|Performer:|| Owen Wilson (films, Cars: The Video Game, Mater and the Ghostlight, Kinect Fun Labs: Kinect Rush - A Disney Pixar Adventures: Snapshot and Cars: Fast as Lightning)|
Keith Ferguson (Cars Toons and "Cars 2: The Video Game")
|Appeared in:|| Cars|
Mater and the Ghostlight
Cars Toons (except Bugged)
- "Speed. I am speed."
- —Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen (or simply "Stickers", as Sally usually calls him) is the protagonist of Cars, and the deuteragonist of Cars 2. He returns as the protagonist in Cars 3. His girlfriend is Sally Carrera.
Lightning is a red racecar sponsored by Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment ("With Just a Little Rust-eze, you can look like Lightning McQueen!"). McQueen's model is a 2006 handbuilt stock racing car - one of a kind.
He is number 95 in the movie, and at the beginning of the movie, he is racing his first Piston Cup race in Nashville, Tennessee, and is winning. However, when he foolishly refused a new set of tires, causing his current rear ones to blow out, he narrowly sticks his tongue out, making a three-way tie with Strip "The King" Weathers and Chick Hicks.
At first, McQueen is obnoxious, selfish, and rude to everyone, having fired three crew chiefs and got his pit crew to furiously resign. McQueen later talks with Weathers who praises him for his talent and guts but criticizes him for his "one-man deal" attitude. Weathers advises that he needs a good crew and a good chief behind him. McQueen's attention drifts towards getting the Dinoco sponsorship he craves so he doesn't pay full attention. On the way to Los Angeles, CA for the tie-breaker race, he selfishly makes his transporter Mack drive all night offering to stay awake with him only to fall asleep shortly after. A quartet of tuner cars harass Mack and bump his trailer, causing the racecar to fall out. When McQueen wakes up he notices that Mack is gone, and tries to follow him only to lose him in the process, and after a turn of events including almost being hit by a train and running into a grumpy Peterbilt, ends up in Radiator Springs where he accidentally tears up the main road and is arrested by Sheriff, who then tells him, "Boy, you're in a heap of trouble."
The next morning, McQueen is put on trial, where the town judge Doc Hudson is ready to throw the book at McQueen. The second he takes one look at him, he instead wants him out of town and dismisses the case. A lawyer named Sally Carrera shows up and Lightning is immediately taken with her. Sally convinces Doc that fixing the road is the best thing for the town so McQueen is sentenced to fix the road using a road paving machine named Bessie. McQueen attempts to escape, but Sheriff siphoned his fuel while he was in the impound, forcing him to stay.
McQueen is so desperate to leave that he runs Bessie at full speed. This results in a bumpy and uneven road. Doc makes a wager with him: if McQueen can beat him in a one lap race around Willy's Butte, then he wins his freedom; if he loses, he has to scrape off the botched asphalt and start over. McQueen immediately leaves Doc - who doesn't even move - in the dust. He fails to make a hard left turn in the dirt and winds up in a cactus patch, costing him the race. As he resumes paving, Lightning is so miserable that he refuses the town when they offer him anything. Doc takes pleasure in his suffering for some reason.
On the second day, the town sees that Lightning finished about a third of the road. Doc meets with Sheriff at Willy's Butte to find McQueen trying to make the hard left turn he couldn't do. Doc sends Sheriff away and advises McQueen on making the turn. McQueen doesn't get the advice and winds up in another cactus patch. Later on, Guido fixes a leak in one of his tires and Red hoses him off on Sally's orders. She offers him to stay the night at the Cozy Cone Motel, an offer Lightning is too happy to accept. It seems Sally is taken with him as well. Also, the look of the new road has inspired the townsfolk to repaint and fix up their businesses.
That night, the local tow truck Mater is put in charge of watching Lightning and takes him tractor tipping. Lightning doesn't think much of it but revs his engine, causing every tractor to tip. Him and Mater barely outrun a bull-like harvester named Frank. On their way back, Mater shows off his backwards-driving skills and inquires about the Dinoco sponsorship Lightning wants. McQueen offers him a helicopter ride if he gets the deal which leads Mater to say he made a good choice in picking Lightning as his best friend. Sally overheard that, telling Lightning that Mater trusts him, implying he shouldn't take that lightly.
The next morning, McQueen is waiting for his daily gas ration only to wander into Doc's garage. To his surprise he finds three Piston Cups and a newspaper article revealing that Doc Hudson is really the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a 3-time Piston Cup champion and record holder for the most wins in a single season. Doc finds him and kicks him out, saying the trophies are "a bunch of empty cups." McQueen tells the rest of the town about Doc but they laugh at him. Sally shows up and fills up his tank, asking him to take a drive with her. For a moment, Lightning considers making a run for it, but he follows Sally.
