Swedish automaker Volvo and touring car racing world champion team Cyan Racing were kind enough to give us a thorough glimpse of its ‘newest’ P1800 restomod. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Volvo’s iconic 2+2 GT sports car, the new version is essentially a 1960s Volvo P1800 infused with modern day performance.
“As with most cars from the past, they tend to be less rewarding to drive than we might want to remember them,” said Mattias Evensson, Project Manager and Head of Engineering at Cyan Racing. “We have designed a completely new chassis for the Volvo P1800 Cyan that keeps the analogue connection with the road, but with much more control and predictiveness.”
The restomod version is riding on a wider track with a new rack-and-pinion steering system. It also has custom aluminum double wishbone front suspension, an independent rear suspension, and two-way adjustable dampers with Cyan hydraulics. “The suspension is fully adjustable and can be set up to whichever way the customer wants, be it a more track-focused car, or one that will be predominantly used for enjoying your favorite canyon roads, or for just visiting the local barista,” said Evensson.
But the Volvo P1800 Cyan is more than just a boulevard cruiser, not with its immensely powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine derived from Volvo’s title-winning S60 Polestar SC1 racecar. In the production Volvo S60, this engine is good for 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but Cyan Racing has more in mind for this gutsy four-cylinder engine.
After tinkering with the internals, Cyan was able to eke out more than 420 horsepower from the smallish motor. It also produces 336 pound-feet of torque, all of which are routed to the rear wheels via a custom Holinger five-speed manual box. “The engine is designed for high revs, with the torque intuitively linear to the pedal,” added Evensson. “We have learnt from racing where the drivers want perfect control of the torque, increasing precision and driving pleasure at the same time.”
Meanwhile, the interior is ‘a delicate interpretation of the original Volvo P1800,’ said Volvo and Cyan, but infused with modern touches like a leather-clad titanium roll hoop, custom digital instruments, exclusive racing seats, and racing harnesses. Volvo and Cyan Racing will only build a limited number of the P1800, with prices estimated to start upwards of $500,000 each.
Admittedly, the price is steep for a new-old car, but that’s the price you pay for a restomod done right.