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Professor zundapp.png
Professor Zündapp
General information



Weapon designer
Axlerod's right-hand

Place of residence

Baden-Baden, Germany (formerly)


Professor Z

Vehicle information

1958 Kleinwagen 250



Registration number


Paint colour


Eye colour


Series information
First appearance

Cars 2


Thomas Kretschmann

Professor Zündapp, also known as Professor Z, is the central antagonist of Pixar’s twelfth full-length animated feature film Cars 2.

He designed the EMP weapon to sabotage the World Grand Prix and served as the leader of the greedy Lemons. But it turns out he was only Miles Axlerod's second in command and was arrested in 2011 in London, United Kingdom.


Cars 2

Professor Z learns of McMissile's supposed death.

In Cars 2, when C.H.R.O.M.E. agent Finn McMissile makes his way onto one of the Lemons' oil rigs in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he attempts to secretly gather information on a suspicious weapon supposedly in Zündapp's possession. McMissile is surprised to discover it has the appearance of the camera. However, after McMissile catches a glimpse fellow agent Leland Turbo's corpse, he is discovered, and chased off the platform. McMissile manages to fake his death while successfully escaping, and the Lemons are relieved to supposedly have a dangerous enemy out of the way.

Zündapp introduces the camera to Redline.

After American C.H.R.O.M.E. agent Rod Redline is captured by Grem and Acer, he is brought to the Lemons' hideout, where Zündapp explains the purpose of the weapon, using Redline as a test subject. Zündapp introduces it as an electromagnetic pulse device, which, when reacting with Miles Axlerod's alternative fuel Allinol, will cause an explosive reaction. After the Lemons figure out who Redline gave his collection of information to, the Lemons fire the camera at full power, killing the agent.

The Lemons settle on their next target.

With Mater in possession of vital information, Zündapp orders his henchman to find the tow truck and kill him. During the first World Grand Prix race in Tokyo, the Lemons use the camera to damage the engines of the contestants, creating bad publicity for Allinol. The Lemons continue this practice through the second race in Porto Corsa. While Grem and Acer are doing so, a meeting takes place between several major Lemon crime bosses in the Porto Corsa Casino. Professor Z attends the meeting, where he further explains his plans to his allies. Deciding more work needs to be done to truly shut down Allinol, the Lemons decide to kill at least one of the remaining contestants before it's too late, and they choose Lightning McQueen because he decided to stick with Allinol despite its bad image.

The Professor reacts to Mater's revelation.

Unbeknownst to the Lemons, Mater had been attending the meeting as well, while disguised as Ivan, one of the Lemons' tow trucks. As McQueen is his best friend, Mater objects to his murder, accidentally revealing his identity. The Lemons attack Mater, but he manages to escape the casino by use of his computer. However, as Mater is making his way to McQueen to warn him, he is captured and sprayed with gas, which causes him to pass out. When Mater awakens, he finds himself tied up in Big Bentley, alongside McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Grem and Acer explain that they have placed a bomb in McQueen's pit, and after they leave, Mater manages to free himself, and he begins making his way to Lightning's pit.

McMissile pursuits Zündapp

Meanwhile, Professor Z's henchmen are preparing to use the camera to take out McQueen. When Grem lines up the shot and attempts to fire, nothing happens, much to everyone's surprise.

When Mater arrives, his friends are rejoiced to be reunited with him, as his whereabouts have been unknown for days. As Mater explains the bomb, he discovers that the bomb is actually strapped to him, in place of his air filter. When McQueen drives up, Mater attempts to explain the situation to him, but he is not very clear, and McQueen misunderstands his statements of "I'm the bomb!" as being self-compliments. Mater attempts to drive away from McQueen, but Lightning follows him, and the two drive together until they find themselves alongside McMissile and Shiftwell, cornered by the Lemons.

At the same time McQueen chases Mater, Professor Z prepares to detonate the bomb with a remote device. When McQueen hooks onto Mater, the Professor hits the detonator. However, due to Mater's rockets, the two travel out of range, leaving the switch unable to detonate, enraging and frustrating the Professor. While he is angrily pressing the switch, Shiftwell comes up to him with her tasor, angry at him for tying her up and locking her in the clock tower. Frightened, he quickly starts speeding away towards his combat ship, Tony Trihull. McMissile takes pursuit from there, and as Trihull attempts to pull him in with his magnet, Finn releases magnetic detonators, blowing up the ship. McMissile captures Professor Z, and ties him up with wires.

Professor Z in captivity.

Before a street brawl between the C.H.R.O.M.E. agents, the Radiator Springs residents, and the Lemons, Zündapp tries to ask McQueen why the camera didn't work on him but McMissile and Shiftwell attempt to force him to deactivate the voice-activated bomb. However, they are surprised to find the professor was not the one who activated it. Mater, realizing who actually activated the bomb, starts speeding toward where the Queen and Miles Axlerod are watching the race. Mater exposes Axlerod as the mastermind behind the Lemons' plan, and he is forced to deactivate the bomb one second before it detonates. Professor Z, Axlerod, and the rest of the Lemons are arrested, and peace is restored to London.

Cars 2: The Video Game

Professor Z in the garage.

In Cars 2: The Video Game, Professor Z is the primary antagonist of the Hunter missions. While waves of henchman are sent to attack the player, Zündapp watches from his helicopter. On rare occasions, Professor Z's helicopter will swoop down while the Professor attempts to attack the player. A large bonus is awarded if the player manages to hit him.

Additionally, Professor Z is an unlockable playable character, available once the "Capitol View" crest is obtained. He is a light character, and focuses on speed rather than power. An alternate version of Zündapp called "Young Professor Z" can be also be unlocked by earning the "Master Agent" crest. Both versions of Professor Z have identical stats.

Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure

In Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure, Professor Z appears on pictures that the player has to hit to get extra points when a new goal is unlocked in the first Cars level.

In the second level, he is heard talking as he tries to stop the player and Holley Shiftwell from deactivating the bomb on Francesco Bernoulli. He makes a physical appearance in the third level. He is in the helicopter with a convoy of trucks full of bombs. Throughout the level, he tries to stop Finn McMissile and the player from finding out where the bombs are being taken. In the ending cutscene, he shoots a missile at the player while in midair, but the player dodges the missile and pushes Professor Z out of the helicopter before the missile hits the helicopter. Finn asks Professor Z if everyone is all right in there, only that he replies saying no thanks due to Finn, who then says, "No thanks required, mate. All in a day's work." When the level is completed with the player seeing their score and what they unlocked, Professor Z is seen with a parking boot, as to prevent him getting away.

General information

Personality and traits

Professor Z is an evil, greedy, ruthless, devious, intelligent, and mad German scientist. He is a genius, while his henchmen are dimwits. He proved himself to be a heartless terrorist who would do absolutely anything for a quick buck.


Professor Z is painted two different shades of green, light, and dark. He also has a large monocle that he wears over his windshield. The Professor is a 1957 Zündapp Janus (as his name suggests), a micro-car in which back passengers sit facing backwards. He has a top speed of 50 mph (55 mph downhill), which could be reached in 12 seconds. His engine is a 2-stroke single cylinder 250 cc, with a horsepower of 14.

His license plate is BAD GA 58, which appears to be a pun on "bad guy". The 58 is one of the years the Zündapp Janus was made (1957-1958).


Profiles and statistics

Cars 2

  • Official bio
    • "Professor Z, aka "The Professor," is an internationally-wanted weapons designer in a small, sophisticated German package. He is a brilliant but mad monocle-wearing scientist who is plotting to sabotage the World Grand Prix. Though his true motive is unclear, Professor Z is willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate all obstacles and keep the "project" on schedule."

Cars 2: The Video Game

  • Professor Z
    • Bio
      • "The intelligent, manipulative mad scientist uses his talents for evil. His weapons are as sophisticated as they are destructive. His mission is to sabotage the World Grand Prix races and destroy the racers."
    • Stats
      • Weight: Leight
      • Speed to Power ratio: 70:30
      • Torque to Nitro Ratio: 0.42857142857:15
  • Young Professor Z
    • Bio
      • "When you remove the years of villainy and rust, Professor Z is a young, bespectacled car with his sights set on world domination."
    • Stats
      • Weight: Light
      • Speed to Power ratio: 70:30
      • Torque to Nitro Ratio: 0.42857142857:15


For this subject's image gallery, see Professor Zündapp/Gallery.


  • "Guten Tag." - Cars 2
  • "Give it up, McMissile!!" - Cars 2
  • "It's Finn McMissile! He's seen the camera! Kill him!" - Cars 2
  • "With Finn McMissile gone, who can stop us now?" - Cars 2
  • "The project is still on schedule. You will find the second agent and kill him." - Cars 2
  • "He's already here." - Cars 2
  • "Allinol must be finished for good. McQueen can NOT win the last race. Lightning McQueen must be KILLED." - Cars 2
  • "What? That is cheating! How dare you!" - Cars 2: The Video Game
  • "Come back here, you fool!" - Cars 2: The Video Game
  • "Ugh! So arrogant with your perfect driving skills!" - Cars 2: The Video Game
  • "No, this cannot be! How are you doing this?" - Cars 2: The Video Game

Names in other languages

  • Hebrew: פרופסור זונדאפ
  • Polish: Profesor Zweitaktt, Profesor Z
  • Russian: Профессор Цундапп, Профессор Ц (transcription: Professor Tsundapp, Professor Tse)


  • When he opened the door to the lemons' meeting, he says, "Guten Tag." "Guten Tag" is German for "Good day."
    • Also, another German word he said is, "Wunderbar!" when he is informed by Grem that Finn McMissile is "dead". Wunderbar is a German word for "marvelous", "terrific", or "wonderful".
      • His voice actor Thomas Kretschmann is German himself like his character.
  • Professor Z appears to have a severely damaged roof rack, which gives him the appearance of a comb over.
  • Along with Grem, Acer, Miles Axlerod and Victor Hugo, Professor Z is playable in Cars 2: The Video Game, even though they are villains, as well as all five should be residing in the London Prison, as the game takes place shortly after the second film. However, it could be that, along with the tracks, they are part of the simulation.
  • Professor Z is always referred to by his real name by Finn McMissile. However, McMissile refers to him as his nickname, "Professor Z", in the cutscene of the start of Cars 2: The Video Game. And although McMissile and his voice actor, Michael Caine are British, McMissile pronounces the "Z" in Zündapp's name in the American way ("Z" in America and Canada is pronounced "zee", while in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, it is pronounced "zed"). However, it could be that the "Z" in his name is always pronounced "zee" even in Britain (when referring to Professor Z) in that cutscene. However, it could be that all people pronounce the "Z" in his name the American way. Also, although Professor Z pronounces "missile" in the British way (miss-i-all), he pronounces "can't" in the American way.
  • Although Miles Axlerod is the main antagonist and Professor Z's boss, Professor Z is a better weapon designer and more dangerous and drove most of the film’s plot more than Axlerod.
  • Pixar didn't create Zundapp's traits. His traits were given from Zil, a Russian car who was originally intended to be the main antagonist of Cars 2 before being replaced by Miles Axlerod.
  • For some reason Professor Z's die-cast model in the 1:55 scale line hasn't been released since 2012. It's unknown why he hasn't been released since.

Notes and references