Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy spy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the sequel to the 2006 film Cars and features the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage. The film is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, written by Ben Queen, and produced by Denise Ream.
Cars 2 was released in the United States on June 24, 2011 (five years after the first film). The film was presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. The film was first announced in 2008, alongside Up, Newt, and Brave, and it is the 12th animated film from the studio. Even though the film received mixed reviews from critics, breaking the studio's streak of critical success, it ranked No. 1 on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada with $66,135,507 and topping international success of such previous Pixar works as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and WALL-E.
British spy Finn McMissile infiltrates the world's largest untapped oil reserves, owned by a group of "lemon" cars. After being discovered, he is forced to flee and fake his death.
Lightning McQueen, now a 4-time Piston Cup champion, returns home to Radiator Springs and reunites with his best friend Mater and his girlfriend Sally Carrera. Former oil tycoon Sir Miles Axlerod, now a green power advocate, announces a racing series called the "World Grand Prix" to promote his biofuel Allinol. When Italian formula race car Francesco Bernoulli challenges McQueen, he and Mater—along with Luigi, Guido, Fillmore, and Sarge—depart for Tokyo, Japan for the World Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, the lemons, who are led by unknown mastermind Professor Zündapp, secretly plot to secure their oil profits by using an EMP weapon disguised as a television camera to ignite the Allinol fuel. McMissile and his partner Holley Shiftwell attempt to rendezvous with American spy car Rod "Torque" Redline at a World Grand Prix promotional event in Tokyo, to receive information about the mastermind. However, Redline is then attacked by Zündapp's henchmen and passes his information to Mater before he is captured. Holley and Finn mistake Mater as their American contact. Zündapp tortures Redline and reveals that Allinol can ignite if impacted by a high electromagnetic pulse. Zündapp demonstrates it on Redline, killing him, but not before they realize that he passed this information to Mater.
During the first race, Finn and Holley help Mater evade Zündapp's henchmen. In the process, Mater inadvertently gives McQueen bad racing advice, which causes him to lose the race to Bernoulli. Meanwhile, Zündapp uses the weapon on several race cars. After McQueen falls out with Mater, Finn (who still thinks the tow truck is an real American spy) drafts him into foiling Zündapp's plot. Finn and Mater escape Zündapp's henchmen and climb aboard Siddeley. Finn and Holley remove the tracking device on Mater and discover in it a picture of a mysterious British engine, which Mater identified by the engine and some rare parts.
Finn, Holley, and Mater all fly to Paris, France, where they go into a black-market and meet an old friend of Finn's, Tomber. Finn and Holley show the mysterious engine to Tomber, who tells them that the car with the engine was his best customer, but he has never met him in person. Mater explains what he knows about the evil Lemons, and realizes that every Lemon involved with the plot is one of "history's biggest loser cars." Tomber tells Finn, Holley, and Mater that the lemons are going to have a secret meeting in Porto Corsa, Italy, where the next race in the World Grand Prix would be held.
In Italy, Mater infiltrates the criminals' meeting and discovers Zündapp's plan. Zündapp's henchmen, meanwhile, use their weapon on several more cars during the race, eventually causing a multi-car pileup on the Casino Bridge. With the Allinol fuel under suspicion, Axlerod suspends its use for the final race in England. However, McQueen chooses to continue using it. The criminals then decide to kill McQueen in the next race and upon hearing this, Mater is exposed and is captured, along with Finn and Holley, and tied up inside Big Bentley's bell tower in London, England.
Mater realizes how foolishly he has been acting. The criminals use the weapon on McQueen during the race, but nothing happens. Mater escapes to warn his friends of a bomb planted in McQueen's pit, but Finn and Holley find out that the bomb is actually planted Mater's air-filter. They warn him about the bomb, but he flees to protect his friends. However, he is pursued by McQueen in an attempt to reconcile, unaware of the danger until they are beyond the range of Zündapp's remote detonator. He sends his henchmen to kill McQueen and Mater, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of Finn, Holley, and the Radiator Springs residents. Upon his capture, Zündapp reveals that only the person who installed the bomb can deactivate it. Mater realizes that Axlerod is the mastermind behind the plot and confronts Axlerod, trapping him next to the bomb. Axlerod deactivates the bomb at the last second and he, Zündapp, and the lemons are all arrested by the police.
As a reward for his heroism, Mater receives an honorary knighthood from the Queen and returns home with his friends, where the cars from the World Grand Prix take part in the unofficial Radiator Springs race. Fillmore reveals that before the last race, Sarge replaced McQueen's Allinol with Fillmore's organic fuel (which prevented McQueen from being affected by the weapon). McMissile and Shiftwell arrive and invite Mater to join them in another spy mission, but he graciously turns it down. He does ask Shiftwell for a date when she returns which she accepts. He gets to keep the rockets they gave him earlier, which he now uses in the Radiator Springs race.
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, a Southern-accented tow truck from Radiator Springs.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, a Piston Cup racecar.
- Michael Caine as Finn McMissile, a British spy car.
- Emily Mortimer as Holley Shiftwell, a fellow British intelligence agent, new to field work.
- John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli, McQueen's main racing rival from Italy.
- Eddie Izzard as Sir Miles Axlerod, a British electric car who created *Allinol.
- Thomas Kretschmann as Professor Zündapp, the doctor from Germany, Axlerod's assistant.
- Joe Mantegna and Peter Jacobson as Grem and Acer: Professor Zündapp's henchmen.
- Bruce Campbell as Rod "Torque" Redline, an American spy car.
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip
- Guido Quaroni as Guido
- Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger
- Colin Cowherd as Colin Cowling
- Jason Isaacs as Siddeley/Leland Turbo
- David Hobbs as David Hobbscap. Jacques Villeneuve voices the character in French releases.
- Stanley Townsend as Vladimir Trunkov/Ivan/Victor Hugo
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore/Tony Trihull
- Paul Dooley as Sarge
- Michel Michelis as Tomber
- Sig Hansen as Crabby the Boat
- Franco Nero as Uncle Topolino
- Vanessa Redgrave as Mama Topolino/The Queen. Sophia Loren provides the Italian dub of Topolino.
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
- Cheech Marin as Ramone
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie
- John Ratzenberger as Mack
- Jeff Garlin as Otis
- Patrick Walker as Mel Dorado
- Lewis Hamilton as Lewis Hamilton
- Velibor Topic as Alexander Hugo
- Greg Ellis as Nigel Gearsley
- John Mainier as J. Curby Gremlin
- Brad Lewis as Tubbs Pacer
- Richard Kind as Van
- Edie McClurg as Minny
- Teresa Gallagher as Mater's Computer
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette
- John Lasseter as John Lassetire