cars 3, teaser, trailer, lightning mcqueenPixar has released the first official teaser trailer for "Cars 3," and unlike its lighthearted predecessors, the threequel looks like it will take a slightly darker path for protagonist Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson).

The clip is less than a minute long, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for by setting a tense tone, suggesting that this isn't the "Cars" franchise you knew before. Gone are the candy-colored, smiling racecars that populated the first two flicks; they've been replaced by faceless vehicles zipping around a track, faster and faster until we spy McQueen, first out front, and then lagging behind.

"McQueen is fading, fading fast!" intones a commentator over the track loudspeaker. We hear the winded Lightning try to catch his breath, before a slow-mo shot of the battered, broken car comes tumbling through the frame, in the midst of an epic crash. "From this moment," reads some text on screen, "everything will change."

It's certainly a grim glimpse at the third entry in the massively popular Pixar series. But is this really what fans should expect when the flick hits theaters next year? Surely the franchise isn't taking a cue from the "dark and gritty reboot" genre, is it?

We'll have to wait until next summer to see. "Cars 3" is set for release on June 16, 2017.

Photo credit: YouTube/Disney•Pixar