October 12, 2009
Lightning McQueen and the Doc Hudson Racing Academy are in a race competing against a rival academy. At the end of the race, the members of the other academy crashes the Doc Hudson Racing Academy. Lightning witnesses this and they reveal that they are from the Chick Hicks Racing Academy. Chick appears and tells Lightning that he plans wins the Race-O-Rama series to shut down the Doc Hudson Racing Academy, thus bringing more cars to his academy, and take over Radiator Springs, and Lightning will no longer be allowed there.
Lightning decides to customize himself for the different races.
Meanwhile, in Ornament Valley, in front of the Rustbucket Stadium, Mater meets his old rivals, Bubba, Tater and Tater Jr., who reminded him of when they agreed a long time ago to race in the Rustbucket Stadium for the towing rights to Radiator Springs. Throughout the story, the Taters slowly got along with Mater and slowly became friends with him.
Lightning McQueen arrives at Santa Carburera with Doc's students and a few of his friends from Radiator Springs. After the first two races, Lightning and Flo line up at the starting line for the third one when Chick shows up and introduces them to Candice. Candice loses the race, despite being promised by her dad that she would win, so she calls him and asks him to buy a bunch of new car parts for her, to which he agrees. She drives away to go shopping.
For the next round, Lightning arrives in Autovia with the students and Sarge. Meanwhile, Chick's students went through the MotorCo. building, where they became VINs, robotic cars who speak in a monotone voice. Lightning, the students and the VINs did two races around Autovia. Before the final race, Lightning and Sarge are introduced to El Machismo, an off-road racer. El Machismo loses the races, making him angry, and blames it on Chick and MotorCo., and demands for bigger car parts. Even Chick had to admit that he was not that much of a sore loser.
After that, Lightning gets new modifications again goes to Motoropolis City for the next round. The races occur at night when the city is full of bright lights. Before the final race, Chick introduced Stinger, who is shown not to talk much, to Lightning and Ramone. Lightning was able to win this race as well, much to Chick's anger, who was quite sure that Stinger, being a muscle car, would win. He said to Stinger what he has to say for himself, but Stinger says nothing, but instead just drives away. There is only one more round left in the Race-O-Rama series and Chick still has more surprises.
In Radiator Springs, Mater, Bubba, Tater and Tater Jr. have their race in the Rustbucket Stadium. Mater wins the race, much to Bubba's anger. On the contrary, Tater and Tater Jr. had fun, saying that making friends with Mater, whose name also rhymes with theirs, makes them feel like winners too. Bubba drives away, vowing his revenge.
Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks go back to Radiator Springs Speedway for the last round in the Race-O-Rama. Lightning has one more race against Candice, El Machismo, Stinger and the VINs before the final race with Chick. Chick decides to use the same modifications Lightning used during the earlier rounds, but Lightning modifies himself again with modifications he was saving for this special occasion. Right before the race, Chick reveals that he was only using Candice, El Machismo, Stinger and the VINs to learn how to beat Lightning.
Lightning wins the race and the Race-O-Rama trophy, which makes Chick angry. He claims he could have won if he raced in the Race-O-Rama by himself. Lightning tries to teach Chick that there is more to racing than winning and that the best racers are part of a team, but Chick does not listen and drives away, vowing his revenge. Later, Candice, El Machismo and Stinger show up to apologize to Lightning for their past behavior. Lightning accepts their apology and invites them to come to the Doc Hudson Racing Academy any time.
