McLaren turns back the clock with tribute act to ‘Can-Am’ old-timers

Next spring will mark the 50th anniversary of the racing series that saw McLaren’s ‘Can-Am’ rise to the very top of motor racing. And the Woking-based car developer intends to celebrate in style.

Introducing, the spectacular 650S ‘Can-Am’, commemorating the great cars that dominated European racing in the 1960s and 1970s.

McLaren canam

The original ‘Can-Am’ and the new 650S ‘Can-Am’, side by side. Image via Top Gear.

With just 50 examples worldwide – all of which are 650S spiders – McLaren goes back in time with style to produce a fitting tribute to its successful history.

The developer won five straight championships between 1967 and 1971 with cars that produced in excess of 1000bhp, seeing them speed to many a triumph. Raw engineering was their philosophy as the ‘Can-Am’ cemented itself in the historical foundations of McLaren, and fond memories are now being revived with the project that takes you back in time in the most futuristic of ways.

McLaren’s look back into the past is the pure definition of carbon fibre engineering, as modern techniques are employed to produce stunning results.

A carbon roof complemented by a carbon bonnet are key to McLaren’s approach, whilst carbon airbrakes, a carbon rear bumper and carbon-ceramic brakes complete a car that will produce a staggering 641 break horsepower.

And despite the fact that the celebratory cars do not quite reach McLaren’s feats of 1000 break horsepower, a hefty top speed of 204 mph and a 0-62 time of 3 seconds will satisfy the needs of even the largest thrill seekers.

Powered by a 3.8 litre bi-turbo V8 engine, there’s no reason why this car wouldn’t blitz most other supercars in a head-to-head race. The fact that it’s equipped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, managed by titanium wheel bolts, makes that all the more apparent.

The attention to detail on the new tribute cars is clear for all to see, meaning that the most avid McLaren fans will be able to remember a great time in the history of motorsport.

The only down side to McLaren’s celebration is the price tag. If you were to purchase one of these beautiful cars, you will be £255,850 out of pocket, making it vastly unaffordable to most. But to those who are willing to splash the cash, they are in for a treat.

Read Auto Express’ article on McLaren’s celebration for the full story:

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