The two drive through a forest and mountains. Lightning is awestruck at the natural beauty of the area. They stop at the now-closed Wheel Well Motel where Sally reveals she was once a lawyer who was unhappy with her life. She broke down near Radiator Springs. Sally was fixed up by Doc and taken in by Flo and the rest of the town. She fell in love with the place and moved there. Sally explains that Route 66 was the main road around there and Radiator Springs was a popular tourist stop. All that changed when Interstate 40 was built forty years prior, bypassing the town and causing both the town and the highway to fall off the map entirely.
After McQueen returns to the town, multiple tractors come stampeding in. McQueen goes off to round up a stray heading towards Willy's Butte. He unexpectedly finds Doc wearing his racing tires showing off his skills. Doc uses a technique called drifting to make the turn McQueen couldn't do.
McQueen then confronts Doc as to why he would quit at the top of his game. Doc corrects him showing him a newspaper article of a major crash he suffered in 1954 in the final lap of the Piston Cup finals. After missing an entire season he returned only for his sponsors to turn their backs on him, forcing him out of the sport. Doc vowed never to go back, which explains why he wanted Lightning thrown out. Lightning claims he's not like those who turned their backs on him but when Doc presses him on a time he thought about anyone besides himself, he can't answer. Doc doesn't want the townsfolk depending on someone like him, but Lightning retorts that Doc is no better by hiding the truth about his past. Doc only tells him to finish the road so he can leave.
The next day, everyone wakes up to see the road is finished. To their delight, McQueen hasn't left yet. Sheriff offers him a police escort to Los Angeles but he declines. McQueen has decided to help the town by being their customer: he buys a set of whitewall tires from Luigi and Guido, Fillmore's organic fuel, a set of night-vision goggles from Sarge, some bumper stickers from Lizzie and finally a custom paint job from Ramone. Also, the townsfolk fixed up their neon signs as a result of the new road. A cruise party breaks out that night. While Lightning and Sally are together, a swarm of press shows up. Mack arrives too and apologizes for losing him. Before he leaves, Sally thanks him for everything, wishing him luck in the race. Lightning gets into Mack's trailer but he's sad to leave, having bonded with everyone in Radiator Springs. Sally is angered to learn that it was Doc who tipped off the press about Lightning. Doc says it's best for everyone but Sally can clearly see that Doc had done it for himself, proving Lightning right about his selfishness.
The day of the race arrives. McQueen prepares for the race with Mack is his pit crew. McQueen has troubles as he can't stop thinking about Sally and Radiator Springs, causing him to lose a lap. He then gets a surprise when he sees Doc in his old racing colors acting as his crew chief. Most of the town is there serving as his pit crew while Sally, Red and Lizzie stayed behind to watch in town. With renewed focus, McQueen starts to make up the lost lap. He makes good use of backwards driving to overcome Hicks' dirty tactics. McQueen suffers a flat tire but Guido makes a record-breaking pit stop to get him back out there. Hicks again plays dirty by knocking him onto the grass but the drifting technique allows McQueen to take the lead in the final lap.
During the final lap, Hicks sideswipes The King causing a violent crash. Lightning sees this happen on a big screen and hits the brakes, basically giving up the Piston Cup to Hicks. He reverses and pushes The King across the finish line so he can end his career with dignity. The crowd erupts in cheers for the two racers. Hicks is condemned by the fans and the media. McQueen was praised for his sportsmanship, so much that Tex Dinoco offered him the Dinoco sponsorship. Though it was everything McQueen ever dreamed of, he politely declined to stay with his Rust-eze sponsors as they had given him his big break. Tex respected his decision and reminded that he'll be willing to do a favor for him. McQueen cashed in that favor by arranging for Mater to have a helicopter ride.
McQueen then decided to establish his racing headquarters in Radiator Springs, putting the town back on the map. Lightning gets a new look which is a combination of Ramone's paint job and his racing look. He meets with Sally at the Wheel Well telling her he missed her. They start a relationship as they race back to Flo's. Doc takes him under his wing showing him some new tricks.
Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales
Lightning now serves as the deuteragonist in Mater's very own show.
The show 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, "Don't you remember? You was there, too!". Then, Mater continues the stories, including Lightning's sudden participation. The episodes end with Mater leaving, often followed by the characters and/or references from Mater's stories, implying that the stories might be real. Here, McQueen is often shown getting hurt or getting some other predicament (such as being chased by bulldozers and being trapped in a burning building) in some of Mater's stories, although not always.
In each episode Lightning was voiced by Keith Ferguson.
