- “They laughed at us, but now it's our turn to laugh back. Embrace your inner lemon! Let it drive you! This was meant to be alternative fuel's greatest moment! But after today, everyone will race back to gasoline. And we, the owners of the world's largest untapped oil reserve will become the most powerful cars in the world! They will come to us, and they will have no choice, because they will need us. And they will finally respect us! So hold your hoods and heads high! After today, you will never again be ashamed of who you are! Long live lemons!”
- ―Sir Miles Axlerod
Sir Miles Axlerod is the main antagonist of the 2011 Disney/Pixar animated film, Cars 2. He is a criminal mastermind who wants to make alternate fuel look bad, although his schemes are later exposed in the end. He is also the arch-nemesis of Mater.
- Sir Miles Axlerod is a former oil baron who has sold off his fortune, converted himself into an electric vehicle and has devoted his life to finding the renewable, clean-burning energy source of the future—ultimately discovering what he believes is the fuel everyone should be using. Axlerod is also the car behind the World Grand Prix, a three-country race he created that attracts the world's top athletes—but it's really an excuse to show off his new wonder-fuel, Allinol.
When Cars 2 was under development, the filmmakers had a character named Zil in the original story. Zil would have been a Russian who had the role of trying to make the world go against alternative energy and also be in place of Professor Zündapp. However, the filmmakers soon decided to use Axlerod and Professor Z instead.
Apparently, Axlerod's name seems to originate from a joke that his voice actress Eddie Izzard made about the invention of wheels and axles on one of his tours.
Axlerod presented himself to be friendly and well-meaning to other cars and invented Allinol as a way to help promote the usage of alternative fuel. However, it later turned out that Axlerod is actually a ruthless, greedy, deceptive, and manipulative criminal mastermind who wished for non-lemons to respect him and was willing to harm other cars in order to do so. He is even willing to commit murder in order to achieve his goals in becoming rich through his untapped oil reserves where he ordered the death of Lightning McQueen when the latter decided to use Allinol in the last race after the lemons had managed to successfully discredit Allinol. Axlerod also planted a bomb on Mater as a way to kill him after the tow truck discovered and started interfering with his plans.
Axlerod is also very intelligent, as shown when he made the plan to get rid of alternative fuel. Additionally, he can speak in a deeper, disguised voice that is hard to be descrambled, which would serve to deceive any potential spies. He also was able to come up with backup plans in case any first plans did not work. For example, he planted a bomb onto Mater in case the latter escaped from his bonds and would rush to save McQueen if the EMP emitter did not kill the racecar.
Despite coming from a background where Axlerod was mocked and ridiculed for being a lemon, he has no redeeming qualities as his anger and greed made him very evil and was willing to commit heinous crimes just to get revenge on those who laughed at him and all lemons.
Despite not being sadistic like Zündapp, Axlerod was cruel as he showed no remorse for the injuries the racers of the World Grand Prix received when their engines exploded by being hit by the EMP emitter. Axlerod was also shown to hate Mater where he blamed on an oil leak on Mater, planted a bomb on him just to kill him, and started acting cruel towards him when Mater was trying to expose him. It is possible Axlerod's hatred of Mater stems from the fact that Mater is a tow truck, possibly hinting that Axlerod did not get a lot of proper help and fixing from tow trucks in the past.
Axlerod also showed signs of overconfidence as he kept his identity as the lemons' mastermind hidden until Mater exposed him, shocking Axlerod. He also tried to maintain his cover of being the lemons' mastermind when confronted and cornered by Mater until he was forced to deactivate the bomb he planted on the tow truck just to save his own life. This also shows Axlerod truly cares about no one but himself and is truly a coward.
Axlerod is painted dark green, with a roof that is black, and blue eyes. He is modelled after a Land Rover Defender 90, with chrome rims that do not turn like his tires, which have a texture that makes a repetition of a leaf-shaped motif. His rims also contain the words "REGEN R8," which means "Regenerate."
After he was thought to have converted himself into an electric car, he has a license plate that reads "ALT NRG", which makes up the words "alternative energy". He did not carry this license plate before the "conversion".
