The blue paint job makes the Volvo P1800 Cyan instantly identifiable as it whips around a snowy rally course in northern Sweden. Cyan Racing chief engineer Mattias Evensson and his crew have been busy throwing the car sideways between snow walls in -20 Celsius conditions.
The track is 1,000 kilometers north of the Cyan Racing headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. If the town name sounds familiar, that’s because it should. Gothenburg is also the hold of Volvo. The snow-covered roads of Åre were prime testing fodder and just so happen to be Evensson’s home turf.
The Volvo P1800 became an iconic Volvo sports car shortly after during in 1960. Cyan Racing, the reigning triple World Touring Car Champions, has recreated the iconic car with a modern twist. The car is engineered by the team behind the first world title-winning Volvo race car and the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept Prototype.
“The Volvo P1800 Cyan is our way for us to combine the best from the past and today, moving away from the power, weight and performance figures of contemporary performance cars,” said Evensson, Volvo P1800 Cyan Project Manager and Head of Engineering at Cyan Racing.
The Volvo P1800 Cyan has a high-strength steel and carbon fiber body. It features a bespoke and independent fully adjustable chassis. The body design has been altered by the engineering team to include a wider track, larger wheels, and repositioned greenhouse.
There’s also a Cyan-designed independent rear suspension and limited slip differential.\
The fully adjustable front and rear suspension features bespoke lightweight components, including aluminum uprights, double wishbones and two-way adjustable dampers with Cyan hydraulics.
All of it needed to be put to the test, and it was.
“What really struck me from this expedition was that the car is so easy to drive and that you do not need to provoke it to get it where you want,” said Evensson. “All of the properties that we have tried to achieve were almost amplified by driving it on the low grip of snow and ice. The basic concept of the car seems to work really well, it does not matter that much if you are on a bone-dry racing circuit, a wet and twisty country road or on the crisp ice here in northern Sweden. You still feel confident and in control.”
The Volvo P1800 weighs less than 1000 kilograms, has no modern safety features, and comes equipped with a dog-leg manual gearbox and an engine designed to deliver increasing power all the way to the redline.
“Our aim has been to make a car with a sound base design that leaves it to you as the driver to explore the limits, rather than leaning on electronic driver aids to control the power and weight as with most modern performance cars,” said Evensson. “And it’s all connected with the engine response, the chassis balance and the low weight, making the car playful and rewarding.”
Watch video of the testing below.
Sideways the Scandinavian way