Things get underway when boy racer McQueen (Wilson) is challenged to compete in the World Grand Prix by cocky Italian racer Francesco Bertoulli (a formula-one turn from John Turturro).
The tournament is sponsored by range-roving entrepreneur Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard) whose only demand is that all competitors use his revolutionary ultra-clean fuel Allinoil.
But no sooner does Team McQueen set tyre in Japan than trusty, rusty tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) blunders into the midst of an undercover operation led by Caine’s unflappable spy McMissile and his sporty assistant Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer).
A shady oil conglomerate is sabotaging the competition with a device that turns Allinoil into dynamite. So with racers being reduced to spare parts, Mater has no choice but to join the plucky Brits and stop the fossil-fuelled fiends before Lightning gets zapped.
Racing through Paris, Tokyo and a Tuscanised version of Monaco before the big finale in London, director Lasseter and his crew maintain – and occasionally surpass - Pixar’s visual standards. Cars 2 positively gleams.