Hyper 12C breaks cover


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.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (44) Join the discussion on the forum

  • tommy vercetti 19 Nov 2012

    Liking that`

  • Life Saab Itch 19 Nov 2012

    Love it...apart from the fact that McLaren are using the Can-Am name for a car with a roof.


    Real Can-Am cars don't have lids.

  • Monty Zoomer 19 Nov 2012

    I like that, I think it's loads better than the GT3 one.

    It's got the full 630 horses whereas the GT3's only got 500.

    I'd happily pay the extra 76 grand for the Can-Am, after all, not only do you get the full power, but you also get the missing hyphen back! yes

  • k-ink 19 Nov 2012

    Daft name, awesome car!

  • British Beef 19 Nov 2012

    A shade under £300k for the GT3 one until you add VAT, then it is a slightly larger shade under £400k!!! So £375k plays £360k.

    Presumably race teams can reclaim VAT, is ther any way Jo public can avoid VAT for a track car??
    Or would you need to make up a race team and register it as a company, still worth it if you are saving £60k!!

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