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Cars: Mater-National Championship
Game Information

Rainbow Studios (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PC, Xbox One (backwards compatibility))
Tantalus Interactive (DS, GBA)
Incinerator Studios (PS3, Wii)


Nintendo DS
Game Boy Advance
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Xbox One (backwards compatibility)
Wii U (backwards compatibility)
PlayStation 4 (backwards compatible)

Release date

October 29, 2007



Cars: Mater-National Championship is the third installment in the Cars video game franchise, as well as the sequel to Cars: The Video Game. It was released on October 29, 2007 for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3. It became available on Xbox One via backwards compatibility on November 14, 2017.[1]


Mater forgets the name of the championship.

Lightning McQueen is hosting an international championship in Radiator Springs, to celebrate the construction of his new racing stadium and headquarters. While reporting about the event on television, Mater forgets his lines and calls it the "Mater-National Championship." Several international racing superstars arrive in Radiator Springs and befriend McQueen, including Giovanni, an Italian Ferrari; Otto Von Fassenbottom, a German endurance racer; Gudmund, a charismatic Swedish competitor; and Koji, a Japanese drift racer.

Meanwhile at the Rustbucket Stadium, a young rally car named Emma has arrived to compete in the Rustbucket demolition derby races. Mater and his cousins take an interest in her, and Mater and Emma soon become friends, with Mater eventually winning the Rustbucket final.

The group photo.

McQueen hosts a series of races at his stadium, with Otto competing in the first, and Gudmund joining in the second. The friendly rivalry between Giovanni and ?McQueen is settled during the third Stadium Race, with the latter placing first. After McQueen's victory, the two agree to a rematch, this time in a Relay Race. McQueen wins the race, and he and his friends drive back to his headquarters, where a group photo is taken to remember the championship.


A race in Radiator Springs.

Cars: Mater-National Championship is a racing game, and allows the player to use a variety of techniques and controls to emerge victorious in a competition against other vehicles. Races generally contain 5-9 contestants, and there are many different types, including Road Races, Stadium Races, Rustbucket Races, and more.

Many elements return from Cars: The Video Game, in addition to a variety of new features. A new racing mode called Luigi and Guido's Team Relay allows players to take control of more than one vehicle in a given race, with each car completing a lap. This game also introduces Monster Truck Waypoint Races, in which competitors must race against each other while also driving through a number of checkpoints.

A new minigame called Ramone's Rhythmic Rumble.

In addition to races, there are also several minigames available, including the return of Tractor Tipping, in which Mater or McQueen must drive around and tip Tractors while avoiding Frank. Players can also help Ramone move to music in Ramone's Rhythmic Rumble, play a game of tag in Doc and the Law's Race 'n' Chase, navigate Mater home in Ghosting Mater, race while using fuel wisely in Fillmore's Fuel Frenzy, or take control of Mike or Sulley in their competition to collect Laugh Canisters in Mike and Sulley's Last Laugh.


Basic controls

  • Accelerate: The player's car will continue to pick up speed until it has reached the top speed.
  • Brake: The player's car will steadily decrease in speed until it has been brought to a complete stop.
  • E-Brake: The car will quickly come to a complete stop.
  • Steer: The car will turn left or right, depending on which the way the analog stick or D-Pad is being pushed.

Advanced controls

  • Powerslide: The car will take turns more swiftly, making sharper turns less of an obstacle.
  • Tilt: The car will tilt so it is balanced on one side, allowing for sharper turns than powerslides. However, the top speed is significantly lowered upon performing a tilt.
  • Jump: The car will perform a small hop that can be used to jump over other competitors or obstacles.
  • Boost: The car will perform a quick boost of speed to help it gain a lead or catch up to other racers. While the player starts off with only one boost segment, two more can be unlocked as the story mode progresses. The second segment is unlocked by completing Stadium Race #1, and the third segment is unlocked by completing Stadium Race #2.