Cars 2In 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 long racing season, resulting him winning his fourth Piston Cup, Lightning returns home to Radiator Springs to enjoy the summer. All of his friends excitedly greet him, but none so more than Mater, eager to have a fun-filled summer with him. After an entire day involving riding on railway tracks with no tires and tipping over an enormous haul truck, Lightning politely tells Mater that he wants to enjoy the evening with his girlfriend Sally. However, Mater suddenly pretends to be a waiter at Wheel Well Motel as an excuse to hang out with his friends. After sending Mater off to get his usual drink (which Mater did not know), the couple notice a crowd gather inside the bar. Deciding to find out what's going on, they spot Francesco Bernoulli on TV, insulting both him and Mater over the phone. Lightning pulls Mater away from the phone before he could embarrass himself and anyone else further, making snug comebacks at Francesco that rile him and make him left the stage. Miles Axlerod suggests that the two racers settle their dispute in the World Grand Prix, a high profile, three-part exhibition race that Axlerod previously extended an invitation to Lighting. As Luigi, Guido, Sarge and Fillmore volunteer to fill in as his pit crew once more, Lightning gladly accepted the challenge. Sally then suggested bringing Mater along, as Lightning had never brought him to any of his races. Despite his reluctance, Lightning gives in to Sally's reasoning and invites Mater along.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."
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 then reassured himself and his friends that at least Mater will be safe back home. 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.
As Team Lightning McQueen arrive in Luigi and Guido's home town in Italy, a depressed Lightning began to feel guilty over his fight with Mater. Luigi's Uncle Topolino tells him that he has been too harsh on Mater and should accept him for who he is.
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, Lightning spotted Mater in the pits, only for the latter to desperately drive away from him. 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. Lightning then questioned why the Lemons' EMP camera didn't ignite the Allinol in his tank, to which the spycars had no answer. They all turn to Fillmore, who admitted that Sarge switched his Allinol with Fillmore's organic fuel, 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. As he turned to introduce the Italian to Sally, Francesco quickly addressed her and stated that Lightning is the luckiest car to have her as his girlfriend, before adding that he'll need luck to beat him. Lightning then sported off his new stickers saying, "Ka-Ciao Francesco", which amused his rival.
In the middle of the race, Mater joins the racers on his rocket jets 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.
"Lightning McQueen is world champion – a modern-day racing legend who’s riding high with five Piston-Cup wins under his hood. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new generation of racers who threaten not only his dominance in the sport but the confidence that got him there. Determined to get back to the pole position, the #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life."
McQueen is scheduled to return in Cars 3 as the protagonist. McQueen is now a veteran of the racing world and is challenged by the newer generation of race cars. After suffering a major defeat to newcomer Jackson Storm, McQueen begins reconsidering his career. He trains with Cruz Ramirez in hopes that he can make a comeback.
Lightning started out as an arrogant, selfish and conceited racecar who felt he didn't need any help to win races. He was unsatisfied with having the small and unglamorous Rust-eze as a sponsor, intended to ditch them for Dinoco the first chance he got. When asked about his tie-breaker race and who he wanted to give his free tickets to, it dawned on him that he didn't have any friends. After winding up in Radiator Springs by accident, he starts to lose his less desirable traits as he forms a bond with the town and its residents. He was very touched when Mater saw him as his best friend and grateful to Sally for offering him a place to stay at her motel.
As a racecar, Lightning is very talented, gutsy, and confident. He strives to be the best at what he does as evidenced when he tries to make a proper turn on dirt. By the time of his tie-breaker race he has changed into a more kind and caring individual using what he learned in Radiator Springs to gain the advantage. Lightning willingly forfeits the Piston Cup so that Strip Weathers could finish his last race, having realized what's really important in life.
Lightning McQueen is a 2006 Custom-Built Piston Cup Racing Stock Car.
- Top speed: 198 mph - 318 kph
- 0 to 60mph (100kph): 4 seconds (was 3.2 at the time of Cars 2)
- Engine: Stock Car Built Full-Race V8
- Horsepower: 750 (even though he once said that he had over 900 HP)
- Transmission: Stock Car/NASCAR Regulation 4 Speed
Lightning has coil-over shocks with tubular A arm front suspension, a solid axle rear end and vented disc brakes on all wheels. He also has air flaps on his roof to prevent flipping. Lightning's body is built from 24-gauge Cold-rolled Sheet Metal, and chassis is a high strength tubular frame. Like most Stock Cars, Lightning has no visible doors on his body.
Lightning has all his chassis and undercarriage exposed in every piece of Cars media except those relating to Cars 2.
- 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."
- His Hungarian name is Villám McQueen. The Hungarian word "villám" means "lightning".
