After attracting much attention with the premiere of a "one-off design study" at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance earlier this summer, McLaren GT confirmed at the United States Grand Prix that it plans for a limited production run of the track-focused 12C GT Can-Am Edition.
The limited edition track-special pays tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme who successfully raced a series of McLaren models in the Can-Am series, claiming a string of championships between them for Bruce McLaren Racing.
McLaren GT, the racecar manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, will produce no more than 30 examples of the 12C GT Can-Am Edition. Billed as the "ultimate track car," these will not be subject to the usual racing regulations of the successful 12C GT3 racer on which it is based. Each will be fitted with an unrestricted version of the familiar 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with a unique engine calibration, and optimized cooling system to increase the power output of up to 630hp, making the 12C GT Can-Am Edition the most powerful 12C produced to date.
The dramatic appearance of the 12C GT Can-Am Edition is dominated by the large carbon fiber rear wing. This forms part of a unique high downforce aerodynamic package which has been honed by McLaren Racing using Formula 1 technology and simulation, and offers an increase in downforce by 30 percent. Further carbon fiber components enhance the styling of the track car, further differentiating it from the GT3 racing version. These include door mirror mounts and covers, engine cover vents, side radiator intake vanes, sill covers and badges.
Completing the exterior look, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition sits on black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli racing tires.
Sharing the same carbon fiber "MonoCell" chassis as the 12C and 12C Spider, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition is also fitted with a full FIA-approved race-specification rollcage. Inside the cockpit are two black race seats, complete with full six-point harnesses, and a unique McLaren GT steering wheel carried over from the 12C GT3 race car. The shape and grip of the steering wheel is derived from the McLaren MP4-24 Formula 1 car. An integrated motorsport air conditioning system is incorporated into the custom lightweight carbon fiber dashboard adding a touch of racer comfort. The model will also feature customized support packages from McLaren GT.
'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 unveil was remarkable," Andrew Kirkaldy, managing director of McLaren GT, explained. "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.
"The Can-Am name holds significant historical provenance for the McLaren brand, and those early racing cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme were truly incredible machines. To be able to produce this unshackled limited edition version of the 12C, I think is a fantastic way to resurrect a glorious chapter in the company's past."
The 12C GT Can-Am Edition will be strictly limited to a production run of no more than 30 cars, priced at £375,000 [$597,000]. Each will be built at the new home of McLaren GT in Woking, England, with production commencing in March 2013.