Lightning McQueen
Background information
Feature films Cars
Cars 2
Planes (cameo)
Television programs Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales
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 (films)
Jan Lamb (Cantonese)
Keith Ferguson (Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales, Disney Parks)
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names McQueen (by everyone)
Stickers (by Sally)
Mr. McQueen
Personality Selfish (formerly), arrogant, mischievous, friendly, kind-hearted, over-confident, sweet
Appearance Slender red race car with stickers all over, and blue eyes (Cars)
With a 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
Affiliations Neutral (formerly)

Good (after realizing how arrogant and selfish he's been)

Goal To win the Piston Cup at the race (Cars)
To get a sponsorship with Dinoco after the King (formerly)
To win the World Grand Prix (Cars 2)
Allies Mater (succeeder as his crew chief), his girlfriend Sally Carrera, Doc Hudson (former crew cheif), Fillmore, Sarge (Cars), Luigi, Guido, Sheriff (Cars) Ramone, Flo, Lizzie (Cars), Red (Cars), Mack, 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
Likes Being himself, his fanclub, Mater, Sally, Doc Hudson's performances, Radiator Springs
Dislikes Rust-Eze (formerly), rusty cars (formerly), Radiator Springs and it's residents (formerly), other racecars stealing his "Ka-Chow!" bit
Powers and abilities Speed, engines
Fate Races with Sally in the first film.

Races with Mater with rockets in the second film.

Quote "Speed, I am speed! Float like a Cadillac, sting like a Beemer!"
"In your dreams, Thunder."
"Checkered flag, here I come!"
Lightning McQueen is the main protagonist of Cars and the deuteragonist of its 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 the original and sequel of the film.
Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson


At first, McQueen is young, selfish, and arrogant, over-confident that he can win the Piston Cup on his own, without help from any pit crew. 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 Official Description

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. 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 Carrerra. He soon comes to realise how arrogant and selfish he's been, and that there's more to racing than 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 push The King 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.

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. 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.


  • 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 from melanoma in 2002 and actor, Steve McQueen for his ability of racing.
  • In the first official teaser trailer of Cars 2, for unknown reasons, Lightning McQueen has on his 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.
  • 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 McQueen 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.
  • In Tokyo, an advertisement for a vacuum cleaner named "Lightning McClean" is seen.
  • His Spanish name is Rayo McQueen.
  • 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 "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 Portuguese name is Faísca McQueen. The Portuguese word "faísca" means "spark"
  • He is Sally Carrera's boyfriend who races with her in the film.
  • His nickname is "Stickers" that is given to him by his girlfriend, Sally Carrera.
  • He and his girlfriend, Sally Carrera, 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 and Disney Fan Fiction Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Lightning McQueen.

Media: Cars | Cars 2 | Cars 3 | Cars (soundtrack) | Cars - The Video Game | Cars 2: The Video Game | Cars Mater-National | Cars Race-O-Rama | Mater and the Ghostlight | Cars Toons | Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures | Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure | Disney INFINITY

Characters: Lightning McQueen | Mater | Sally Carrera | Mack | Doc Hudson | Flo | Ramone | Sheriff | Finn McMissile | Holley Shiftwell | Luigi | Guido | Sarge | Fillmore | Red | Chick Hicks | The King | 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 | The Delinquent Road Hazards | Max Schnell | Vroomaroundus Bugus | Mama Bernoulli | Darrell Cartrip | Frank | Al Oft | Todd | Donna Pits | Stacy | Greta | Patty | Rusty Rust-eze | Artie | Barney Stormin | Bessie | Giulia | Fred Pacer | Gil | Junior | Kori Turbowitz | Leroy Traffik | Lynda King | T.J. | Screamin' Banshee | Zil | Vern | Tow | Popemobile

Locations: Radiator Springs | Flo's V8 Cafe | Luigi's Casa Della Tires | Radiator Springs City Hall | Courthouse & Fire Department | Ramone's House of Body Art | Cozy Cone Motel | Fillmore's Organic Fuels | Sarge's Surplus Hut | Tow Mater Towing & Salvage | Doctor Hudson: Dr. of Internal Combustion | Radiator Springs Curios | Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre | Wheel Well Motel | London, England | Big Ben | Paris, France | Porto Corsa | Tokyo | California | Los Angeles International Speedway | Piston Cup | Ornament Valley | Motor Speedway of the South | Cadillac Range | Carburetor County | U.S. Route 66

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

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