Axlerod has been known by the world for trying to traveling around without using a GPS, but in doing so, is thought to be dead when he runs out of fuel and comes into a rainforest. He eventually emerges more than a month later, using a fuel that is said to be made out of the natural elements. He is then reported to have sold his oil company, switched to an electric car, and invents a clean-burning fuel named Allinol. To try and get the world to use alternative energy, he creates the World Grand Prix. On Mel Dorado's show, he announces that after the World Grand Prix, everyone around the world should switch to alternative energy. One of the racers he had invited to take part in the World Grand Prix is Lightning McQueen, but they only heard that McQueen is taking a break after his latest Piston Cup season. Soon, Mater contacts the show to tell them that another one of the World Grand Prix racers, Francesco Bernoulli, should not insult McQueen, which gets Francesco and Mater into a conversation as Axlerod and Mel Dorado listen. McQueen immediately gets on the phone to deal with Francesco himself, and afterwards, Axlerod offers McQueen to take part in the World Grand Prix, to which McQueen agrees.
At the opening ceremony in Tokyo, one day before the first race, Axlerod goes on stage to introduce the World Grand Prix racers to the press. While Axlerod is introducing McQueen, Mater suddenly rushes to the fountain behind them, having eaten too much wasabi. Feeling embarrassed, McQueen tries to explain to Axlerod about Mater, but Axlerod seems glad, as he thanks Mater for calling into the Mel Dorado Show. However, Axlerod then notices some oil beneath him and Mater, which it is immediately thought that Mater had leaked oil (being the car equivalent of urinating). While McQueen scolds Mater and orders him to take care of himself, Axlerod gets a member of staff to clean the oil up. The first race starts as usual, but throughout the whole race, a couple of the racers get their engines blown, leading the press to believe that allinol might be the reason why. Axlerod dismisses this to the press, saying that his fuel would have nothing to do with it.
In Porto Corsa, where the second race is taking place, Axlerod speaks to the press to answer their questions about the safety of allinol. He informs them that scientists have been examining it, and have proved that it is completely safe. However, throughout the race, a couple more of the racers' engines explode, which makes the fans believe once again that allinol is responsible, and begin to go against it. It only gets worse when one of the racers, Shu Todoroki, skids after his engine explodes, causing a huge pile-up with most of the other racers. Hearing what had happened, Axlerod rushes to the press and informs that the last race in London will still be held, but will no longer require the racers to use allinol, having decided not to risk any more lives. However, McQueen decides to use allinol, not believing that that kind of crash would happen at all.
Just before the last race, Axlerod comes to the pits to thank McQueen for his decision, telling him to show everyone that allinol is safe. As the race starts, Axlerod stands outside Buckingham Palace with the Queen and Prince Wheeliam. The race turns out well, but soon everyone notices Mater going onto the track while McQueen chases him.
Later on, Mater arrives at Buckingham Palace to tell everyone that Axlerod is actually the head of a group of lemons, who had been responsible for sabotaging the racers by using an electromagnetic pulse generator, disguised as a camera, to make the allinol inside them explode, so to make the whole world think alternative fuel is unsafe and buy regular oil from their huge oil field. Mater also reveals that Axlerod was actually the one who leaked oil back in Tokyo, having blamed it on Mater, and he did not actually convert to an electric car.
Mater continues on by stating that Allinol was created as a cover to ruin alternative fuel so Axlerod could profit from cars going back to gasoline as well as stating Axlerod has an old engine with particular bolts and a disguised voice. Axlerod tries to convince the spectators all of these accusations were not true, but he eventually reveals his true self when he is forced to deactivate the counting down bomb that he and the lemons had put on Mater.
Afterwards, he is surrounded by police officers, as Mater opens his hood to reveal that he has the same engine shown in a photo that Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell had found. This display confirms Mater's theory and proves Axlerod was behind everything from the start as he questions how Mater figured it all out.
After Axlerod is arrested, it turns out that he actually used gasoline to make allinol and change it so that it would blow up when coming into contact with an electromagnetic pulse.
Axlerod is one of the characters who is playable in Cars 2: The Video Game. He is seen occasionally during races, as part of a simulation where Mater's friends train for the C.H.R.O.M.E. organization. Axlerod is one of the heavy characters, not having a lot of speed, but he does have a lot of power.
Axlerod is one of the characters who has to be unlocked during progress. To unlock him, the player must collect enough points to get to Clearance Level 5.
