While different people may categorize luxury automobiles in different ways, racing fans will tell you there are just two kinds: race cars and road cars. But in recent years a third category has emerged in between.
Those same racing fans will also likely tell you everything you could want to know about a company called McLaren. The British racing team has made a name for itself in Formula One, where it stands as one of the most successful teams in the sport but before that, it competed in a high-speed racing series called Can-Am.
Those are the elements that have come together for the McLaren MP4-12C Can-Am edition. Though based on a street-legal supercar and looking more like a race car, the 12C Can-Am is actually neither. It's a track car, a rarefied category of luxury toy for uber-wealthy playboys who want to play racing driver but who have no patience for the rules involved.
Initially unveiled as a concept car at Pebble Beach during the Concours d'Elegance there this past summer, the 12C Can-Am has now been confirmed for production – albeit limited, with only 30 examples to be made. Each will carry a price tag of nearly $600,000. That's well over twice the price of the “stock” MP4-12C on which it is based. So what do you get for the extra scratch?
To start with, the Can-Am edition stands as the most powerful McLaren you can buy. Its 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been retuned to deliver 630 horsepower, which combines with the competition-spec aero package that produces 30 percent more downforce to stay glued to whatever track its owner cares to drive it at. Inside it's all business with a full roll cage, F1-derived steering wheel and racing buckets with six-point harnesses. Best of all, unlike a racing car, the Can-Am 12C has two of those seats, so you can take a friend out for a ride. Just don't go for a spin on public streets.
JustLuxe is a luxury Web publication providing objective analysis and information to affluent consumers to assist with their decision making, such as chartering a yacht, purchasing a jet membership card, booking a luxury hotel, traveling to a specific destination, or buying real estate. Our writers conduct interviews with industry executives and leaders in their fields, analyze product offerings and review the Web sites of leading companies to ensure our readers have up-to-date data to make informed decisions. Consumers can find purveyors of fine luxury goods, services and travel solutions throughout the pages of JustLuxe via content or with our advertising partners. See our Best of Luxury high-end brands and partners.