After the final race of the Piston Cup season results in a three-way tie, rookie race car Lightning McQueen must travel to Los Angeles to compete in a tie-breaker. However, on the way, Lightning is separated from his trailer and ends up in the town of Radiator Springs, where he is sentenced to fix the road he ripped up. Though hesitant at first, Lightning makes several new friends, and learns that there is more to life than winning and the perks that come with it.
When Sheriff tells a story about the Ghostlight to the Radiator Springs residents, Mater becomes paranoid, and the townsfolk prank him by placing a lamp on his tow hook. Thinking it is the Ghostlight, Mater attempts to escape from it, but in the end learns the truth.
As Lightning McQueen enters his second Piston Cup season, he seeks the assistance of both old and new friends to help him acquire some practice in order to be crowned a champion. Despite being released three days prior to the release of Cars, this takes place after the events of the film.
An array of international superstars have arrived in Radiator Springs to compete in the Mater-National series, hosted by Lightning McQueen. Lightning and his friends challenge the new competitors during the construction of Lightning's new Racing Headquarters.
In the first of a series of shorts called Mater's Tall Tales, Mater tells a story about how he once was a hero that fought fires. In the story, Mater saves Lightning from a burning building, though he escapes with some burns. Mater reveals that he used to be a doctor as well, and fixes McQueen up. Though Lightning doubts the story, a nurse drives by and greets Mater, leaving the authenticity of Mater's tale questionable.
Mater tells Lightning a story about how he used to be a daredevil that participated in a variety of dangerous stunts, including jumping over a large crater named Carburetor Canyon. When Lightning questions this, Mater reveals that McQueen was also present, and when he jumped, he unfortunately did not make the jump successfully.
In the third installment of the Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales shorts, Mater tells Lightning about how he used to be a talented matador, and fought bulldozers in front of large crowds. Mater tells Lightning that he was also a matador, and was a popular target due to his red paint scheme.
Mater tells Lightning about how he used to be a drift car in Tokyo. In the tale, a car asks for a tow to Tokyo, and when they arrive, Mater accidentally bumps into an obnoxious tuner, who challenges him to a race. Mater is modified, and the race begins. Lightning Dragon McQueen assists Mater in winning the race, and the drifter is stripped of his modifications.
Lightning McQueen and the students of Doc Hudson's Racing Academy are racing against a group of rival students, who are revealed to be members Chick Hicks' academy. Chick and several of his allies challenge Lightning to various races, while Lightning explores a variety of new locations and makes more new friends along the way.
Mater tells Lightning a tale of how he met a UFO named Mator, and the two became fast friends. However, Mator is captured by the military, and it's up to Mater and Lightning to save him. They escape, and are returned home by a giant UFO, Mator's mother.
This online game saw a beta release in 2008, but was not officially launched until 2009. In this game, players can create a car to represent them, and can race in Piston Cup races, as well as complete missions around Radiator Springs in order to earn prizes.
In this tall tale told by Mater, he is a Monster Truck wrestler named the Tormentor, who is remarkably skilled at wrestling. However, when he must take on a large opponent named Dr. Frankenwagon's Monster, he and Frightening McMean must take him on as a tag team.
In the seventh episode of Mater's Tall Tales, Mater tells McQueen about his history as a rock band member. He and a gang of pitties formed a band and instantly became a hit with their single "Dad Gum." Mater reveals that Lightning was also a member of the band.
In this episode of Mater's Tall Tales, Mater remembers how he once traveled to the moon to rescue an endangered astronaut. As he is returning to the earth, they meet up with Lightning, who travels down with them. The news spreads, and the three astronauts become famous.
Mater reveals that he used to be a private detective, and tells a story about how a worried woman asks Mater to find her carnapped sister. Mater and Lieutenant McQueen thwart Big D's plans, and he is arrested for producing counterfeit tires.
In this tall tale told by none other than Mater, he recalls his history as an air performer. He takes flying lessons from the flight instructor Skipper Riley, which come in handy when one of the Falcon Hawks is injured, and Mater fills in for him, with Lightning McQueen at his side.
As Lightning McQueen is invited to compete in a three-race worldwide event titled the World Grand Prix, Mater accidentally becomes involved in the British Intelligence's attempt to thwart the lemons' evil plan, which is to prove themselves as more than "lemons" by showing the world that traditional fuel is better than alternative fuel, through making Miles Axlerod's Allinol look bad. Though the final WGP race does not end as expected, McQueen, Mater, and their new allies save London from peril and uncover the true culprit behind the plan.
While this game was released three days before Cars 2 hit theaters, this video game takes place after the events of the film. In the game, C.H.R.O.M.E. trains new recruits by putting them through a variety of tests, including traditional races, battle races, and running holograms of Professor Z and his minions. Players can control over thirty-five different cars, with even more available as downloadable content in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.
Mater tells McQueen the story of how he traveled back in time to when Radiator Springs was first founded. As he is putting a sign up, he discovers a time travel machine, and ends up in a cavern, and when he exits, he finds Stanley. Mater gets McQueen and they convince Stanley to found the town, and witness the marriage of Stanley and Lizzie.
While conversing with the other residents at Flo's V8 Café, Lightning finds himself with a case of the hiccups, and the Radiator Springs folk try different methods of curing him, though it is Sally who cures him in the end.
While watering flowers outside of the Courthouse, a small Vroomaroundus Bugus is annoying him, and Red eventually ends the annoyance by spraying it with his hose. However, this harms the bug, but Red assists it, and it happily summons more bugs.
Luigi assigns Guido the task of spinning a sign outside of Luigi's Casa Della Tires to attract more customers. Guido quickly finds that he is rather talented, and his skills end up gathering a large crowd of onlookers, cheering on Guido's work.
While the residents of Radiator Springs are honoring their founder with their "Stanley Days" celebration, a gang of off-road racers arrive and challenge McQueen to a race. However, Mater's directions were not clear, and the racers end up lost. After the townsfolk travel around Carburetor County in search of them, they return to the town, with Lightning and the others returning from a long journey shortly afterwards.
In this mobile game released by Gameloft, players can create their own town, as well as customize race tracks to race on. Though the game is free to play, there are some features in the game that require the player to spend actual money.
Long-time Piston Cup champion Lightning McQueen finds himself struggling to keep up with faster and stronger newcomers, and crashes while attempting to overcome the skilled and arrogant Jackson Storm. Seeking help from a trainer named Cruz Ramirez, Lightning sets out to become an even better racer than before, and win the forthcoming Florida 500 event.
Like Cars 2: The Video Game, the player competes in races, battle races and attack modes, uses items scattered around the racetracks, and can also race at reused locations, while unlocking more characters as they progress, only this time, the characters compete on a simulator inside the TV studio for Chick's Picks With Chick Hicks. Although this was released three days before Cars 3 was released in theaters, it takes place after the film.
After McQueen and Cruz win the Florida 500, they encounter a commercial starring Miss Fritter and various Crazy Eight racers, who persuade the viewers to come to Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool. McQueen and Cruz are not so sure themselves, when the vibrations caused by Miss Fritter's yelling on the TV destroy Cruz's Crazy Eight trophy.
Sheriff takes a mandatory vacation from his duties in Radiator Springs, causing two deputy officers named Didi 05 and Mike 07 to arrive and fill in for him while he is away. The two officers take their responsibilities too far, however, and soon turn Radiator Springs into a plethora of taped-off crime scenes.
There have been a variety of books released that are based on the Cars series. For a full list of these, see Category:Books.
There have also been a number of comics that are based on the Cars series. For a list of these, see Category:Comics.