- Lightning McQueen: "Listen, I..."
- Miles Axlerod: "I probably shouldn't be saying this at all, but I hope you win today. You show the world that they've been wrong about allinol."
- ―Axlerod "encouraging" McQueen to win the last race for the whole world, with the usage of allinol
McQueen is one of the enemies of Axlerod in secret when he was thought to be a good guy. When McQueen was talking to Francesco, Axlerod was able to give him the offer of taking part in the World Grand Prix, having invited him before. In Tokyo, Axlerod stated to McQueen that he would be excellent in the competition, but also that Mater was in excitement.
When Axlerod made the decision not to have the last World Grand Prix race run on allinol, McQueen chose to use allinol for the race. This prompted Axlerod to tell Professor Z that allinol would be finished if McQueen was killed. While in London, Axlerod came to McQueen's pit stall to "thank" him for his decision, because of how the fans reacted to the race in Porto Corsa.
Soon, Axlerod was revealed by Mater to be an enemy after he exposed the former's plot to sabotage the racecars and kill McQueen.
- “This lorry's crazy! He's going to kill us all! Stay away!”
- ―Axlerod trying to accuse Mater, as Mater determines to show everyone Axlerod's true nature
Mater is Axlerod's arch-nemesis. He felt amazed when Mater called into the Mel Dorado Show, in order to talk to Francesco about McQueen. He felt like he had to thank Mater for doing so, since it made McQueen agree to compete in the World Grand Prix. When they met formally, Axlerod recognized who he was and thanked Mater while in Tokyo, only for Mater to say he is the one who should thank. Immediately, Axlerod leaked oil, and pinned the blame on Mater so that no one could find out that he was actually not an electric car.
In London, Mater proved to the British Royal Family and police that Axlerod had been leader of the lemons, along with that he was the one who leaked oil. Axlerod tried not to reveal his cover, telling everyone that Mater was out of his mind, and ordering him to keep away when Mater prevented him from escaping. However, Axlerod's cover was revealed when he was forced to deactivate the bomb that the lemons had put on Mater, which had only been one second from detonating. Afterwards, Axlerod was left wondering how Mater was able to figure out the whole thing.
- Miles Axlerod (in his disguised voice): "...till Lightning McQueen is dead!"
- Professor Zündapp: "Of course.""
- ―Axlerod carrying out his next plan to Professor Z
While Axlerod had been secretly owning an oil field, he and Professor Z were both leaders of a large group of lemons, cars that do not function properly like other cars. They both made agreements to invent an electromagnetic pulse weapon that has the appearance of a TV camera, so that they could try and get the world to think that allinol is not safe, and instead rely entirely on gasoline. While in Tokyo, they both found out that Rod "Torque" Redline had passed along a device containing Axlerod's engine down to Mater, to which Professor Z told Axlerod on the phone that it would be taken care of.
Axlerod's only other interaction with Professor Z in the film is when he phoned Professor Z in Porto Corsa to say that McQueen had to be killed during the final race in London upon deciding to still use allinol. However, the plan did not work, due to that McQueen was actually filled up with Fillmore's organic fuel by Sarge, and the lemons, as well as Professor Z, were all later arrested, while Mater revealed that Axlerod had been working with Professor Z.
- The parts that Axlerod uses are manufactured by a company called "British Wheeland". "British Wheeland" spoofs British Leyland, a company who had made both the Range Rover and their V-8 engines. As stated by Mater in the film, British Leyland's parts do not fit on other cars, because they use a different kind of bolts.
- While Axlerod is traveling around the world, he gets lost in a jungle which is actually the same one that Carl Fredricksen and Russell travel to in Up. This is easily shown when comparing the shot of Axlerod to the shot of Dug chasing one of the tennis balls on Carl's cane.
- His design resembles a Land Rover.
- His license plate is ALT NRG, an abbreviation of "alternative energy." However, before his "electric conversion" (ultimately a lie), he does not appear to have a license plate at all.
- Miles' tires' texture repeats a leaf-shaped motif.
- If one looks closely at his front wheels, they can see the words "REGEN R8," meaning "Regenerate."
- Mater states that Miles' engine is "an old aluminum V8 with a Lucius electrical system and Whitworth bolts".
