Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the inaugural season.
Names are made in racing. Whether it’s a driver or manufacturer, success on the track can translate to success in the showroom through the fame and notoriety gained by grabbing the checkered flag. In the 1960s and ‘70s, McLaren owned Can-Am (Canadian-American Challenge Cup) series racing, winning five consecutive championships from 1967 to 1971.
The Can-Am series brought together some of the most notable manufacturers and superstar drivers to North American circuits, including Bruce McLaren. The inaugural season began in 1966 and McLaren quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with, only a year after Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was formed.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary that launched the brand and its founder, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is creating a limited run of 50 650S Can-Am cars. Each vehicle pays homage to the famous Can-Am racers that flew under the Bruce McLaren Motor Racing flag, using the latest in technology and advanced materials.
“Can-Am racing is a major part of McLaren heritage, and this latest model from MSO pays homage to the cars and the racers who played a key role in making the championship such a spectacle during the 1960s and 70s. The championship was a true test of the engineering ability, driving talent and bravery of Bruce and his teammates, which led them to secure five consecutive championships,” said Paul Mackenzie, Executive Director of McLaren Special Operations.
“The 650S Can-Am is a modern day interpretation with a mixture of functional design features taken from the all-conquering models, combined with the lightest and most pioneering materials available, as was the case with the race cars. The extensive use of lightweight visual carbon fiber, including for the retractable hard top, adds to car’s dramatic appearance and with the roof down, drivers are treated to a stirring V8 soundtrack just as Bruce and his teammates enjoyed.”
Carbon fiber is used generously throughout the new McLaren 650S Can-Am to keep weight to a minimum from the MonoCell chassis, retractable hard-top, hood, airbrake, splitter, rear bumper center, door blades, and sill covers. MSO has added louvered carbon fiber front fenders that increase downforce while a new quad, circular polished stainless steel exhaust protrudes through the center of the new rear carbon fiber grille.
The new McLaren 650S Can-Am was also outfitted by a new set of lightweight forged wheels drawing inspiration from the 1960s racers. Each wheel features a gloss-black five-spoke design with diamond-cut outer rim finish and lightweight titanium bolts strapped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. Carbon ceramic brakes with black-painted calipers come standard and match the color scheme of the wheels.
Three colors will be offered to the 50 customers of the McLaren 650S Can-Am, the featured of which is Mars Red that was inspired by the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in their first season. Papaya Spark, a metallic version of the famed McLaren Orange, is also available alongside Onyx Black, which was used by customer teams in later Can-Am seasons. Each color is also available with classic racing livery.
Under the hood of the new McLaren 650S Can-Am sits the tried-and-true 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that churns out 641 bhp and 500 lb-ft. of torque. That’s good for a 0-62 mph time of only 3.0 seconds and a 204 mph top speed.
Inside, the McLaren 650S Can-Am features a high-end cockpit wearing leather and Alcantara that match the exterior color scheme along with an array of carbon fiber trim. For a special touch, MSO has added a dedication plaque on the driver’s side door.
The new McLaren 650S Can-Am will be limited to just 50 units worldwide and is based on the McLaren 650S Spider. Pricing for the limited edition super car starts at £255,850 with deliveries starting in spring of 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Can-Am race at Mont Tremblant, Canada.
McLaren 650S Can-Am Gallery