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Saturday, October 10, 2015

McLaren Romances the ‘60s in its Limited Edition 650S Can-Am


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.



McLaren and its clandestine customization arm, McLaren Special Operations (MSO), give supercar buyers plenty of options when it comes to rare and exotic speed machines, and today is no different.
McLaren has announced a new limited-run model for 2016 known as the McLaren 650S Can-Am. Based on the current 650S Spider, a scant 50 Can-Am special edition cars will be built by MSO, inspired by McLaren’s Canadian-American Challenge Cup race cars of the 1960s and ‘70s, and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the series’ inaugural season.

Expectedly, they aren’t cheap and buyers can expect to pay at least £255,850 ($334,500) for the chance to own one.


While a major auto-making force today, McLaren’s early days occurred in the 1960s, and saw the racecar company emerge as a dominant force in North American Can-Am racing., which began as a series in 1966. McLaren, as a constructor, would go on to produce five back-to-back driver’s championships from ’67 to ’71. Founder Bruce McLaren—a rare breed of racer and engineer—would account for two of those driver’s titles himself, operating the cars he built.

These modern 650S cars pack on a bit more kit than the ludicrously lightweight Can-Am cars of the ‘60s, nevertheless the genealogy is still there. According to McLaren Special Operations, the 650S Can-Ams boast unique carbon-fiber retractable hard tops, and feature a diet of even more carbon fiber in the hood, airbrake, aero-elements, and doors. In terms of footwear, the 650S fits bespoke MSO alloy wheels, which mimic those of the Can-Am cars. At the back, quad-exhaust have been rerouted through the bumper to evoke a more sporting, vintage look.


There’s no change to the car’s engine. It’s delightfully still a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, which outputs 641 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero to 60 mph happens in three seconds. Top speed? 204 mph.

If you’re hoping to nab one of the 50 limited-run supercars, better step on the gas quickly. McLaren expects to ship the first cars by spring 2016, and each can be further customized with unique Can-Am-esque racing liveries and a choice of three colors—Mars Red, Papaya Spark, and Onyx Black.