- 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 1:55 scale die-cast of Lightning McQueen, along with Chick Hicks and Brush Curber, is used for one of the exhibit elements at The Science Behind Pixar.
- —Lightning McQueen's catchphrase.
- Dusty Rust-eze: "Ladies and gentlemen..."
Dusty and Rusty Rust-eze: "...Lightning McQueen!"
Car Voice: "Freebird!"
- —Dusty Rust-eze and Rusty Rust-eze announcing Lightning McQueen
From Cars 2
- Lightning McQueen: "Mater!"
Mater: "Hey, McQueen! What happened? Is the race over? You won, right?"
Lightning McQueen: "Mater, why were you yelling things at me while I was racing?"
Mater: "Yellin'? Oh, you thought... Oh! That's funny right there. Naw. See,t hat's 'cause I seen these 2 fellers doing some sort of karate street performance. It was nutso. One of 'em even had a flamethrower."
Lightning McQueen (confused): "A flamethrower? What are you talking about? I - I don't understand. Where were you?"
Mater: "Going to meet my date."
Lightning McQueen: "Your date?"
Mater: "She started talkin' to me as a voice in my head, tellin' me where to go. . ."
Lightning McQueen: "What?!"
Mater: "Wait a minute. I didn't screw you up, did I?"
Lightning McQueen (furious): "I LOST THE RACE BECAUSE OF YOU!"
Mater: "Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. . ."
Lightning McQueen: "An imaginary girlfriend? Flamethrowers?! You know-- this is exactly why I don't bring you along to these things!"
Mater: "Maybe if I, I don't know, talk to somebody, and explain what happened, I could help."
Lightning McQueen: "I don't need your help! I don't want your help!" (drives away; the press turns to McQueen)
Reporter: McQueen, you had it in the bag! What happened?
Lightning McQueen: I-I made a mistake. But I can assure you, it won't happen again. Look, people we know what the problem is, and we've taken care of it.
(Mater drives off, sad and guilty)
- —McQueen gets mad at Mater for causing him to lose the race.
- Uncle Topolino: "Hey, race car. You look so down, so low. Is like you have flat tires."
Mama Topolino: (something in Italian)
Uncle Topolino: "She said, you look like you are starving, that she's gonna make you a big meal and fatten you up."
Lightning McQueen: "Oh, no. Uh, Mama Topolino, please, you don't need to make a fuss. . ." (sighs as Mama Topolino drives into the building)
Uncle Topolino: "Capisco (Italian for 'I see'). I understand. Is a problem, yes, between you and a friend?"
Lightning McQueen: "How did you know that?"
Uncle Topolino: "A wise car hears 1 word and understands 2. . . That, and Luigi told me. While Mama cooks, come and take a stroll with me."
Lightning McQueen: "I brought my friend, Mater, along on the trip, and I told him he needed to act different that we weren't in Radiator Springs."
Uncle Topolino: "This Mater is a close friend?"
Lightning McQueen: "He's my best friend."
Uncle Topolino: "Then why would you ask him to be someone else?"
Lightning McQueen: (thinking for a moment) "What did I do? I said some things during our fight."
Uncle Topolino: "You know, back when Guido and Luigi used to work for me, they would fight over everything. They fight over what Ferrari was the best Ferrari, which one of them looked more like a Ferrari. There were even some non-Ferrari fights. So I tell them, 'Va bene (Italian for 'It's okay'), it's okay to fight. Everybody fights now and then, especially best friends. But you got to make up fast. No fight more important than friendship.'" (during what Uncle Topolino said, Luigi and Guido were fighting over who should dance with the girl, then another girl came, and they danced one with one girl)
Uncle Topolino: (something in Italian)
Lightning McQueen: "What does that mean?"
Mama Topolino: "'Whoever find a friend, find a treasure.' Now, mangia (Italian for 'eat'). Eat!"
(Uncle Topolino and Mama Topolino drive away, conversing in Italian)
- —Uncle Topolino gives Lightning some wise advice.
From Cars 2
From Cars Toons
From Cars 3
- ↑ Cars 2: New International Poster + Character Shots! [UPDATE]
- ↑ Watch: ‘Cars 3’ Character Close-Ups
- ↑ Sneak peek: 'Cars 3' zooms ahead with new character Cruz Ramirez
- ↑ CARS 2 debuts new trailer, releases real character specs
- ↑ 'Cars 2' Introduces Nearly 1,000 New Characters and More Fun Facts (Minor Spoilers)
- ↑ Cars 3 first look: Meet Pixar's new millennials
- ↑ A grease geek will guide you: `Cars' decoded
- ↑ Spanish Cars 2 site
- ↑ The Science Behind Pixar Fun Facts