When McLaren unveiled the MP4-12C Can-Am Edition, it said this unique version of its supercar was just a concept. However, unlike McLaren’s last jaw-dropping one-off, the X-1, the Can-Am will be produced. Granted, only 30 of the special edition cars will be made, but that’s better than nothing, right?
Named after the Canadian-American Challenge Cup that McLaren dominated in the 1960s and 1970s, the Can-Am Edition is essentially a racing version of the MP4-12C. It features a souped-up version of the stock MP4’s 3.8-liter V8, with 13 more horses for a total of 630.
The most dramatic change is the collection of racing-style body modifications, including a front splitter, rear diffuser, dive planes, and a massive rear spoiler. There are also copious vents for the engine compartment and radiator, plus sticky Pirelli racing tires.
The hardcore racing vibe continues through the stripped interior. The dashboard is replaced with a lightweight carbon fiber piece, and the seats are now racing buckets with six-point harnesses. The Can-Am also has an FIA-approved roll cage and a racing steering wheel taken from the MP4-12C GT3.
This is a serious car, but it may not have a purpose beyond looking cool. It probably won’t be road legal in most countries, and since McLaren did not build it to the specifications of any particular racing series, owners may have to modify their Can-Ams to turn them into genuine racers.
The Can-Am will join the Ferrari FXX and Pagani Zonda R in growing toy box of track day-only machines. These super-supercars have left street legality behind, and can only be unleashed on a closed course.
That may not be a problem for people who live close to a track, and have access to a tractor trailer. There must be a few McLaren fans out there who also manage hedge funds.
If a regular MP4-12C just isn’t exciting enough for you, get your Black Card ready. McLaren will only make 30 MP4-12C Can-Am Editions, at a price of $569,000 per copy. Deliveries begin in March 2013.