|“||A toast! To the death of Allinol and alternative fuel forever!"||„|
|~ Zundapp to his minions|
|“||Allinol must be finished for good! McQueen cannot win the last race! Lightning McQueen...must be killed!'||„|
|~ Professor Z plotting to kill McQueen at the final race in London.|
He was voiced by Thomas Kretschmann.
Professor Z is an evil, ruthless, devious, brilliant, mad German scientist and he seems to have something against spies. Professor Z is a genius while his henchmen are dimwits.
Professor Z is an internationally wanted weapons designer in a small, sophisticated German package. He is a brilliant, but mad monocle-wearing scientist and the co-leader of criminals called the Lemon Cars, who are plotting to sabotage the World Grand Prix, and he is also the right-hand of Sir Miles Axlerod.
Though his true motive is unclear, Professor Z is willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate all obstacles and keep the "project" on schedule. He is also responsible for inventing electromagnetic pulse weapons designed as World Grand Prix cameras, intending to ignite Allinol, the 'alternative energy' fuel used by all race cars of the Grand Prix.
During the climax of the film, Professor Z orders his thugs to kill Lightning McQueen for the final step of their plans since Lightning decides to remain using Allinol for the final race in England, despite the fact that Allinol is being called into question.
However, in the final race in England, the Allinol that Lightning's using was actually replaced by Fillmore's organic fuel mixture that prevents the radiation from killing him. As a backup plan, Professor Z implants a bomb on Mater's air filter to make sure that Lightning dies anyway, but he is unable to detonate the bomb as it went out of range since Mater tries his best to lure everyone away from its threat while Lightning follows him unaware of the situation. Professor Z then send the lemon cars to surround Lightning and Mater in an intersection to kill them, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of British agents Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell and the Radiator Springs residents. Professor Z ends up being tied up by Finn while trying to escape and later gets shocked by Holley before getting arrested. His boss himself would meet this fate shortly afterwards.
Also, Mater points out that Allinol was actually gasoline engineered to ignite if hit with the EMP beam in order to discredit real alternative energy. As he finally reveals the story of the Prix conspiracy to the public by confronting and forcing Sir Miles Axlerod to deactivate the bomb with a voice command to prevent being killed by it, Professor Z, Miles, and the Lemon Cars are presumed to be thrown into prison for good.
- Z's first name is Wolfgang and he is voiced by Thomas Krestchmann, who actually portrayed the MCU Villain and HYDRA Leader and Scientist, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.
- Professor Z's name is from the German company Zündapp, a major motorcycle manufacturer.
- In Cars 2: The Video Game, if the player chooses to play a Survival mission and plays as Professor Z, there will be two Professor Zs since the real professor appears in a helicopter controlling the electromagnetic radiation beam.
- Professor Z is thought to be the main antagonist early on, but when Sir Miles Axlerod's evil plot is exposed, it turns out Z is actually the secondary antagonist since Axlerod had bigger plans, and he is Z and the Lemons' boss. However, Z is the one who drives the plot and is probably more dangerous than Axlerod.
- Professor Z is similar to Randall Boggs as both were thought to be the main antagonists but are revealed to actually be the secondary antagonists. Both also prove to be more dangerous than the main antagonists themselves (Professor Z being more dangerous than Sir Miles Axlerod and Randall Boggs being more dangerous than Henry J Waternoose III) and they also drive the plot of the story.
- The digits on his license plate are spelled out "BAD GA 58", meaning bad gas.