McLaren 12C Can-Am edition concept
By John Rettie
Most racing fans would agree that the Can-Am cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s were among the best race cars ever seen. I agree – I was fortunate enough to attend my first Can-Am race in 1970 at Laguna Seca when I saw Denny Hulme win in a bright yellow and black McLaren M8D. It was the dominant car that season and Hulme went on to win the Can-Am championship.
McLaren GT, the race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, is unveiling a one-off concept track car at the Pebble Beach Concours this coming weekend as a tribute to the Can-Am cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. It's called the 12C Can-Am Edition and is finished in the appropriate historic McLaren Orange and satin black.
The striking car is a variant of the 12C racing car that's already available in Europe. The Can-Am Edition weighs only 2,646 lbs and has a more powerful version of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine producing 630 horsepower.
The unique aerodynamics include a carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber dive planes, and a carbon fiber wing that is held in place by polished aluminum mounts. An imposing carbon fiber diffuser, fitted beneath the two-tone rear bumper, helps to further maximize the aerodynamics. McLaren claims this unique aerodynamic package is more than just for looks as it increases downforce by 30 percent.
Inside the cockpit, the 12C Can-Am Edition features two black race seats, complete with full six-point harnesses and a full race-specification roll cage. The steering wheel is carried over from the 12C GT3, with the shape and grip derived from that of Lewis Hamilton's MP4-24 Formula 1 car. In case you care, there is an integrated air conditioning system, which is now mandatory in a growing number of race series.
McLaren says this is purely a concept of an ultimate track car at this stage. Who knows, if there are enough potential customers who fall in love with the car this coming weekend McLaren might just build enough for a new American race series.
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