THEY'RE BACK! Disney / Pixar's CARS

Disney/Pixar has just released the images of the returning characters in the upcoming animated adventure “Cars 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to 2006’s blockbuster “Cars.”

Below are the new images and the individual character descriptions. “Cars 2” hits the track on June 24, 2011, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D in select theaters.

Lightning McQueen (aka Lightning)

Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.

After his latest win, Lightning returns home to enjoy life in the slow lane for a while with sweetheart Sally, best friend Mater and the rest of his Radiator Springs family. His off-season is unexpectedly cut short when Mater inadvertently prompts Lightning to enter the World Grand Prix, a high profile, three-part exhibition race that will take him around the globe.

With a fresh custom paint job and real, working headlights, Lightning sets off to Japan, Italy and England with Mater in tow for the adventure of a lifetime. But competing against the fastest cars in the world tests more than his racing skills when Lightning realizes his wide-eyed best friend may not be the pit chief nor ambassador he needs to navigate the unfamiliar international terrain.

Luigi

Radiator Springs resident Luigi is a big-hearted, gregarious and excitable Italian Fiat 500. A tire virtuoso and owner of Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, he and his sidekick Guido join Lightning and Mater as members of Team Lightning McQueen for the World Grand Prix. Luigi is also an aficionado and fanatic for all things Italian, and is particularly enchanted with Ferrari race cars. When the competition takes the team to his hometown of Porto Corsa, Italy, Luigi is over the moon to introduce the Radiator Springs crew to his charming village and the wonderful ways of Italy. His family welcomes the gang from Radiator Springs in a big, passionate Italian way: Amore!

Guido

Guido, the little Italian forklift, is the backbone of Casa Della Tires. He’s Luigi’s assistant and best friend, and together they are the biggest Ferrari racing fans in Carburetor County. A car of few English words other than “pit stop,” Guido is a force to be reckoned with when he’s changing tires in the pits during a race. Joining Team Lightning McQueen for the World Grand Prix, Guido will get to show off his turbo-charged, pedal-to-the-metal pit stops on the global stage…and maybe, just maybe, he’ll see some Ferraris!

Fillmore

Radiator Springs’ resident hippie Fillmore is an easy-going, peace-loving 1960s Volkswagen van. And as his friend and neighbor Sarge likes to say, “once a hippie, always a hippie.” At his popular shop Fillmore’s Organic Fuel, Fillmore brews his own fuel, which he sells with Bohemian accessories like tie-dyed mud flaps. But when he learns that the World Grand Prix will be run exclusively on the alternative fuel Allinol, Fillmore closes up shop and signs on as the fuel expert for Team Lightning McQueen.

Sarge

Green Army Jeep Sarge is a patriotic veteran who runs the Radiator Springs Army surplus store, Sarge’s Surplus Hut. Sarge’s no-nonsense attitude often leads to bickering with his hippie friend, neighbor and polar opposite, Fillmore. Despite their differences, the two are almost inseparable – even throughout their world travels. A security specialist with military connections around the globe, Sarge joins Lightning and Mater at the World Grand Prix as a member of Team Lightning McQueen.

Mack

Mack is Lightning McQueen’s trusted long-haul driver, crisscrossing the country from race to race, always with a smile on his grill. After dropping Lightning off in Radiator Springs with his fourth Piston Cup championship trophy, Mack sets off with the rest of the pit crew for a well-deserved vacation. Who knew that Lightning would end up jetting off to a race around the globe in the World Grand Prix.

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