Currently reading: Iconic Volvo P1800 reborn as 414bhp continuation special
Cyan Racing gives 1960s coupé race-bred turbo engine, lightweight chassis and hardcore suspension

Geely’s motorsport arm, Cyan Racing, has unveiled the Volvo P1800 Cyan as a modernised, uprated take on its sibling brand's iconic 1960s sports coupé.

The continuation car was designed as a road-legal version of an imagined Cyan Racing track car from the 1960s, and as such goes without modern driving aids such as stability control, anti-lock brakes or brake boosting. 

It has, however, been comprehensively re-engineered to offer significantly enhanced performance, dynamics and drivability. The original car’s naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, for example, has been swapped out for the turbocharged 2.0-litre unit used in Cyan Racing’s 2017 Volvo S60 TC1 racer, which revs to 7700rpm and gives the P1800 a substantially increased 414bhp and 336lb ft.

To preserve some of the original car’s driving experience, the engine has been tuned to offer linear power and torque delivery, which Cyan claims are “the characteristics of a normally aspirated engine”, while still giving increased performance and precision. 

P1800cyan 12

A range of engines were considered for use in the P1800 Cyan, including Volvo’s revered Red Block and five-cylinder turbo motors, but Cyan chose the newer VEA motor because it's familiar from the team's motorsport efforts. 

The engine is mated to a bespoke five-speed gearbox from race engineering firm Holinger, which is said to give the same “mechanical feeling” as the original unit while offering more precise changes and durability. Power is still sent to the rear wheels, but the P1800’s live axle has made way for a bespoke independent rear suspension set-up that, like the front end, is fully adjustable.

A limited-slip differential with torque-biasing functionality has also been fitted, with a gearing set-up that combines capable circuit performance with "civilised" on-road behaviour.

To accommodate the enhancements, the P1800’s greenhouse has been repositioned, its track widened and its body reinforced with high-strength steel. 


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Its underpinnings have also been overhauled with a focus on engagement and lightness. The hydraulic suspension at each end comprises aluminium uprights, double wishbones and two-way adjustable dampers, while carbonfibre chassis reinforcements add stiffness with minimal weight penalty.

P1800cyan 10

Overall, the continuation car tips the scales at just 990kg – around 150kg less than the original P1800. 

The P1800 Cyan sits atop a set of 18in forged rims wrapped in Pirelli P Zero performance tyres, which cover a set of sizeable steel brake discs and four-piston callipers. 

Cyan benchmarked its new creation against the 2010 Volvo C30 Polestar Performance Protoype, its first road-going car. Head of engineering Mattias Evensson said Cyan wanted to “reconnect” with its first road car, as well as “carry over some of the driving feeling and performance availability”. 

Cyan CEO Christian Dahl said: “Our company was founded in 1996 to race Volvo cars in Sweden, and the Volvo P1800 Cyan is closing the circle for us. “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.”

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The P1800 Cyan will be marketed independently by Cyan, with production set to be extremely limited. Prices start at $500,000 (£379,000). 

Cyan Racing, which previously operated as Volvo’s Polestar performance division, has won the World Touring Car Championship for the past three years in a row, most recently in 2019 with the Lynk&Co 03

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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WinstonAlexanderson 3 September 2020

Before Cholvo

Oh how beautiful Volvos were before China ruined the company.

Citytiger 3 September 2020

WinstonAlexanderson wrote:

WinstonAlexanderson wrote:

Oh how beautiful Volvos were before China ruined the company.

@Autocar, can you bring back the trolls and the bots and get rid of this f***wit.. 

Peter Cavellini 2 September 2020

Seen the price?

          And I'll write the cheque, bank transfer now!, as if?, what a silly value to put on a one off (at the moment), worth more than two RR Ghosts?, I don't think so.

si73 3 September 2020

You almost defended the twice

You almost defended the twice the price eagle E type, why is this any different?

It is still a stunning looking car that again if I had the means I would love to have. Just wish someone could do something similar for considerably less.

Peter Cavellini 3 September 2020

My mistake.

Peter Cavellini wrote:

          And I'll write the cheque, bank transfer now!, as if?, what a silly value to put on a one off (at the moment), worth more than two RR Ghosts?, I don't think so.

wrong words for this car, sorry, but still, when you read prices start, you expect maybe a figure between £100,000 - £150,000 pounds, but ?, no, it's not even made with exotic expensive materials.

Citytiger 2 September 2020

I would love to know

the performance figures 990kg and 414bhp is serious power to weight..