Volvo P1800 Cyan is a 420-horsepower carbon fiber throwback

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

The Volvo P1800 Cyan is a retro take on a vintage 1960s sports car.

A year before the Jaguar E-Type debuted, two years before the Ferrari 250 GTO broke cover, and three years before the Porsche 911 bowed, the Volvo P1800 was unveiled. That was 1960, the same year that JFK was elected President and Chubby Checker started a new dance craze called “the twist”. OPEC was formed and aluminum cans were used for the first time.

The P1800 became an iconic Volvo sports car. 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.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

The car has been remade in modern form with throwback looks.Photo courtesy of Cyan Racing

“Our company was founded in 1996 to race Volvo cars in Sweden and the Volvo P1800 Cyan is closing the circle for us,” said Christian Dahl, CEO and founder of Cyan Racing. “We claimed our first world title with Volvo in 2017 and have since then won two further world titles with two other manufacturers. The first world title was a milestone for us, and we felt it was a good time to reconnect with the past and to those before us racing Volvos. The first Volvo P1800 Cyan carries our blue and yellow racing colours to mark our heritage.”

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.

“We decided to apply our expertise in engine, aero and chassis design for a car that delivers on the Cyan engineering philosophy in terms of predictability and intuitive driver control, yet keeping the light-weight, analogue driving experience of the sixties,” said Mattias Evensson, Project Manager and Head of Engineering at Cyan Racing.

It’s meant to be a pure driving experience. There are no antilock brakes and Cyan Racing shunned stability control and brake boosters. The model rides on 18-inch forged rims that are wrapped with Pirelli P Zero 235/40 tires at the front and 265/35 at the rear.

The car weighs just 990 kilograms.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is based on the power plant used in the 2017 world title-winning Volvo S60 TC1 race car. It produces 420 horsepower and 336 pound-feet of torque. It redlines at 7,700 rpm.

The engine is paired with a bespoke five-speed Holinger gearbox that is designed to deliver the mechanical feeling of the original Volvo P1800, but with greater gear change precision and capability of handling the increased torque.

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