Right before the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix held during this weekend at Austin, Texas, McLaren announced that the Can-Am concept, which was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last summer as a design study for a more extreme, track-focused version of the MP4-12C, will enter a limited production run.
The track-only Can-Am model was developed by McLaren GT, the Woking-based automaker’s racing division. It is inspired by the GT3 racing version and, according to the company, “pays tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme who successfully raced a series of McLaren models in the Can-Am series”.
Like the racer, it features an aggressive aerodynamic package that increases downforce by an impressive 30 percent. It consists of a prominent front spoiler and a huge rear wing, made out of carbon fiber, of course, as are the engine cover vents, side radiator intakes vanes, door mirror mounts and covers, sill covers and badges.
The McLaren MP4-12C GT Can-Am will also feature forged lightweight racing alloy wheels finished in black satin paint and shod with Pirelli racing tires.
In the cabin, a FIA-approved race-spec full rollcage is fitted along with black race seat, six-point seatbelts and a steering wheel “borrowed” from the GT3 racer, which is derived from this year’s MP4-24 F1 car. Despite being touted as a track-focused supercar, the Can-Am foes feature a special air conditioning unit that’s integrated in the racing car-like carbon fiber dash.
The good news for prospective clients is, not being a true racer, it does not have to comply to certain regulations that are meant to even out the playing field between the competitors.
Thus, the mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 will be unrestricted and, thanks to its unique calibration and optimized cooling system, it will pump out up to 630HP, which makes it the most powerful MP4-12C yet.
The bad news is that it’s not homologated for road use, so its owners will be able to enjoy it only as a track-day car.
Managing Director of McLaren GT Andrew Kirkaldy commented:
“The 12C Can-Am Edition concept shown at Pebble Beach earlier this year was purely that, a one-off design study. However, the reaction and response following the unveiling was remarkable. It is a real testament to the performance and results of the McLaren GT customer teams this year, still only in the debut competitive season, that there is such a strong demand for this type of track-day special.”
McLaren stated that the 12C GT Can-AM will be built in “no more than 30” examples starting March 2013, each of which is priced at £375,000 (US$595,600 or €467,500 at today’s exchange rate).
You can watch a short video of the 12C Can-Am concept in the video that follows the jump.
By Andrew Tsaousis