So Good: Check out this Volvo P1800 RestoMod by Cyan Racing

Cyan P1800

Cyan Racing has taken a 1960s Volvo P1800 and turned it up to 11…it’s wider, lower, and runs a touring car engine.

What you’re looking at here started life as a Volvo P1800 from the 1960s. It’s been poked, prodded and pulled by Cyan Racing to commemorate its first-ever world championship win in a Volvo. And what a way to celebrate.

But it’s more than that. According to Cyan Racing boss, Cristian Dahl, the P1800 was the original sports car and deserved a continuation. It was also, he said, how Cyan would have liked to have built a road-going version of the P1800 had it been a race team in the 1960s.

Cyan P1800

The original Volvo P1800 was unveiled in 1960, a year before the Jaguar E-Type, two years before the Ferrari 250 GTO and three years before the Porsche 911, he said. “The Jaguar, the Ferrari and the Porsche are all cars with a continuation,” said Dahl.

“That left us with inspiration to create what could have been if we as a race team had been there during the sixties, racing the P1800, and got to design a road version of our race car.”

Cyan P1800

And Cyan decided against making its P1800 electric as it wanted to take the “best from the golden sixties and combine it with our capabilities of today, keeping a pure yet refined driving experience”.

And the driving experience will be properly pure as Cyan’s P1800 doesn’t include stability control, ABS or even a brake booster. A lot has gone into this thing that may well end up becoming a continuation car.

As mentioned, this car started out as a 1964 Volvo P1800 but the body has been remade (widened too) from lightweight, high-strength steel and carbon-fibre, the glasshouse has been repositioned, and it runs a wider track with much bigger wheels than the original.

“To put together an interpretation of an iconic design is a challenge. I think we succeeded in merging new technology without losing the character of the original Volvo P1800,” said Ola Granlund, Head of Design at Cyan Racing.

“The basis for a precise and intuitive driving experience is a solid body structure. Cars from the sixties are far from ideal when it comes to this due to weak points and steel quality that allow for flex,” said Mattias Evensson, project manager and head of engineering at Cyan Racing.

“We have redesigned the structure of the original shape and strengthened weak points in the chassis through triangulation, using high-strength steel and integrated the carbon fibre body with the chassis structure.

“The carbon fibre is not just a fine shell of separate panels, but rather structural components joined with high-strength adhesive to the steel. All parts of the carbon fibre are adding to the structural rigidity.”

Another weak point was the suspension, so the live rear axle got binned in favour of a fully adjustable front and rear suspension setup, including aluminium uprights, double wishbones and two-way adjustable dampers with Cyan hydraulics. There’s also a torque-biasing LSD.

And that’s important because under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the world title-winning Volvo S60 TC1 race car, producing 420 horsepower and 455Nm of torque, and this is mated to a five-speed Holinger gearbox. But Cyan Racing considered a bunch of different engines before settling on that one, including “the original B18, the ‘Red Block’ B230, the 5-cylinder ‘White Block’, the short inline 6-cylinder and the 4-cylinder VEA engine that power Volvos of today,” said Mattias Evensson.

“We are really satisfied with the level of grip and precision that we have achieved from the chassis in combination with a responsive steering,” said Thed Björk, development driver and 2017 touring car world champion for Cyan Racing.

“The car goes where you point it. You can be brutal going into a corner and still find your apex and exit within millimetres.

“The settings of the car are not aimed at fast lap times but rather to deliver an enjoyable and exciting driving experience. I feel my smile widening each time that I control the drift angle of the car through a long turn.”

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.