- Lightning McQueen (Regular, Monster Truck, Beach Racing, Street Racing, Off-Road Racing, & Speedway) (Keith Ferguson)
- Mater (Regular & Monster Truck) (Larry the Cable Guy)
- Doc Hudson (Corey Burton)
- Ramone (Cheech Marin)
- Flo (Jenifer Lewis)
- Luigi (Tony Shalhoub)
- Guido (Guido Quaroni)
- Fillmore (Mark Silverman)
- Sarge (Paul Dooley)
- Sheriff (Console versions only) (Michael Wallis)
- Mack (Non-playable) (John Ratzenberger)
- Mike (Ivar Brogger)
- Sulley (John Goodman)
- Mia (Non-playable) (Lindsey Collins)
- Tia (Non-playable) (Elissa Knight)
- Chick Hicks (Regular & Upgraded) (Michael Keaton)
- Not Chuck (Mike Nelson)
- Fred (Non-playable) (Andrew Stanton)
- Tommy Joe (Non-playable) (Bill Farmer)
- Lewis (Non-playable)
- Cletus (Non-playable)
- Zeke (Non-playable)
- The Crippler (Non-playable)
- Ginormous (Non-playable) (Joel McCrary)
- Count Spatula (Non-playable) (Steve Purcell)
- Candice (Tara Strong)
- El Machismo (Randy Savage)
- VINs (robotic stock cars)
- Tater (Stephen Stanton)
- Tater Jr. (Andrew Stanton)
- Emma (Handheld versions only)
- Doc Hudson Racing Academy Students (Joe Smith and Chris Edgerly)
- Chick Hicks Racing Academy Students (Mark Silverman and Josh Robert Thompson)
- Doc Hudson Racing Pitty
- Chick Hicks Racing Pitty
- Motor Co. Pitty
- Race-O-Rama Girl (Jennifer Hale)
Radiator Springs Speedway 1
Radiator Springs 1
Radiator Springs 2
Radiator Springs 3
Radiator Springs 4
Radiator Springs Speedway 2
Guido Kart Races
- Guido Kart Race 1
- Guido Kart Race 2
- Guido Kart Race 3
- Guido Kart Race 4
- Guido Kart Race 5
- Guido Kart Race 6
- Guido Kart Race 7
- Guido Kart Race 8
- Guido Kart Race 9
- Auto Cross 1
- Auto Cross 2
- Auto Cross 3
- Auto Cross 4
- Auto Cross 5
- Auto Cross 6
- Auto Cross 7
- Luigi's Tire Find
- Sheriff's Chase
- Tractor Stampede
- Photo Op 1
- Photo Op 2
- Photo Op 3
- Photo Op 4
- Photo Op 5
- Photo Op 6
- Photo Op 7
- Photo Op 8
- Transporter 1
- Transporter 2
- Transporter 3
Monster Truck Races
- Monster Truck Mayhem 1
- Monster Truck Mayhem 2
- Monster Truck Mayhem 3
- Monster Truck Mayhem 4
- Monster Truck Mayhem 5
- GOLDKEY - Unlock all Story Mode events.
- SLVRKEY - Unlock all Arcade Mode events.
- GR8MODS - Unlock all Lightning McQueen custom kit parts.
- EVRYBDY - Unlock all Lightning McQueen friends.
- CARSHOW - Unlock all paint jobs for all non-Lightning McQueen characters.
- This is the first Cars game where the open world is not limited to Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley, and Tailfin Pass.
- This is the second game that does not have the Radiator Springs Theme as the menu music. The first one is Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures.
- The PlayStation 2 version of the game has a lot of differences from the game on other consoles.
- On the PlayStation 2, each race has only four racers. On other consoles, each race has eight racers, except the Monster Truck Races, which have six.
- The PlayStation 2 has only two Point to Point Races, while other consoles have five. Point to Point 2 and Point to Point 5 are Point to Point 1 and Point to Point 2 on the PlayStation 2 respectively.
- On the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, all four of the students from both the Doc Hudson Racing Academy and Chick Hicks Racing Academy are playable characters. On the PlayStation 2, only the first student from each academy is playable.
- The player does not have to wait for Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass to load each time they go there from Radiator Springs, except on the PlayStation 2.
- On the PlayStation 2, Relay Races have two teams with two racers on each team (like in the PlayStation 2 version of Cars: Mater-National Championship). On other consoles, there are two teams each with three racers.
- Some of the paint jobs, kit-parts, and concept art are missing on the PlayStation 2.
- Bubba, Tater and Tater Jr. are playable in Circuit Races, Relay Races, Auto Crosses and Missions on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, but not on the PlayStation 2. They are only playable in Rustbucket Derby on the PlayStation 2.
- The cars that drive around Radiator Springs drive on a lot more roads in Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley, and Tailfin Pass outside the PlayStation 2. They even drive from one location to another due to the lack of loading screens.
- Mike is playable in Guido Kart races in Arcade mode by earning certain amount of bonus points, but on the PlayStation 2, he can only be unlocked by the "EVRYBDY" cheat code.
