As if I wasn’t already excited about the upcoming release of Cars 3 in June 2017, some new characters were also announced, which will be joining Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) in this all-new story that tests the heart of a champion in a high-tech world. The two new characters include an unconventional trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and next-gen racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer).

Lightning McQueen is world champion—a modern-day racing legend who’s riding high with five Piston-Cup wins under his hood. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new generation of racers who threaten not only his dominance in the sport—but the confidence that got him there. Determined to get back to the pole position, the #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life. Owen Wilson returns to the racetrack as the voice of the champion.

Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) is a sunny-but-fierce unconventional trainer at the Rust-eze Racing Center. She expertly arms the team’s talented rookies with cutting-edge tools to tear up the track—but she nearly stalls when her longtime idol Lightning McQueen shows up. While she’d love to help him find his way back to the top, she knows the competition is faster than ever, and victory is all about speed—or is it? Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) was called on to help bring the character to life.

Cristela is full of optimism and a positive energy that I think really comes through in Cruz’s personality and of course, she’s a hilarious comedian, so that doesn’t hurt either.” Cars Director Brian Fee

Jackson Storm is fast, sleek and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it. Armie Hammer (“Birth of a Nation”) was tapped as the voice of Jackson Storm.

Armie brought a great combination of intensity and charm to the role of Jackson Storm. His charisma helped create a character you really love to hate.”

Cars 3 is directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and Produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), and cruises into theaters on June 16th!

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