Lighter than a Mazda MX-5 Miata and more powerful than an Audi RS3, Cyan Racing’s take on the Volvo P1800 is one of the most stunning resto-mods we’ve seen in years. It’s quick in a straight line, sharp around bends, and a recent round of cold-weather testing confirms it’s fast and fun when it’s going sideways.
Cyan Racing wrapped studded snow tires around the P1800’s 18-inch wheels and trucked it to Åre, a small town about 630 miles north of Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, near the border with Norway. There, its team got the chance to find out how the coupe behaves when the thermometer drops below zero and road conditions are unfavorable at best. Things could have quickly gone sideways, metaphorically: the P1800 is a 420-horsepower car that weighs under 2,200 pounds, that’s equipped with a manual transmission, and that proudly eschews all driving aids.
Instead, things literally went sideways. Footage published by the company make us envious of its road testers.
“The basic concept of the car seems to work really well. It does not matter that much if you are on a bone-dry racing circuit, a wet and twisty country road, or on the crisp ice here in northern Sweden. You still feel confident and in control. I would say this concept has somewhat been lost along the way for the performance cars of today. For us, this is returning back to the basics,” reported Cyan Racing chief engineer Mattias Evensson.
Sending the P1800 into a controlled drift looks relatively easy, and the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder sounds eager to explore the upper echelons of its rev range. Cyan notes it tuned the engine to deliver increasing power until it reaches its red line. It spins the rear wheels via a five-speed manual and a limited-slip differential.
Cyan started taking orders for the P1800 in 2020, and it told us that pricing starts at approximately $500,000. Production isn’t limited, but the company predicts its hot-rodded vintage Volvo will be a low-volume model.