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On the Beach: McLaren 12C Can-Am

2012-08-16 10:42

JUST A STUDY... FOR NOW: The 12C Can-Am Edition is one potent concept; the 470kW McLaren will be shown at Pebble Beach Concours. Image gallery


McLaren has opened the next chapter in the story of its high-performance automotive progress - the MP4-12C has blown its top.

McLaren GT, the new race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, will present a dramatic track-focused concept at the Pebble Beach Concours from August 16-19, 2012.

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The 12C Can-Am Edition is a one-off study finished in striking McLaren Orange, a tribute to the cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme from the 1960/70's, with contrasting satin black for the roof, doors and bumpers.


Weight-saving carbon fibre is also used for the external mirrors and engine cover, along with the McLaren badges on the front and rear of the car, although the 12C Can-Am shares the 12C road car’s carbon-fibre monocell chassis.

The Can-Am Edition, although still a concept car, was designed as "the ultimate track car”, its maker said. Based on the 12C GT3 race car, it is not subject to regular racing regulations, though.

It has a revised version of McLaren’s 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 that, through engine calibration and a revised cooling system, is said to deliver a peak power output of 470kW to make it the most powerful 12C yet. And how's this for a lightweight – the 12C Can-Am, dry, tips the scales at only 1200kg.

The concept’s aerodynamics have been honed by McLaren Racing using technology proven in Formula 1 and downforce is said to have been increased by 30%.


The optimised aerodynamic package includes a carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre dive planes, and an oversized carbon fibre rear wing, held in place by polished aluminium mounts. A carbon-fibre diffuser helps to further maximise the aerodynamic package, fitted beneath the two-tone rear bumper.

The responsibility of stopping the 12C Can-Am edition falls on a braking system developed by Akebono in conjunction with Pirelli racing slick tyres. Black satin-finished forged racing alloy wheels complete the exterior look.

The 12C Can-Am Edition's cockpit is race-ready as well. Two black race seats with six-point harnesses and a race-spec roll cage have been fitted.

The steering wheel is lifted from the 12C GT3 which was, in turn, inspired by the shape and grip of Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car, while carbon fibre detailing dominates the cabin. Aircon, mandatory now in a growing number of race series, is also present.

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