Game modes

Story Mode

A story event after completion.

The Story Mode takes players through the game's storyline, while they complete events to progress. There are various types of events, including different types of races and minigames. Upon meeting specific criteria during an event, the player is rewarded with a number of Bolt Banners, which indicate the player's progress. There are a total of 350 Bolt Banners to collect in the game.

In between events, the player may drive around Carburetor County, unlocking new areas as the story mode progresses. Radiator Springs is unlocked from the start of the game, while Ornament Valley is unlocked once Stadium Race #1 is won, and Tailfin Pass is unlocked when Stadium Race #2 is won. By exploring, players can find and collect Bonus Points to purchase items at Ramone's House of Body Art, as well as additional collectibles such as Paint Cans and Wheel Sets. The amount of space to explore is significantly smaller than in Cars: The Video Game, and many areas used in races are blocked off by "Road Closed" signs. The hub worlds have received changes from their appearances in Cars: The Video Game, including the construction of an airport in Ornament Valley, and the creation of new cliffside roads in Tailfin Pass. If the player is having difficulty progressing, they may receive a hint by pausing the game.

Lightning exploring Radiator Springs.

Unlike in the first game where the story is broken up into five different chapters, Cars: Mater-National Championship's story is split into three different sections, each one taking place in one of the three areas of Carburetor County. Each area contains three Road Races and a Luigi and Guido's Team Relay race, with a variety of additional events unique to each area. The player controls Lightning McQueen throughout most of the game, while occasionally playing as other characters, including Mater, Doc, Ramone, Flo, Fillmore, Monster Mater and Mike.


In the Arcade mode, players can play any race they have unlocked in story mode. However, instead of being restricted to racing as Lightning McQueen, there are seventeen playable characters available for the player to use, although some must be purchased with Bonus Points first. Minigames are also available, though the playable character roster is usually limited to only one or two characters. In all race types, the player's opponents include the other selectable characters, with the exception of Rustbucket Races, which instead will put the player against Fred, Mater's six cousins, and sometimes Mater, Emma, or even Lightning McQueen.

In addition to a selection of characters, any Paint Jobs that have been purchased at Ramone's House of Body Art or obtained by collecting Paint Cans in Story Mode can be selected.


Ramone and Sarge in a Versus race.

Versus mode is essentially the same as arcade mode, but with the ability for two players to compete against each other, as well as a selection of computer racers. Additionally, minigames can be played, which all feature 1v1 mechanics, in which the first player will face the second player. In most versions of the game, Versus mode will only be enabled on the main screen when two controllers are plugged in or turned on. The amount of events playable in Versus mode is slightly fewer than in Arcade mode.


Many options can be viewed or modified here, such as game volume, control settings, and screen display. The following cheat codes can also be entered here:

Cheat Code Effect
VRYFAST Grants access to the Expert difficulty.
ZZOOOOM Gives the player umlimited boost.
0TO200X Allows the vehicle to accelerate very quickly.
ALLYORS Unlocks all game content, excluding Story Mode events.
MATTEL07 Unlocks all characters.
NCEDUDZ Unlocks all of Lightning's paint jobs.
PAINTIT Unlocks all Paint Jobs for every character except Lightning.
PLAYALL Unlocks all Arcade and Versus events and Story Mode areas.
INSTYLE Unlocks all Wheel sets and Luigi's Casa Della Tires.
BUYTALL Unlocks all bonus art.


When "Profile" is selected, one's profile can be modified by saving or deleting. Additionally, players can create new profiles or load existing ones.

Bonus Content

The Bonus Content feature lets players purchase various unlockable content with Bonus Points collected in story mode or earned during Arcade or Versus events. Unlockable characters may be purchased here, along with paint jobs for already obtained characters. Most paint jobs range from 2,000 to 20,000 points to purchase, while characters range from 20,000 to 60,000. Concept art of characters and environment, along with some extra miscellaneous art, can also be purchased.


