McLaren GT, the new race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, is presenting a track-focused concept at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours, the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition. This one-off design study is the debut appearance of a 12C racing variant outside Europe.
The 12C Can-Am Edition is finished in McLaren Orange, in tribute to cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme which were very successful throughout the 1960s and 70s. It is contrasted by satin black, while carbon fibre also features on the side radiator vanes, wing mirrors and engine cover. The McLaren badges are also finished in CF. The 12C Can-Am Edition shares the same carbon fibre MonoCell chassis as the 12C road car.
Being purely a concept at this stage, the 12C Can-Am Edition is not subject to 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 to produce 630 hp, making it the most powerful 12C derivative ever shown. Overall dry weight is just 1,200 kg.
The unique aerodynamics of the car, as with the 12C GT3 race car, have been honed by McLaren Racing using F1 tech and simulation to optimise downforce, which is up by 30%. The optimised aero package includes a front splitter, dive planes, a big rear wing, and diffuser, all in carbon fibre.
The extra power is kept in check with a braking system developed by Akebono, which sits behind a set of black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloys, shod with Pirelli racing slicks.
Inside the carbon fibre-rich cockpit, the 12C Can-Am Edition gets two race Recaros with full six-point harnesses and a race-spec rollcage. The steering wheel is carried over from the 12C GT3, with the shape and grip derived from that of Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car. An integrated air con system, mandatory now in a growing number of race series, is also present.