• 2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan

A masterful recreation of an automotive classic

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Those with an eye for motorsport know who Cyan Racing is. What they didn’t know – us included – was how apt at bringing back an iconic Volvo the racing team really was. That, of course, changed when they introduced the P1800 Cyan.

So, what is it?


Think of it as a modern twist on the sleek and nimble Volvo P1800. No, it’s not powered by electricity, although Cyan could have easily pulled that off. Instead, the team wanted to mix the best of two worlds: the design of the golden sixties and an internal combustion engine of a more contemporary ilk.

“Obviously we could have built an electric Volvo P1800 filled with the latest technology, comfort, and luxury. But that was not what we wanted.” – Christian Dahl, Cyan Racing CEO

Volvo P1800 Cyan - Design


What started life as a 1964 Volvo P1800 now features high-strength steel and carbon fiber reinforcements, as well as a wider track, larger wheels, and a repositioned greenhouse. It also serves a precise purpose – to celebrate Cyan’s first-ever WTC victory in a Volvo car.

In crafting the new interior, the team encountered quite the challenge. See, cars from the 1960s are your best example of structurally sound, so before making any design tweaks, Cyan had to reinforce the chassis’ weak points via triangulation – here’s where the high-strength steel and carbon fiber come into play.

In the end, they got themselves a car that tips the scales at just 990 kilos (2183 pounds).


We’re not told much about the interior, but it’s safe to assume that it’s been simplified and stripped out to the bare essentials. We’ll know more when Cyan releases interior pics later this month.

What’s under the hood, then?

If you thought the blue exterior is a treat, wait until you learn more about the powertrain. Cyan took its 2.0-liter twin-turbo mill in race spec right off the Volvo S60 TCI race car and planted it inside the P1800, which now packs 420 horsepower and 455 Newton-meters (336 pound-feet) of torque.

2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan
- image 932333

Come to think of it, 420 horses pushing just 990 kilos/2183 pounds sounds very sports car-esque and enticing from where we are standing. It’s quite a bump up from the P1800’s puny 1.8-liter, inline-four which only cranked out 120 horsepower in later versions.

“The power peaks late. It is designed for high revs a lot, with the torque intuitively linear to the pedal. We have learnt from racing where the drivers want perfect control of the torque, increasing precision and driving pleasure at the same time.”
2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan
- image 932332

The engine’s resources flow to the rear wheels through a five-speed custom Holinger gearbox as Cyan wanted to “carry the mechanical feeling of the original Volvo P1800” but at the same time improve on gear change feel. A limited-slip diff is also part of recipe, as is a Cyan-designed independent rear suspension setup coming to replace the original live axle. Up front, the P1800 got double wishbones and two-way adjustable hydraulic dampers.

Assuring the connection to the asphalt is a set of 18-inch forged wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero 235/40 tires in the front and 265/35 in the rear. At the same time, stopping power comes from 4-piston brake callipers that bite down into 362x32mm steel discs.

2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan - Specs

2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan
- image 932337
Engine 2.0 l, turbo
Engine size 2000 cc
Engine cylinders 4
Compression ration 10.2:1
Max power 420 hp @ 7000 rpm
Max torque 455 Nm/336 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Redline 7700 rpm
Transmission manual synchromesh, dog leg, five-speed
Wheelbase 2446 mm
Length 4203 mm
Width 1748 mm
Height 1220 mm
Front track 1466 mm
Rear track 1489 mm
Fuel tank 57 l/15 gal
Weight 990 kg/2183 lb
Weight distribution 47-53 front-rear
Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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