The ‘ultimate track car’ is the holy grail of the automotive world: getting the balance between performance, experience and usability is a tall order. Now McLaren has decided to take up the challenge with its new 12C Can-Am edition model.
Any reasonably-longtime-readers of crankandpiston will know that McLaren’s MP4-12C is no push-over, and nor for that matter is its GT3 counterpart (we need only ask its chief test driver Chris Goodwin about that). The Woking-based company has announced though that its new track-spec model – named in honour of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup in which McLaren won five driver’s titles on the bounce from 1966-71 – will make its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours this weekend.
You’ve probably also guessed that ‘track-spec’ loosely translates in crankandpiston-speech as “more horsepower please”, and the boys and girls at Woking haven’t disappointed. The 3.8l twin-turbo V8, which also powers both the MP4-12C and the new convertible 12C Spyder, has received a couple of tweaks to bump the power up to 630hp. That’s more than any other 12C model that’s preceded it.
It’s not just from the engine though that the new Can-Am Edition derives its performance. Finished in traditional McLaren Orange, the bodyshell also incorporates a carbon fibre front splitter, wings, engine cover, wing mirrors and rear diffuser into the design, all of which are finished in black. These, plus aerodynamic modifications, mean the Can-Am boasts a 30% increase in downforce.