McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition At Sepang F1 Circuit


Published on January 28th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition At Sepang F1 Circuit


It is not often that one gets an invite that says ‘a drive experience with Tan Sri Mokhzani (TSM) around the Sepang F1 circuit in the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition’. Well we get one and we were ready for a few laps of adrenalin pumping speed with an accomplished race driver with a number of wins under his belt. Yes, Tan Sri Mokhazni is a petrol-head like us and even more so as he has had a number of supercars and yes, even hypercars in his stable for his personal enjoyment. What more as Chairman of the Sepang F1 circuit, he gets to exploit these cars on occasion at their limits.

The morning started with the very limited and rare McLaren 12C Can-Am being run in around the track by a visiting GT race driver. Then TSM gets in and takes his ‘baby’ out for a few laps to ‘right’ the suspension setting (there was a need to compensate my weight for the tight sweeping corners) before I got in.


This track-only McLaren weighs 1,200kg and produces 630bhp. We are ready and TSM returns to the pit to pick me up. I get strapped into the race seat, TSM gives me the thumbs up and off we go. The first lap was taken with TSM ‘holding back’ his enthusiasm. I gave him the thumbs up to open up the Can-Am (he was making sure that I was ready for the ride) just before the final corner before the long straight.


McLaren GT, the new race car manufacturing arm of the McLaren Group, is presenting a dramatic track-focused concept at the Pebble Beach Concours, the 12C Can-Am Edition. The one-off design study is finished in historic McLaren Orange and satin black.


The 12C Can-Am Edition is finished in striking shade of McLaren Orange, in tribute to cars of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme which were extremely successful throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The bold hue is in dramatic contrast to the roof, door and bumper sections, finished in satin black, while carbon fibre also features on the side radiator vanes, wing mirrors and engine cover. The McLaren badges on the front and rear are also finished in carbon fibre. Beneath the surface, the 12C Can-Am Edition shares the same carbon fibre MonoCell chassis as the 12C road car.


Being purely a concept at this stage, and designed as the ‘ultimate track car’, the 12C Can-Am Edition is not subject to the regular racing regulations, despite being based on the 12C GT3 race car. The revised version of the familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine features a unique engine calibration and optimised cooling system, which allows a power output of up to 630hp, making it the most powerful 12C derivative ever shown. The overall dry weight is just 1,200kg (2645.5lbs).

The unique aerodynamics of the 12C Can-Am Edition, as with the 12C GT3 race car, have been honed by McLaren Racing using Formula 1 technology and simulation to optimise downforce. This unique package offers an increase in downforce of 30 per cent.

The optimised aerodynamic package includes a carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre dive planes, and a carbon fibre wing which dominates the rear of the car. The wing is held in place by polished aluminium mounts. An imposing carbon fibre diffuser helps to further maximise the aerodynamic package, fitted beneath the two-tone rear bumper.


The extra power output of the 12C Can-Am Edition is kept in check with a braking system developed by Akebono. The highly efficient braking system sits behind a set of black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli racing slick tyres which complete the exterior revisions.

Inside the cockpit, the 12C Can-Am Edition is race ready as well. Two black race seats, complete with full six-point harnesses are mounted within the cabin, while a full race-specification roll-cage has also been fitted. The steering wheel is carried over from the 12C GT3, with the shape and grip derived from that of Lewis Hamilton’s MP4-24 Formula 1 car, while carbon fibre detailing also continues throughout the cabin, across the dashboard and sill panels. An integrated air conditioning system, mandatory now in a growing number of race series, is also present.


TSM gave me an experience that will not be easily forgotten and the Can-Am was all that it claimed to be.

McLaren 12C Can-Am Specifications:

Engine: V8 32v, DOHC VVT TwinTurbo

Displacement:  3799cc

Transmission:  7-Speed SSG dual clutch

Max power: 616bhp @ 7500rpm

Max torque: 600Nm @ 3000-7000rpm

Top Speed: 333km/h

0-100km/h: From 3.0secs

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