New Cars 2 Pic Online

And the poster has arrived too...

With the teaser now in the rear view mirror and the first concept pics vanishing into the distance, the Disney/Pixar pit crew have decided to keep the fact that Cars 2 arrives next year in our minds by releasing a new image from the movie along with the poster.

Breaking free of the confines of Radiator Springs, Cars 2 finds speed demon Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and tow truck best pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) competing in the World Grand Prix to discover if Lightning can hold his own against the planet’s fastest motors.

But even as they race, the pair gets caught up in an international espionage case, with British agent spy car Finn McMissile, who appears on the right of the new pic above (anyone else want Finn to be voiced by Mr Pricklepants, AKA Timothy Dalton?) And it looks like the Pixar bods have expanded their repertoire of shiny machine beings further to include a jet (well, we hardly thought Lightning and Mater were going to swim across the various oceans).

Then we have the poster, courtesy of Yahoo Movies, which shows off the global nature of the story, while keeping to the high-tec theme of the teaser…

While Cars 2 continues to be a source of dissent among the Pixar faithful – some love the idea; others hate that the company is pushing out more sequels – we’re staying hopeful that the studio has put just as much care and attention into this one as usual.

The film drives into our cinemas on July 22, 2011.