz (now as Dinoco #51) and Lightning (now as The Fabulous Lightning McQueen, to honor Doc Hudson) learn that Tex has bought Rust-eze from Sterling and taken over their sponsorships. Lightning says that he will take on the role of Cruz's new crew chief, implying that he will "continue racing" through his frequent training with Cruz. They then perform a practice race together using their newfound skills.
In a post-credits scene, Mater has trouble with his smartphone when he tries answering a call.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen
- Paul Newman as Doc Hudson/Fabulous Hudson Hornet (archive audio and unused dialogue from first film)
- Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez
- Chris Cooper as Smokey
- Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm
- Nathan Fillion as Sterling
- John Ratzenberger as Mack
- Larry the Cable Guy as Tow Mater
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
- Cheech Marin as Ramone
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo
- Paul Dooley as Sarge
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff
- Guido Quaroni as Guido
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi
- Richard Petty as Strip "The King" Weathers
- Bob Peterson as Chick Hicks
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette
- Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip
- Ray Magliozzi as Dusty
- Tom Magliozzi as Rusty
- Chase Elliott as Chase Racelott
- Daniel Suárez as Danny Swervez
- Ryan Blaney as Ryan "Inside" Laney
- Darrell Wallace Jr. as Bubba Wheelhouse
- Kyle Petty as Cal Weathers
- Shannon Spake as Shannon Spokes
- H. A. Wheeler as Tex Dinoco
- Ray Evernham as Ray Reverham
- Mike Joy as Mike Joyride
- Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain
- Lea DeLaria as Miss Fritter
- Lewis Hamilton as Hamilton
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott
- Junior Johnson as Junior "Midnight" Moon
- Margo Martindale as Louise "Barnstormer" Nash
- Angel Oquendo as Bobby Swift
- Madeleine McGraw as Maddy McGear
- Andra Day as Sweet Tea
It was previously assumed that Pixar would order a third film in the Cars franchise after the box office and merchandising success of Cars 2. On August 17, 2013, the voice actor for Sheriff, Michael Wallis told radio audiences that Cars 3 would take place on California's Route 99.
At the Disney stockholder meeting on March 18, 2014, Disney CEO Bob Iger first announced that Pixar had begun pre-production on Cars 3.
At the 2015 São Paulo Disney Expo, it was hinted that the film would be released in Brazil in 2018. In an interview John Lasseter did with Autoweek on the occasion of Pixar's 2015 bi-annual Motorama car show, he gave a potential release date of summer 2018 or 2019.
Randy Newman revealed during an interview with The Advertiser in the February of 2016 that he would be the film's composer.
Lasseter later revealed on June 8, 2016, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly's Marc Snetiker, that Doc Hudson, a character from the first film who died before the events of the second film, would be referenced several times in Cars 3.
On November 21, 2016, the first teaser trailer for Cars 3 was released on the Pixar YouTube channel. An extended teaser aired January 9, 2017.
A full trailer was released on April 26, and a one-minute sneak peek was revealed at the Radio Disney Music Awards.
A "Rivalry" trailer was released on May 10.
A clip showing Cruz's command assistant Hamilton was released on Lewis Hamilton's social media accounts on May 25.
Another clip showing McQueen and Storm was released on the Movieclips Trailers YouTube channel on June 6. It was then released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 14, and the Pixar YouTube channel on June 15.
A "The Limit" trailer was released on June 9.
A "My Senior Project" clip was first released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 14.
From June 17 to July 31, Kmart hosted a Collectors Event where you can mail in for an exclusive Precision Series Fabulous Lightning McQueen.
A "Legacy of 95" featurette was released on the Disney UK YouTube channel on June 22.
Life-size models of Lightning and Jackson Storm were shown at the 2017 Formula 1 British Grand Prix as part of a promotion by Disney and the Formula One Group to promote the UK release of the film.
Along with original score by Randy Newman, there are rock and pop songs, including "Ride" by ZZ Ward and Gary Clark Jr. The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Original Score Soundtrack were both released on June 16, 2017.
Attached Short Film
The short film Lou, directed by Dave Mullins, was attached to the theatrical release of Cars 3.
Cars 3: Driven to Win
In January 2017, after it was reopened and bought by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Avalanche Software confirmed a game based on the film. On April 5, 2017, the title of the game was revealed to be Cars 3: Driven to Win, and it was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in North America on June 13, Australia on June 14, and Europe on July 14.