The last couple of months have been big for the McLaren MP4-12C. In July the convertible 12C Spider was unveiled, and this weekend at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance McLaren are set to unveil a track-only concept car based on the MP4-12C. Called the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition the new car features a unique aerodynamic package which increases downforce by 30 per cent, and a boost in engine performance to 630 horsepower.
The one-off car, which was developed by the new race car manufacturing division of McLaren, is solely designed for track use, and it’s aimed in particular at the North American market. Being purely a concept at this stage, and designed as the ‘ultimate track car’, the 12C Can-Am Edition is not subject to the regular racing regulations, despite being based on the McLaren 12C GT3 race car. The upgraded 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine features a unique engine calibration and optimised cooling system, which allows a power output of up to 630hp. McLaren say that makes the 12C Can-Am Edition is the most powerful 12C derivative ever built. Although FAB Design and Hennessey may have something to say about that!
The serious-looking aerodynamic package of the 12C Can-Am Edition includes a carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre dive planes, and a carbon fibre wing which dominates the rear of the car. The wing is held in place by polished aluminium mounts. An imposing carbon fibre diffuser helps to further maximise the aerodynamic package, fitted beneath the two-tone rear bumper.
The extra power output of the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is balanced with a braking system developed by Akebono. The new brakes are visible hiding behind a set of black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloy wheels, matched with Pirelli racing slick tires.
The 12C Can-Am Edition is finished in trademark McLaren Orange. This is in tribute to the cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme which were extremely successful throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The bright orange is in stark contrast to the roof, door and bumper sections, finished in satin black, while bare carbon fibre also features on the side radiator vanes, wing mirrors and engine cover. The McLaren badges on the front and rear are also finished in carbon fibre.
Inside the cockpit, the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is all business as well. Two black race seats, complete with full six-point harnesses are mounted within the cabin, while a full race-specification rollcage has also been fitted. The steering wheel is carried over from the 12C GT3, while carbon fibre detailing also continues throughout the cabin, across the dashboard and sill panels. An integrated air conditioning system, mandatory now in a growing number of race series, is also present.
There’s no definitive word on whether the 12C Can-Am Edition concept will spawn a series-ready race car for the North American circuit. But it seem reasonable to assume McLaren didn’t just do this for nothing.
Source: McLaren Automotive