Playable characters

There are seventeen playable characters in Cars: Mater-National Championship, with five of them being unlockable - Otto, Gudmund, Koji, Emma and Giovanni. These characters can be unlocked by purchasing them with a number of Bonus Points from Ramone's House of Body Art in the Bonus Content menu option.

Image Name Stats Cost in Bonus Points
Lightning Boost: 3
Acceleration: 4
Handling: 4
Stability: 3
Mater Boost: 2
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 4
Stability: 4
Doc Boost: 2
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 4
Stability: 4
Ramone Boost: 5
Acceleration: 2
Handling: 3
Stability: 4
Flo Boost: 5
Acceleration: 1
Handling: 3
Stability: 5
Sarge Boost: 2
Acceleration: 5
Handling: 5
Stability: 2
Fillmore Boost: 5
Acceleration: 1
Handling: 3
Stability: 5
Luigi Boost: 1
Acceleration: 4
Handling: 4
Stability: 3
Gudmund Boost: 2
Acceleration: 4
Handling: 4
Stability: 4
Otto Boost: 3
Acceleration: 4
Handling: 4
Stability: 3
Koji Boost: 2
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 5
Stability: 3
Giovanni Boost: 2
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 5
Stability: 3
Emma Speed: 2
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 4
Stability: 4
Monster McQueen Boost: 3
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 2
Stability: 4
Monster Mater Boost: 2
Acceleration: 4
Handling: 1
Stability: 4
Sulley Boost: 3
Acceleration: 3
Handling: 2
Stability: 4
Mike Boost: 3
Acceleration: 5
Handling: 5
Stability: 1

Supporting characters

Additionally, Red can be seen driving around a house in Tractor Tipping, as well as using his hose to provide a waterfall during North Willy's Butte. A number of tourists are also found driving around Radiator Springs during story mode.



Road Races

Stadium Races

Rustbucket Races

Luigi and Guido's Team Relay

Monster Truck Waypoint Races


Bonus Points

 Total Points

 Radiator Springs

 Ornament Valley

 Tailfin Pass


 1000 points





 10000 points





 40000 points











The game has received mostly mixed to positive reviews. On the review site Metacritic, the PlayStation 3 version of the game has received a Metascore of 63/100, indicating mixed or average reviews overall, while receiving a user score of 4.8/10, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."[2] Metascores for the other versions of the game include 69/100 for the Nintendo DS version,[3] 58/100 for the Xbox 360 version,[4] and 67/100 for the PlayStation 2 version.[5]

Gamestyle gave the game a 4/10 rating, because of the smaller exploring space, the smaller Radiator Springs, and called the handling of the vehicle constant. PSXExtreme gave the game a 7.0, praising the better audio, but criticized the graphics. IGN rated the Nintendo DS version of the game 6.8/10.0, calling it "cute" and "kid-friendly" but "never made into 5th gear".[6]

Beta elements

For this subject's list of beta elements, see Cars: Mater-National Championship/Beta elements.

Multiple characters have playable data inside of their directories, and can be loaded into the game via hacking. These characters include Mia, Fletcher, Philip, Yuri, Sheriff, Lenny, Count Spatula, Judd, Buford, and Lewis.


For this subject's list of staff, see Cars: Mater-National Championship/Staff.

Cars: Mater-National Championship was developed by THQ, the same company that developed Cars: The Video Game and Cars: Race-O-Rama. It was published by Rainbow Studios.


For this subject's list of glitches, see Cars: Mater-National Championship/Glitches.

Out of sync voices

Sometimes a character will say a line of dialogue without their mouths moving, particularly by AI drivers. Characters may move their mouths without saying anything, as well. This glitch is present in all versions of the game.

Luigi and Guido's Team Relay 2 glitch

In the "Luigi and Guido's Team Relay 2" glitch, when the player enters the second lap, sometimes it will then display an AI character almost an entire lap ahead of them, though they are technically still behind them. This glitch is present in all versions of the game.

