- “Acer: "Hey! What's so funny?"
Rod "Torque" Redline: "Well, you know, I was just wearing a disguise. You guys are stuck looking like that."”
- ―Rod making an insulting joke about the lemons
Rod "Torque" Redline is a supporting character in the 2011 Disney/Pixar animated film, Cars 2. He was an American secret agent who is responsible for finding out information about a mysterious mastermind leading a group of lemons and passing it on to Mater before being captured.
- Rod "Torque" Redline is considered by many as the greatest American spy in the world. Recruited after the Cold War for both his brains and brawn, Torque is a tough-as-nails Detroit muscle car with a mastery of disguises. In his latest deep-cover operation, he obtained vital information about the plot to sabotage the World Grand Prix. So Rod plans a rendezvous with his British counterparts to share his discoveries at the World Grand Prix welcome reception in Tokyo, Japan. But with the bad guys hot on his tailpipe, Rod is forced to ditch the intel early and with the first party guest he sees — a rusty American tow truck named Mater.
The scene where Rod was tortured by the lemons and eventually killed was claimed by some to be inappropriate for a film that was made to include young audiences. John Lasseter mentioned that while he knew the point, he thought that the film should have it so to explain how dangerous the electromagnetic pulse generator is.
Nathan Stanton, who was the story supervisor of Cars 2, mentioned that while he knew the scene may be horrifying, he thought that just getting one little piece of it into one of the film's scenes would still include one of the tones a spy movie normally has.
Dave Mullins, a supervising animator, said along with Lasseter that when they were developing the scene, it was darker than in the final film, with reactions from several members at Pixar. To make the scene not so violent, they "backed off tremendously," which included making Rod "tough".
Being cool and brave, Rod had to try and make sure that he completed his mission of finding out secret information, even knowing that he could get killed if he was to be found out by the lemons. He also kept a smile while tricking the lemons with his disguise, though not when he met with them, and he even at one point made an insult about them.
Rod is painted dark blue, and has blue eyes, along with black lining on his sides. To add to that, he has labels saying "G4 DXR", and chrome rims on his tires that have five spokes. One of the spokes on his front left wheel carries a hidden gun. His model is made up of both a 2005 Ford Mustang GT and a Dodge Challenger R/T, and is also said by the Meet the Cars book to be a 2006 Deringer DXR. On his back is a license plate that reads "M1911A1", which is also used to name a kind of gun.
When around the lemons, Rod uses a disguise that represents an AMC Gremlin that is painted ochre with a green stripe and brown eye coverings.
- Top Speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)
- Zero – 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
- Engine Type: 5.5-liter V-8
- Horsepower: 550
Weapons and Equipment
- Gremlin disguise: While he was finding out information on the oil rigs, Rod used a disguise of an ochre Gremlin car to "blend in" with the lemons. Unlike the other spies' disguises, Rod's disguise is made of actual collapsible pieces rather than being a hologram.
- Concealed gun: He uses this to battle enemies. It is placed on his front left wheel.
- Telescoping utility arm: This is an arm which is like a screwdriver, being on Rod's front right wheel. This allows him to hold small items such as a device carrying information about the lemons' mastermind.
- Status bar: This is a screen that is located under Rod's eyes, showing his speed, how much fuel he has, and other parameters. It also turns on his tracking beacon.
When a racing competition called the World Grand Prix is announced, some American secret agents discover that there is a secret oil reserve located in the Pacific Ocean, being run by a group of criminal cars called Lemons. To find out more information, Rod is sent to the oil reserve, bringing along a couple of gadgets such as a disguise that makes him look like a Gremlin. This completely fools the lemons, who reveal that they have made a machine that appears to be a standard television camera, but is said by Professor Zündapp to be "extremely dangerous". At the same time, British secret agent Finn McMissile is hiding on one of the oil rigs and watching Professor Z explaining about the camera. The lemons are also unable to notice Rod sometime later taking a picture of the mastermind's engine so that he can share it with Finn and Holley Shiftwell.
Rod soon travels with the lemons to Tokyo, where the opening ceremony of the World Grand Prix is being held. Finn and his spy-agency counterpart Holley Shiftwell learn that an American spy is at the party and their job is to intercept him and receive a package. When the lemons are not looking, Rod sneaks away and searches for a place where he can meet up with Finn and Holley to give them the photo of the mastermind. Going into a bathroom, Rod takes off his disguise and turns on his tracking beacon for Holley to follow. However, Grem and Acer find him first, and start a battle, where Rod tries to use his gun to shoot at Acer, but both Acer and Grem dodge his tactics, and severely damage his bodywork. Just as Acer attempts to hit him one last time, he runs into the door of a toilet stall, where Mater comes out after experiencing the features of the Japanese toilets. Neither he, Grem nor Acer are able to notice Rod placing a device carrying the photo onto Mater's undercarriage, and Mater is immediately asked by Grem and Acer to leave. As Rod's tracking beacon is also located on the device, it leads to Finn and Holley both thinking Mater is the agent meant to meet them.
