McLaren is a tense, calculated, straight-to-the-point car maker, that respects its heritage and history, but only looks forward, to the future. That’s why we were surprised to see the company unveil the nostalgic 650S Can-Am variant.
Granted, the very exclusive, limited-edition car draws its inspiration from the iconic 1960s Can-Am racers, but apart from some evocative styling cues here and there, the model is a pure-bred, state-of-the art McLaren under the skin – as expected.
In fact, the whole concept of the model is a bit of an oxymoron; mainly because it’s a retro-inspired automobile, which obviously pays homage to its “elders”, and at the same time, a test-bed for future McLaren products. Unlike the standard 650S (or any other model, for that matter), it has carbon-fiber louvered front wings, a new quad-exhaust system and a carbon fiber retractable hard-top.
And unlike any other McLaren model is offered in three bold racing liveries. However, the “Mars Red” color – inspired by the M1B car raced by Bruce McLaren in the debut season – was showcased when the new car was launched. And that leaves the other two intriguing-looking models, which McLaren just presented.
The “Papaya Spark” variant, complemented by blue accents, is a modern and metallic take on the famous Can-Am racing McLaren Orange – similar to McLaren’s official hue. Like the other versions, it includes some raw, unpainted carbon-fiber bits and bobs, including the hood.
Last but not least is the Onyx Black option, which is similar to the base color used by many of McLaren’s customer teams in the later seasons, and it comes – like the other Can-Am variants – with a corresponding racing livery to give it an even closer visual association with the historic racing series.