Sphero – Ultimate Lightning McQueen Robotic Car Review

Sphero - Ultimate Lightning McQueen Robotic Car Review

Every little boy loves toy cars. If you ask your kids what they love most, I am pretty sure that Lightning is one of the favorite characters in their minds. As you know, there are tons of toys about Cars in the market, but seldom you can see it is relevant to the advanced robotic toys. If you love robotic cars,  Ultimate Lightning McQueen probably is a great choice for you. It is developed by Sphero, a very well-known and experienced developer of toy robotics. Undoubtedly, they have produced lots of great robot toys in the past decade. This time they bring us something special which is the most famous ‘Car’ character in the animation. There is no denying that they bring him alive and show you energetic character in real. So, without too much preamble here goes…

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If you like the car robotics, you might also be interested in Sphero RVR Programmable Robot Car Read our full review here.


Sphero - Ultimate Lightning McQueen Introductory Video

Sphero - Ultimate Lightning McQueen - PROS & CONS


  • Lifelike McQueen
  • Fun to play
  • Various game modes
  • Great, comprehensive app


  • Expensive
  • Take time to update content

Sphero - Ultimate Lightning McQueen - Key Specifications

  • 6 independent motors for natural body movements
  • Dynamic mouth movement for speech 
  • Custom-made LCD screen to present animated eyes
  • Capacitive touch panels for interaction
  • Ambient light sensor for automated headlight control
  • Dedicated app with diversified game modes
  • The real voice of Owen Wilson with 300+ phrases

What is Ultimate Lightning McQueen?

When it comes to robotic toys, you might know Sphero. It makes a very prevalent STEM robotic toy “LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit” and brings great success. 

Ultimate Lightning McQueen is their first advanced robotic car project. They’ve spent much effort on getting advice and consultation from Pixar in order to portray the most authentic Lightning to the customers.

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It is excellent in design, game modes and even driving experience. It looks terrific in craft details. It vividly drives like what he can do in the movies. Besides, the robotic car and the dedicated app provide fun game experience for ‘Car’ fans. In short, It’s not only an ordinary remote control (RC) car, probably, the best gift for ‘Cars’ movie collectors.

The Most Authentic Lightning McQueen in Design

With a professional consultation from Pixar and comprehensive research studies, Sphero has successfully made their most advanced robot car, Lightning and it is the most authentic ‘Cars’ model we’ve ever played. 

Most Lightening remote control (RC) cars you can find in the market would place many stickers to decorate the car body. It is a real eyesore and not durable. However, what you can find on the Ultimate Lightning McQueen is painted logo and signs such as painted Rust-eze Ointmentsponsorship logos, painted ‘Lightyear’ on the tires. It shows how Sphero pays attention to the details that collectors expect. 

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Besides, facial expression and special body movements also help depict a real McQueen. 

Animated eyes: It is presented by the trapezoidal LCD screen. We can see McQueen looks around which makes it look lifelike.

Dynamic mouth movement: It seems that McQueen is really talking to you. You will be happy to see him saying the words with Owen Wilson’s actual voice.

Body Movement: 6 built-in independent motors allow McQueen to move very naturally. McQueen can ‘kneel down’ and even stand confidently to express complicated changes of emotions. Last but not least, it is also equipped with an ambient light sensor. McQueen headlights will turn on automatically while the environment is not bright enough. It’s really awesome and McQueen won’t be afraid to race in the dark anymore. What’s more, the Capacitive Touch Panel is also another interesting feature. While you touch the panel and interact with McQueen, he will give you appropriate responses by return.

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Lightning McQueen Packed with Tech

After unpacking the box, what you have to do is installing the dedicated app and get your mobile device connected. 

Installation is quite simple, you can activate Bluetooth on your smartphone, the car will synchronize with your device and then you can install updated content and take control of your RC car. 

Sphero keeps contents updated for the app. It will let you stay with him and explore new adventures together. Here are the links to download the app.

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Diversified Game Modes and App Features

The App provides lots of fun games for “Cars” fans.

Features include:


Slide your finger on the driving pad to guide Lightning… he’ll go wherever you push the joystick, drift, do donuts, and even react to his expert racing moves.


Train hard and join the pit crew. Lightning coaches you as you race the clock changing tires, fueling up, and getting racers back on the track.


Direct Lightning as he prepares to be on camera. Create scripts with your favorite phrases and actions for him to perform.


Watch Disney•Pixar’s Cars with Lightning and watch him react to the movie. Select this option with Lightning plugged in to charge, start the movie, and hear all he has to say.

Now watch Lightning react to Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” and “Cars 3” and see more of his story unfold. Because sometimes it’s just as fun to watch the race.


It’s what Lightning McQueen does best. Race against opponents from Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3”. Test your skills, perform maneuvers, and see your competition’s progress on your device’s screen while racing around your home.



Did we mention winning? The more you drive, play, and act, the more you can unlock in the new achievements section. Get playing and unlock them all.


Remote control enthusiasts, rejoice! Ultimate Lightning Robotic Car now has the option to use RC controls. The joystick on the left side of the app screen controls forward and reverse, and the joystick on the right moves you left and right. Check out settings to turn on RC Driving throughout the app.


Head to the Drive-In feature to watch all 3 Disney Pixar’s ‘Cars’ movies with Lightning reacting by your side. When you’re not training, kick back and relax by watching Disney•Pixar’s “Cars” with Lightning while he reacts to the movie. This. Is. Lightning McQueen.

Sphero Lightning McQueen – Satisfactory Driving Experience

Sphero Lightning provides very fun control and driving experience to users. After launching the app, you can use the virtual joystick to control the RC Car. There are 3 buttons to perform special moves, reverse, drift, and boost. 

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Reverse and boost are quite straight forward, What you need to practice is ‘Drift’. As a speedy racer, you really need to spend time to practice how to drift nicely. :). And the maximum speed of the robotic car is up to 6 MPH.

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Wrapping up

Definitely, Sphero – Ultimate Lightning McQueen is premium and authentic McQueen collectible for ALL ‘Cars’ animation fans. It is perfect in terms of playability, driving experience, and car design. However, it is relatively expensive compared with other licensed animated character toys. If you love McQueen, this is what you want!

Customer’s Feedback

No. of Customer reviews – 105 (updated to 31 Dec 2019)


Sphero - Ultimate Lightning McQueen Specifications

Age8 years and up
Prebuilt / Kit buildPrebuilt
Skill of CodingNot required
Playabilitymobile app-controlled racing toy car
Autonomousbuilt-in McQueen ‘Personality’
ControlDedicated App Control
Power1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
1 Hour Charge Time for 40-minute battery life

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