McLaren GT, the new race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, is presenting a dramatic track-focused concept at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours, the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition. The one-off design study is finished in historic McLaren Orange and satin black, and is the debut appearance of a 12C racing variant outside Europe.
The McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is finished in striking shade of McLaren Orange, in tribute to cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme which were extremely successful throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The bold hue is in dramatic contrast to the roof, door and bumper sections, finished in satin black, while carbon fibre also features on the side radiator vanes, wing mirrors and engine cover. The McLaren badges on the front and rear are also finished in carbon fibre. Beneath the surface, the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition shares the same carbon fibre MonoCell chassis as the 12C road car.
Being purely a concept at this stage, and designed as the 'ultimate track car', the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is not subject to the regular racing regulations, despite being based on the 12C GT3 race car. The revised version of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine features a unique engine calibration and optimised cooling system, which allows a power output of up to 630hp, making it the most powerful 12C derivative ever shown. The overall dry weight is just 1,200kg (2645.5lbs).
The unique aerodynamics of the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition, as with the 12C GT3 race car, have been honed by McLaren Racing using Formula 1 technology and simulation to optimise downforce. This unique package offers an increase in downforce of 30 per cent.
The optimised aerodynamic package includes a carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre dive planes, and a carbon fibre wing which dominates the rear of the car. The wing is held in place by polished aluminium mounts. An imposing carbon fibre diffuser helps to further maximise the aerodynamic package, fitted beneath the two-tone rear bumper.
The extra power output of the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is kept in check with a braking system developed by Akebono. The highly efficient braking system sits behind a set of black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli racing slick tyres which complete the exterior revisions.
Inside the cockpit, the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition is race ready as well. Two black race seats, complete with full six-point harnesses are mounted within the cabin, while a full race-specification rollcage has also been fitted. 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, while carbon fibre detailing also continues throughout the cabin, across the dashboard and sill panels. An integrated air conditioning system, mandatory now in a growing number of race series, is also present.