To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Can-Am Racing series, McLaren has created a special edition of the 650S Spider, inspired by the cars that won these championships. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, McLaren established itself as a world-beating force in the Can-Am Challenge Cup, winning five consecutive championships between 1967 and 1971.
As was key to the success of the Can-Am race cars, the latest technologies and materials are used throughout the new 650S Can-Am. In addition to its lightweight MonoCell chassis, the 650S Can-Am features a carbon fiber retractable hard top – a first for a McLaren road car. Carbon fiber is also used for the hood, Airbrake, front splitter, rear bumper center, door blades and the 650S Can-Am branded sill cover.
The bespoke set of lightweight forged alloy wheels was inspired by the Can-Am race cars, with a gloss black finish on each of the five spokes and a diamond cut rim. Held in place by titanium bolts, the wheels – 19-inch at the front, 20-inch at the rear – are shod with Pirelli P Zero™Corsa tires, in front of carbon ceramic brakes with black calipers.
Further inspiration from the Can-Am racers sees carbon fiber louvered front wings and a new quad-exit stainless steel exhaust system. The louvered front wings are designed to reduce pressure over the front wheels, increasing downforce. Four polished tailpipes at the rear of the car, housed within a new visual carbon fiber rear grille, echo the aggressive and purposeful throttle trumpets of the historic models, and provide the 650S Can-Am with a unique soundtrack.
The limited edition model features the award-winning 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 which produces 641hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Performance and economy figures remain the same, with the zero to 62 mph sprint taking just three seconds and a top speed of 204 mph.
The 650S Can-Am is offered in three colors, each inspired by a historic Can-Am livery. Premiering in Mars Red, the color has been matched to the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and his teammate Chris Amon for the debut season.
Other colors available are Papaya Spark – a modern and heavily metallic take on the famous Can-Am racing McLaren Orange – and Onyx Black – used by many of the McLaren customer teams in the later seasons. All three color options are available with a racing livery to match their historic racing counterparts.
Just 50 examples of the 650S Can-Am will be produced globally, with deliveries to commence in the spring of 2016 – 50 years after the first race was held.
The Can-Am series, or Canadian-American Challenge Cup, was a battle of power and speed around some of the most iconic circuits in North America. It attracted the biggest stars of that generation including Bruce McLaren, the namesake of the McLaren brand. The championship started in 1966, only a year after Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was established, and in the years that followed McLaren became one of most successful names in the sport.