McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition pays tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme

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This is the track-only McLaren MP4-12C racing concept, designed for the North American market and due to make its world debut at the Pebble Beach Concours event in California this weekend.

It’s a one-off design study built to show the ‘ultimate track car’ version of the 12C without being subject to the limitations of regular racing regulations.

Based on the 12C GT3 race car, the 12C Can-Am Edition features a revised version of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with unique engine calibration and an optimised cooling system.

The resulting 621bhp makes it the most powerful 12C derivative ever shown and with an overall dry weight of 1,200kg it’s likely to be the fastest one too.

The striking hue of McLaren Orange, is in tribute to the cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme which were extremely successful in the awesome Can-Am series, run in America during the 1960s and 1970s.

The unique aerodynamic package on the 12C Can-Am Edition has been optimised by McLaren, using its F1 simulation software to increase downforce by 30% over the 12C GT3. Carbon fibre is generously applied everywhere, from the side radiator vanes, wing mirrors, engine cover, McLaren logos and of course the 12C’s MonoCell chassis.

Inside, the steering wheel carried over from the 12C GT3 is shaped like the one on Lewis Hamilton’s MP4-24 Formula 1 car, while carbon fibre detailing abounds together with race bucket seats, a pair of six-point harnesses and a full FIA-compliant roll-cage.

Pebble Beach Concours might seem an unusual event in which to launch a race car concept, but McLaren are clearly fishing for interest among its wealthy enthusiasts for what must be one of the most desirable gentleman drivers cars on the planet.

I’ll take mine in, um..Orange please.