Volvo P1800 Cyan – WTC champions Cyan Racing reveal sensational restomod

Published: 02 September 2020

► P1800 updated and upgraded for 2020
► Bespoke suspension, carbon body
► Four-pot turbo engine from a touring car

Cyan Racing – triple World Touring Car Champions and Volvo factory racing team – has stopped playing with Lync & Co for a few moments and produced a new project that pays homage to one of the real milestones in Swedish automotive history. We’ve become used to seeing restomod Porsches and Jaguars, here we have a sensational updating of the Volvo P1800.

Simply called the Volvo P1800 Cyan, it marries the classic lines of a car that predates the E-Type, 250 GTO and Porsche 911 with modern technology, including a bespoke chassis, body made from high-strength steel and carbonfibre and a 413bhp engine out of a title-winning racing car.

It’s beautiful

Isn’t it just. Starting with a 1964 P1800, the changes to the bodywork are more extensive than they might first appear. Not only is wider, with larger wheels – forged 18-inch alloys – even the glasshouse has been repositioned.

Volvo P1800 Cyan, top view

Weak points in the existing structure have been reinforced and triangulated, which is where the high-strength steel and carbonfibre comes in. Compensating for the steel quality when the car was originally built, not to mention the time that’s passed since, means a great deal of flex has been taken out of the chassis as a result, while the carbonfibre panels are bonded back to the new steel to provide additional strength as well.

The result is not only beauty and strength, but a car that weighs just 990kg.

Is it more show than go?

Absolutely not. Underneath the suspension has been replaced by bespoke components, featuring Cyan-tuned two-way adjustable dampers, double-wishbones with aluminium uprights and new anti-roll bars – adjustable at the rear. Gladly, this also means the original rear live axle has been pitched into the bin.

Volvo P1800 Cyan, rear view, driving on circuit

A torque-biasing limited slip diff with customisable ratio helps control the rear-wheel drive power delivery, while the brakes are four-piston calipers and steel discs with no booster or ABS – add these to the lack of any other electronic driver aids and this is clearly a car that will require you pay some attention.

Especially given the engine is based on that from the S60 TC1 racing car.

A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit tuned for linear response, this provides 413bhp, 336lb ft and spins to 7700rpm. Cyan considered a number of other classic Volvo powerplants – and even an electric conversion – but in the end went with the racing unit it’s been familiar with since 2011.

With a late power peak and hunger for revs, it apparently suits the ‘engaging rear-wheel drive experience’ Cyan was hunting for. A five-speed manual gearbox by Holinger completes the mechanical upgrades, while a set of Pirelli P Zeros does its best to try and keep you pointing in the right direction.

Volvo P1800 Cyan, front view, driving on circuit

The whole thing has been benchmarked against the manic C30 Polestar Performance Prototype, Cyan Racing’s first road car.

So this is a one-off right?

This is usually the point where we say something like: sounds great, but you can’t have one. Not this time.

Inserted right at the end of the press release is the single line ‘Pricing and specification is available to prospective clients.’ So if you feel the need, the need to really show up those common or garden Singer and Emory Porsche owners at the next highfalutin cars and coffee, direct your enquiries to the Cyan Racing website now…

In the meantime, see the gallery above for more delicious details.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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