When McLaren GT unveiled its 12C GT Can-Am Edition concept at the at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance earlier this summer, it was supposed to be a one-off. Its purpose was basically to show what McLaren’s designers could do if they chucked the racing regulations in the bin and let themselves go. However, that one-off sparked a lot of interest – so much so that at the 2012 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, McLaren announced that the track car would go into production. The bad news is that it’s for a run of only 30 cars.

The track-special car pays tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme, who brought home wins at the Can-Am series racing a various McLaren models. The company calls the 12C GT Can-Am Edition the “‘ultimate track car” and, like the concept, the production version won’t be subject to the usual racing regulations. That means that the company is popping in an unrestricted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with “a unique engine calibration” and an optimized cooling system. That makes this the most powerful 12C ever, pumping out 630 bhp (470 kW).

The most striking design element is the large carbon fiber rear wing, which was designed using Formula 1 technology and increases downforce by 30 percent. The 12C GT Can-Am Edition uses the same carbon fiber MonoCell Chassis as the 12C and 12C Spyder, plus there’s a race-specific roll cage, two black racing seats with six-point harnesses, a McLaren GT steering wheel derived from the McLaren MP4-24 Formula 1 car, and an integrated motorsport air conditioning system.

Unlike the racing version, the 12C GT Can Am lays on more carbon fiber components. The exterior sports carbon fiber door mirror mounts and covers, engine cover vents, side radiator intake vanes, sill covers and badges. Meanwhile, the wheels top off the McLaren's orange and black livery with black satin-finished forged lightweight racing alloy wheels with Pirelli racing tires. In addition, buyers can purchase bespoke support packages.

The 12C GT Can-Am Edition may have looks and a behemoth under the bonnet, but it’s strictly a track beast and isn’t certified for racing or street use, so unless you live near the Nürburgring you may not want to shell out £375,000 (US$596,000) for one. Production is scheduled to begin in March at McLaren GT’s headquarters in Woking, UK.

Source: McLaren GT