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Monday 19th November 2012


Pray silence for McLaren's most powerful 12C yet

Fancy a 12C, but it’s simply not lairy enough for you? Well fear not, because the solution to your quandary could be here, in the shape of McLaren’s newest arrival: the 12C GT Can-Am Edition.

Yes, it bears one of those names that trips off the tongue like a walrus falling over a stool, but it’s worth learning because the 12CGTCAE... ahem... is the ultimate incarnation so far of a car that’s already rather remarkable.

Limited to a run of just 30 and billed as the ultimate track car, it’ll get a breathed-upon version of the standard car’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 with a unique engine calibration and an optimised cooling system.

The key difference, though, will be the removal of the GT3 version’s FIA-mandated restrictors, allowing the V8 to deliver its full 630hp potential. This we consider to be a Good Thing, and it might well address the criticisms of the Macca which hold that it just feels a bit too clinical.

Aero package boosts downforce by 30%
Aero package boosts downforce by 30%
There’s nothing clinical about the way it looks, either: the Can-Am Edition will feature a unique aerodynamic package that’s been honed using Formula 1 technology and simulation, giving it a 30 percent boost in downforce. It’ll also sit on unique black satin-finish forged alloy wheels, also race-derived and, as a result, super lightweight.

Inside, there’ll be a steering wheel based on that of the MP4-24 Formula 1 car, as well as a full FIA-approved rollcage, black race seats, six-point harnesses, and... erm... an ‘integrated motorsport air conditioning system’.  Just like they fit to all the GT3 racers. Or something.

Of course, all this finery must come at a price, and the Can-Am Edition’s is a not-inconsiderable £375,000. That’s more than twice the cost of the standard 12C, which seems a lot when you consider the upgrades involved. That said, a vast portion of that cost will be the price tag attached to the Can-Am’s exclusivity, and if it’s an exclusive McLaren you’re after, you can’t really do much better.

GT3 racer makes a tempting alternative
GT3 racer makes a tempting alternative
Or can you? A quick scour of the PH classifieds has unearthed this little gem. It, too, is a rather special 12C, but this time it’s a full-fat, genuine GT3 racer.

That means it gets not only the magnificent aero package, but also all of the top-end suspension, braking and transmission upgrades that come with the territory.

Of course, it isn’t road legal, so this one’s strictly a circuit plaything for the wealthy, but we’d submit that it’s this, rather than the Can-Am Edition, which is probably the ultimate McLaren track car. What’s more, it’ll set you back significantly less at a shade under £300,000. You pays your money, you takes your choice – but we’d take the GT3 and spend the change on something to haul it around with.

Author: Scrof
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