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Most potent McLaren 12C revealed

Retro-spective: The striking black and orange paint on the MP4-12C Can-Am concept is a nod to legendary McLaren race cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

McLaren harks back to past glories with hardcore MP4-12C Can-Am concept


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16 Aug 2012

McLAREN has unveiled the most hardcore version of its MP4-12C supercar yet ahead of its public debut at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in California this weekend.

Created by the British company’s GT racing arm, the 12C Can-Am Edition is a one-off, track-focused design study based on the 12C GT3 endurance racer.

Finished in the famous McLaren orange and black paint scheme, the Can-Am has been designed as a tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme’s iconic race cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

Pitched as the ‘ultimate track car’, the Can-Am features a more potent version of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine used in both the GT race car and the standard road version, developing 470kW of power courtesy of a revised engine calibration and cooling system.

This figure outstrips the recently upgraded road car by 10kW, while the GT3 version is restricted to a comparatively mild 368kW due to strict racing regulations.

While the Can-Am Edition shares the MonoCell composite chassis of the road car, dry weight has been trimmed back to 1200kg (down from 1300kg on the road car) thanks to greater use of lightweight materials and a stripped-out interior.

As with the GT3 race car, the Can-Am features a unique aerodynamic set-up using McLaren Formula One technology, resulting in a 30 per cent increase in downforce over the road car.

The set-up includes a carbon-fibre front splitter, dive planes and rear diffuser, plus a massive carbon rear wing affixed with polished aluminium mounts.

The cabin is also race-ready, with a pair of black racing seats with six-point harnesses, race-specification roll cage, carbon detailing on the dashboard and sill panels, and a Formula One-inspired steering wheel from the GT3 racer.

The extra power is kept in check by bigger Akebono brakes sitting behind a set of black satin-finished forged aluminium lightweight wheels shod with Pirelli racing slicks.

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