Cars 3 will hit U.S. theaters on June 16.

The creator of the animation franchise "Cars," John Lasseter, took advantage of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show opening to say he's an automotive enthusiast, and that the movie began to take shape at the auto show back in 2001. With the official release of the third film inching closer, Lasseter and Pixar studio decided to bring a 1:1 functional Lightning McQueen to the event. It will be on display there from January 8 until January 22.
According to Jay Shuster, production designer of "Cars 3," and Jay Ward, creative director of the movie, McQueen was the last veteran race car to keep on fighting for the Piston Cup and things began to change after the arrival of Jackson Storm, a modern, fast and stuck-up competitor.
"We've got McQueen. He is round and flowing. Now we had to make Storm angular and sharp. J Mays gave us a design direction. You can see the contrast between McQueen and Storm. Storm is low to the ground, its greenhouse is super slammed as opposed to McQueen's upright posture", Shuster said at the press conference. And having Ford's former head of design is not the sole touching point with the real automotive industry.
People assume that our design starts in the computer, but it's not so. We actually draw a lot of pen-to-paper old school and we get into the sculpt form as soon as we can because we can draw these things as many times as we want but we still will not fully understand this design in real space. So we get that thing into clay. We know we can't cheat in clay. It is a challenge to make these shapes work together and the clay is helping us just to do this."

In addition to McQueen and Storm, the film will feature a new character, Cruz Ramirez, who shows up to prepare McQueen to deal with his new challengers. "We wanted a strong female character that would actually become McQueen's trainer in this film as McQueen tries to get his groove back to challenge Jackson Storm. We needed a car design that made it look like she could hold her own against any other top racer out there. And at the same time she's not a race car. She's a trainer", Ward said.

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"Cars 3" debuts in the US on June 16, but NAIAS visitors will get the chance to see him in steel, glass and rubber. Not even the best 3D movie theater will be able to match that experience.

Cars 3 in Detroit