- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2017

DETROIT (AP) - The third movie in Disney Pixar’s “Cars” animated series features an aggressive newcomer to the race circuit who challenges wily veteran Lightning McQueen.

Pixar unveiled new character Jackson Storm and gave away some of the plot for “Cars 3” on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It also drove out a life-sized version of McQueen with new red paint and decals that will stay in Detroit through the public portion of the show.

The new character, Jackson Storm, has an angular, lower look and a sinister-looking black body that makes the rounded and upright McQueen look old. “McQueen starts to feel old-fashioned,” said Jay Ward, creative director for the Cars series.

In the original 2006 movie, McQueen is the brash young newcomer who takes over the Piston Cup circuit. Now he’s about to be supplanted by the cocky Storm. As the season progresses, McQueen’s generation of friends is replaced by newer models.

There’s also a new female character named Cruz Ramirez, a yellow coupe who is McQueen’s trainer as he tries to make a comeback.

Ward said Pixar wanted to capture what NASCAR race cars would look like in the future when it began designing the Jackson Storm car. The studio turned to J Mays, former chief of design at Ford Motor Co. for help with the initial sketches. They came up with the low black body that makes McQueen look obsolete.

Pixar showed a clip of the movie from the final race in the Piston Cup series. Storm approaches McQueen toward the end of the race and tells him “Don’t worry pal, you had a good run,” before roaring into the lead. McQueen pursues, spins out and goes airborne.

What happens at the end will have to wait until the movie hits theaters in June

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