The Cars 3 teaser trailer suggests that this film has a much darker tone than its predecessors. As a result, a controversy began whether or not to allow young McQueen fans to watch this film. However, it left Cars critics unexpectedly anticipating this film.
All three Cars films were released the same year as a Pirates of the Caribbean film. Cars (2006) came out the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), Cars 2 (2011) was released the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Cars 3 (2017) will be released the same year as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
Cars 3 will feature McQueen with his signature Cars look and bring back familiar characters from the original's Radiator Springs, including tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), girlfriend Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt) and auto-body shop owner Ramone (Cheech Marin).
Director Brian Fee has mentioned that the film is a love letter to racing and the American way and it is inspired by the Americana you see traveling through the South where every small town has a dirt track.
If you look closely in the teaser, you'll notice some of the piston cup racers from the first Cars movie, suggesting that they'll be returning. Lil Torquey Pistons No. 117, Rev 'N' Go No. 73, View Zeen No. 39, Bumper Save No. 90, Sputter Stop No. 92, No Stall No. 123, and Shiny Wax No. 82. However, some of them have different paint jobs. Lil Torquey Pistons was originally dark blue, but in the teaser, he is red. Rev 'N' Go was originally Sky Blue, but in the teaser, she is dark blue. No Stall is red in the first cars movie, but in the teaser, he is blue.
On November 20, 2016, a first teaser trailer was revealed, it had a dark atmosphere that left many child fans traumatized, making parents telling other parents to not to let their children watch the teaser.
A tie-in video game has been announced to accompany the film's release. It will be developed by Avalanche Software, which was shut down by Disney in 2016, but was acquired and revived by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.