Cyan Racing builds a Volvo P1800 restomod


Cyan Racing, the Swedish motorsport company previously known as Polestar, has been building fast Volvos since the 1990s. But what if it was around in the 1960s, when the Volvo P1800 was launched? Well, it might have built something like the P1800 featured here.

The car is a restomod of a donor 1964 Volvo P1800, and right now it’s a one-off, though Cyan Racing is open to building more. The modifications are extensive though, which means you’ll need big bucks in the bank account.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

Volvo P1800 Cyan

The modifications start with the body, which has been rebuilt using high-strength steel and carbon fiber to increase stiffness. At the same time, Cyan also widened the track, repositioned the greenhouse, and added larger, forged wheels. You’ll notice those are center-lock wheels. They measure 18 inches across and are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires.

The P1800’s suspension was also overhauled. Cyan designed its own independent rear suspension to replace the original car’s live axle. There are now double wishbones at both ends, along with adjustable dampers. Also forming the chassis is a limited-slip differential and four-piston brake calipers at each corner. To keep the driving feel as close to the original, there aren’t any electronic aids like ABS or stability control.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

Volvo P1800 Cyan

For the powertrain, Cyan considered using the donor car’s 1.8-liter inline-4 but eventually settled on a modern 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 related to the engine used in Cyan’s Volvo S60 touring car. Here the engine produces 420 horsepower and 336 pound-feet of torque—in a vehicle that weighs under 2,200 pounds.

The engine willingly revs to 7,700 rpm and is hooked up to a 5-speed manual transmission from Holinger. The transmission was chosen to carry the mechanical feeling of the original P1800, but with the precision and high torque ability of transmissions found in modern cars.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

Volvo P1800 Cyan

There will be a lot of purists wondering why modify an automotive icon like the P1800 this extensively. According to Cyan founder Christian Dahl, it’s a way to reconnect with his company’s Volvo racing roots (today it also works with Lotus and Lynk & Co.), as well as to take a step back from the electrification and autonomous driving technology that’s currently dominating the industry and remember when driving was a more raw, visceral experience.

“Obviously we could have built an electric Volvo P1800 filled with all the latest technology, comfort and luxury, but that was not what we wanted,” Dahl said in a statement. “In the age of autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity, Cyan Racing decided it was time to capture what has been and to make it timeless.”


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