- Doc Student 4, Fred, Lewis, Ginormous and Count Spatula are completely absent on the PlayStation 2.
- Luigi and Trophy Girl are playable in Circuit Races, Relay Races, Auto Crosses and Missions on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, but not on the PlayStation 2. They are only playable in Guido Kart, and Luigi's Tire Find for Luigi, on the PlayStation 2.
- Sarge competes in all Smash Up races, but he is not playable in them on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii versions. However, on the PlayStation 2, he does not appear in the Smash Ups at all, but is playable in them.
- Although E.J. Holowicki and Lou Romano returned for the game, DJ and Snot Rod do not appear.
- This game has a lot of differences compared to its two prequels, Cars: The Video Game and Cars: Mater-National Championship.
- A race in the first two games would usually have five racers, but a race in Cars: Race-O-Rama usually has eight racers (except the PlayStation 2 version, which has four racers).
- The open world environment is limited to Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley, and Tailfin Pass in the first two games, but there are more locations to explore in Cars: Race-O-Rama.
- Cars: Race-O-Rama was never released on the PC or Game Boy Advance, while the first two games were.
- In the first two games, players would buy paint jobs and other bonus content with points they earn, but in Cars: Race-O-Rama, they are unlocked by winning events or reaching specific point levels.
- Characters like Lizzie, Fletcher, Gerald, Vince, Barry, Sonny, Lenny, Buford, and Judd from Cars: The Video Game return in Cars: Mater-National Championship, but not in Cars: Race-O-Rama.
- None of the music from the first two games returns in this game. There also is no licensed music.
- Sarge's Boot Camp has opened up in Story Mode and can be freely explored in, unlike in the previous games.
- Unlike the previous games, you can now drift instead of powersliding.
- This is the first game to not have Mater on the cover.
- There is a minigame called Tractor Stampede, which is similar to Tractor Tipping from the previous games, but it takes place in the town of Radiator Springs instead of the field. In Story Mode, players play as Lightning McQueen instead of Mater, and Frank does not appear.
- Players can now go to Doc's Garage to customize McQueen's parts. Before, they could only customize his paint job and tires.
- The minigames of Luigi's Tire Find and Sheriff's Chase are similar to the Luigi to the Rescue and Sheriff's Hot Pursuit minigames from Cars: The Video Game.
- The areas of Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass that were blocked off from exploration in Cars: Mater-National Championship are explorable again, as well as "The World's Biggest Ball of..." in each part of Carburetor County.
- Like the first film, Cars: The Video Game and Cars: Mater-National Championship, the game is dedicated in memory of Joe Ranft.
- Like the first film, the game title is on a starting line.
- If the player goes around the road back behind Radiator Cap (the giant rock behind the Courthouse with RS engraved in it), they will see a mountain with lots of back ends of cars sticking out (Cadillac Range). If they look to the right, they will see a big dark brown rock. They are looking at the top of Tailfin Pass. If they look closely in the bottom left corner of the rock, the Wheel Well Motel can be seen. This can also be reversed if they go up to Wheel Well Motel and go to the edge of the cliff, when the player can see where they have just come from (behind Radiator Cap) and beyond that is Radiator Springs.
- The handheld versions have only fifteen playable racers with only some having alternate paint jobs, and the boss races are in this order: Candice, Stinger, El Machismo, Chick Hicks.
- The race against Chick in the handheld versions of the game will have Candice attempting to blind the player, Stinger using an oil slick, and El Machismo ramming into the player.
- This marks the last appearance of Doc Hudson due to his death.
- On the PlayStation 2 version of the game, Guido always looks left when he turns right and right when he turns left.
- Also on the PlayStation 2, in the Tokyo Mater level, Mater says his winning phrase twice while Mia and Tia do not say their congratulatory phrases.
- The Ornament Valley Airport from the previous game does not appear at all in this game. Also, most of the additional landmarks from Cars: Mater-National Championship do not return in this game.
- Like Cars: Mater-National Championship, sometimes the characters' lines are not aligned with their mouths.
- In Relay Races, the cars have different engine noises compared to other races and mini-games, like in Cars: Mater-National Championship.