Team Relay 3 selection glitch

If the player selects the event icon for Team Relay 3 while going at 99mph, the game will begin to emit a screeching noise, the sound depending on what speed the player is currently at.

References to other media

  • Cars: Many of the characters introduced in this movie re-appear in the game.
  • Cars: The Video Game: Many of the characters introduced in this game re-appear in this game. The open world is also heavily inspired by the open world featured in this game.
  • Cars: The Video Game: When the player wins all 350 bolt banners, an end-scene plays where Mater asks Lightning what happened to the stickers Lizzie had been giving him and Lightning says he "put them in a safe place." This is a reference to the final scene in the first game where Sally asks Lightning where he put his Piston Cup and Lightning says, "It's in a good place."
  • Mater and the Ghostlight: The Ghosting Mater minigame is based on this short.

References in later media


For this subject's image gallery, see Cars: Mater-National Championship/Gallery.


Game Music
High Speed Heist
One More Chicken

Rooster Tails

Lightning Strike

Sheriff's Hot Pursuit

Stone Crows

Monster Stomp

Title in other languages

Brazilian Portuguese: Carros: A copa internacional do Mate

More titles in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Cars: La Copa Internacional de Mate Cars: The International Cup of Mater
Polish Auta: Mistrzostwa Złomka Cars: Mater's Championship
Russian Тачки: Новый Сезон Cars: New Season


  • Otto, Koji and Emma's designs were later parodied and copied into the short, Tokyo Mater as three background characters - Manji, Tabinu and Cho.
  • The Game Boy Advance version was one of the last games to be released for the Game Boy Advance, and has a password system.
  • Out of the three main Cars games developed by THQ, this is the only one of the following:
    • The only game where Lightning McQueen can appear as a computer opponent in Rustbucket Races in Arcade mode.
    • The only game not to feature any single-level mini-games or any mini games that are main story events.
    • The only game not to feature Chick Hicks or Mack.
    • The only game where Red appears.
    • The only game not to be released on the PlayStation Portable.
    • The only game not to feature Sheriff as a playable character.
    • The only game where the Rustbucket Stadium only appears at nighttime.
    • The only game where all of the events take place in Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass.
  • There were some Disney storybooks released in 2007 that were based of some of the game.
  • The GBA version is the second game in the franchise were you can play as Lizzie. The first being the PSP version of the first game.


Cars: Mater-National Championship
GalleryStaffBeta elementsGlitches
Lightning McQueenMonster McQueenTow MaterMonster MaterDoc HudsonRamoneFloSargeFillmoreLuigiGudmundOtto Von FassenbottomKojiGiovanniEmmaLizzieMiaTiaFletcherPhilipGeraldFredYuriSheriffGuidoFrankVinceSonnyLennyBarrySnot RodGinormousThe CripplerCount SpatulaRedBessieCletusZekeTommy JoeBufordJuddLewisSulleyMikeTractors
Road Races: Radiator Springs CircuitFillmore's Nature PreserveNorth Willys ButteOrnament Valley AirportInside the TurkeyRustbucket Grand PrixWheel Well CircuitThe Upper MineCanyon Run

Stadium Races: Stadium Race #1Stadium Race #2Stadium Race #3Stadium Race #4

Rustbucket Races: Rustbucket Race #1Rustbucket Race #2Rustbucket Race #3Rustbucket Race #4

Monster Truck Waypoint Races: Waypoint Race #1Waypoint Race #2Waypoint Race #3

Luigi and Guido's Team Relay: Team Relay #1Team Relay #2Team Relay #3Team Relay #4

Minigames: Mike and Sulley's Last LaughFillmore's Fuel FrenzyTractor TippingRamone's Rhythmic RumbleGhosting MaterDoc and the Law's Race 'n' Chase

Miscellaneous: Big and Strong AgainI Wanna Be a Monster Too!