The moment Mater leaves, Torque finds himself tied up and surrounded by Lemons in a warehouse where his rear tires are between cylinders, while parking boots are placed on his front tires. One of the lemons also fills him up with a fuel known as Allinol, which Rod thanks due to hearing that it is a renewable fuel. At that point, Grem demonstrates the same kind of machine that Rod had seen on the oil platform, as Professor Z shows that while it looks like a television camera, it actually generates an extremely strong electromagnetic pulse. To add to that, Professor Z reveals that Allinol has one weakness; it explodes when coming into contact with an electromagnet pulse.
As the Allinol in Rod's engine begins to react, Acer tries to get answers from Rod about the photo that he took of the mastermind, asking him if he had given it to any of the guests at the ceremony while showing pictures of the ones Rod had spoken to. The moment Acer shows a picture of Mater, Rod unintentionally reacts with his eyes moving, to which Professor Z is able to spot and figure out that Mater is the one with the photo. With that, the lemons carry out a plan to find and kill Mater and get rid of the photo, horrifying Rod due to knowing that Mater is unaware of this. Finally, Professor Z puts the EMP emitter at full power, killing Rod as his body explodes into flames and debris.
Rod appears as a character who can be downloaded on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Cars 2: The Video Game, along with a version of him in his Gremlin disguise. Both require purchases to download them. Players can use him in certain events such as races, which are simulations run by Finn, Holley and their friends. Since the game takes place after the film, Rod is implied to be part of the simulations, like how the lemons are also part of the simulations. He is one of the heavy characters, meaning he does not have as much as speed as some of the other characters. However, he does have more power than some of the others.
- Rod's design is a mix of a 2005 Ford Mustang GT and a Dodge Challenger R/T.
- G4 DXR labels on Rod may be stating the fictional name of his car model which, according to the Meet the Cars book, is a 2006 Deringer DXR.
- His license plate is M1911A1. This is a reference to the Colt M1911A1, a semi-automatic handgun popular for military, civilian, and law enforcement use.
- According to his license plate, he is from Michigan, which is the birthplace of actor Bruce Campbell, who voices Rod.
- A Toys "R" Us Lego exclusive of Rod was released for free on October 15, 2011 in the US.
- Rod is seen talking to Shigeko while in his Gremlin disguise.
- When Rod has his Gremlin disguise on, his eyes are brown instead of blue. If one looks closely, the brown eyes seem to come off with the disguise when Rod takes it off, meaning that they could be part of it.
- Rod is downloadable in Cars 2: The Video Game, even though he was killed in the film. However, since all the tracks are just simulations, it's possible that Rod is part of the simulations.
- In the unaired Cars Toon short, To Protect and Serve, the sheriffs Mike 07 and Didi 05 reuse Rod's model. This is a nod to some real life police cars, which are Dodge Challengers, and Rod's design is chiefly based on a Dodge Challenger.
- In Cars 3, Pat Traxson reuses Rod's model.
- Rod's wreck is just barely visible in the reflection of the TV screen after he is killed with the Electromagnetic Pulse Emitter.
- Rod's name is never said in the movie. He is only referred to as “The American” by Finn and Holley, and Grem refers to him as “The American Agent.” However, the visual description for the DVD does identify him with his name.
- Rod's voice actor Bruce Campbell had previously appeared in another Disney film featuring the premise involving sentient cars (Campbell had played the lead role in the 1997 telefilm remake of The Love Bug).
- Rod is the fourth known Cars character to die in the movie franchise.
- Even though Rod is a deceased character, he gives the player the tutorial mission on AppMATes.
- All Lego cars have got printed eyes. However, Rod's eyes are a sticker.
- Rod has not be re-released in the 1:55 scale die-cast line since 2012 for unknown reasons.
- On the Cars 2 page for the Pixar website, Rod is included in the racers category in place of Jeff Gorvette, despite being a spy.
- Meet Two New 'Cars 2' Characters: Rod "Torque" Redline and Siddeley
- John Lasseter Interview Transcript and Fun Info
- Exclusive: Story Supervisor Nate Stanton Talks Cars 2
- Behind The Scenes At Pixar: Talking With The Creators Of Cars 2
- Disney/Pixar (2011). Meet the Cars. Disney Press. pp. 70. ISBN 978-1423147770