McLaren Debuting 12C Can-Am Edition At Pebble Beach
By Brandon Turkus
August 16, 2012
McLaren has a long and storied history in the world of Can-Am racing. The series, ran in the 1960s and 70s featured absurd levels of power (1500 horsepower in some cars in qualifying form) and technology. The orange cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme dominated for years until McLaren’s untimely death. This 12C Can-Am Edition is a tribute to those outrageous racers.
The 12C Can-Am is based on the 12C GT3 that campaigns in Europe. Unlike its donor car, this concept isn’t subject to silly rules about maximum power and minimum weight. Power output is up from a limited 493 ponies in the GT3, to 630 horsepower for the Can-Am. The dry weight is a mere 2645 pounds. The result is a nearly absurd weight-to-power ratio of 4.19.
Like the Can-Am cars of the past, this 12C features several aerodynamic tweaks for improved downforce, finished in pure carbon fiber, of course. The improved splitter, dive planes, wing, and diffuser improve downforce by 30 percent.
If you happen to be at the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance this weekend, you’ll be able to get a first-hand look at this racy concept.
Please scroll down for the official press release from McLaren.
McLAREN 12C CAN-AM EDITION RACING CONCEPT MAKES DEBUT AT PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ ELEGANCE WEEKEND
Aug 15, 2012
Track-only design concept weighs 1,200kg (2645.5lbs) and features unique aerodynamic package with a 30 per cent increase in downforce
More powerful 12C with increased engine performance of up to 630hp
Debut showing of a 12C racing concept variant designed for the North American market
McLaren GT, the new race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, is presenting a dramatic track-focused concept at the Pebble Beach Concours, the 12C Can-Am Edition. The one-off design study is finished in historic McLaren Orange and satin black.
The 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 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 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 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 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 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.
About McLaren Automotive
McLaren Automotive is an independent company, chaired by Ron Dennis, and based at the McLaren Technology Centre, the McLaren Group’s headquarters in Surrey. McLaren Automotive has a rich and seamless heritage in producing premium sports cars for the road: the McLaren F1 road car, which was launched in 1992, set the world land speed record for a production car, and is regarded as one of the best examples of supercar exotica. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is the most successful supercar ever in its price bracket, having sold twice as many cars as its nearest carbon-based rival.
McLaren Automotive is now launching a new car company through a global network of highly regarded premium car retailers who will sell a full range of McLaren high-performance sports cars built at an advanced new manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre.
McLaren Automotive’s debut model is the MP4-12C. Drawing on the company’s long-standing Formula 1 experience in its concept and development, the 12C will be lighter, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more exclusive than its key competition. The 12C will be followed by a range of new McLaren models and derivatives all will be high performance, yet highly efficient and make the best use of Formula 1 technology and know-how.
It will achieve its performance benchmarks by introducing a unique one-piece moulded carbon chassis into the ‘core’ sports car segment using a new production method. All McLarens will be based on this innovative carbon technology; McLaren has not built a racing or road car on anything other than a carbon chassis in 30 years.
About McLaren GT
In 2011 McLaren Automotive announced the launch of McLaren GT; a new race car manufacturer combining the expertise of McLaren Automotive, McLaren Racing, McLaren Electronic Systems, McLaren Applied Technologies and CRS Racing. McLaren GT is responsible for developing the first racing derivative of the 12C sports car, the MP4-12C GT3. Twenty-five examples of the MP4-12C GT3 are now racing with private teams in Europe in 2012.