- According to the film's DVD commentary, the scene where Mater comes to Buckingham Palace and reveals Axlerod's actual personality and his plan to make the lemons rich had been used in production earlier than any other scene. As a result, Pixar went backwards to make the scenes where it looks as if Axlerod is a good guy, so to make the viewers figure out at the end that Mater is so brilliant after all of his silliness throughout the film.
- This manner of his exposure as a villain is similar to that of the Scooby-Doo franchise, where most of the time, their villains were not fully revealed up until the end.
- Before coming up with Axlerod, Pixar had considered a Russian super car called Zil as the main villain (likely after the former Russian car manufacturer ZiL and homaging the James Bond tradition of setting stories in Cold War-related environments).
- There are several easy-to-miss signs that foreshadow Axlerod's true nature and evil plot:
- During his interview on the Mel Dorado TV show, Axlerod eagerly says that oil costs a big fortune, hinting his greed, and saying how alternative energy is the way for future and no one would have to use gasoline by the end of World Grand Prix, hinting he's not really supporting the usage of alternative fuel and that his invention of Allinol is actually engineered gasoline.
- While speaking to Mater at the party in Japan, Axlerod's eyes widen at the sound of oil leaking when he quickly says that Mater had leaked oil. This implied that Axlerod realized he had leaked oil and blamed it on Mater, in order to hide the fact he's not truly an electric car.
- This comes back to light when Mater realizes that Axlerod had leaked oil while realizing that Axlerod is the Lemons' mysterious mastermind.
- After the first race in Japan, Axlerod defends that Allinol is safe and it did not cause the racecars's engines to explode, though Allinol did cause the engines of the racecars to explode due to being engineered by Axlerod to blow up when coming in contact with the electromagnetic pulse emitter.
- Before the race in Italy, Axlerod tells the press that he went to court and had his scientists confirm that Allinol is safe. This is said to be a lie as Axlerod would not be willing to go court to justify his fuel and that he only told the press his fuel is safe so his minions can inflict more harm to racecars during the race.
- During the Lemons's meeting, Axlerod's rearview mirrors can be seen and his dark green paint job is lightly visible underneath a pale green padding.
- After a major crash during the second race, Axlerod rushes to speak to the press, hinting that Axlerod had to quickly change into his public persona so he can discredit the usage of Allinol in the next race.
- Before he discredits the use of Allinol, Axlerod says he cannot risk the lives of the racecars without sounding completely concerned. This foreshadows Axlerod does not truly care about what happens to the racecars if they use his fuel and was even willing to murder Lightning McQueen for when he decides to use Allinol just to prove the safety of alternative fuel. It also foreshadows that Axlerod does not truly care about the lives of anyone, but his own as he was forced to deactivate his own bomb just to save himself.
- When speaking to McQueen before the race in London, he tells him he has hopes of him winning and expectations of him proving that Allinol is safe. This implies that Axlerod wants McQueen to participate in the race just so he can be killed and prevent him from backing out in order to find Mater whom Axlerod's minions had managed to capture.
- When Mater and McQueen arrive at Buckingham Palace before Axlerod is exposed, Axlerod looks shocked to see McQueen and Mater as the latter informs Queen Elizabeth and Scotland Yard he knows who is sabotaging the World Grand Prix. Axlerod had planned to kill both Mater and McQueen for interfering with his plans and looked shocked to see them still alive when they arrived at Buckingham Palace.
- Though Professor Zündapp was thought to be the antagonist, Miles had much bigger plans than him.
- He is known to be the most sinister Cars villain.
- Axlerod's personality is very similar to that of Waternoose (one of the main antagonists of Monsters, Inc., which was released ten years before): both are portrayed as evil businessmen who are originally introduced as being friendly, both rely on deception as part of their motivations, and both are ultimately defeated by being exposed by the heroes as villains and being subsequently arrested.
- Like certain Disney villains, Axlerod seemed at first as friendly and respectful, but he turned out to be evil. This is also true with Gaston, Clayton, Lyle Tiberius Rourke, as well as fellow Pixar villains Lotso-Huggin' Bear and Ernesto de la Cruz. However, unlike the others, Axlerod never revealed his true nature because Mater revealed it for him. He was also willing to kill Mater gruesomely by installing a bomb in his air filter. This makes him one of the darkest Pixar villains.