A Volvo retro rocketship

If you’re into Volvos, especially fast ones, you know the Polestar name. It referred to Volvo’s semi-independent performance and tuning partner, akin to AMG at Mercedes-Benz or Alpina at BMW. The operation changed its name to Cyan Racing – recalling Polestar’s trademark blue battle color – when Volvo Cars acquired it and took it fully in-house in 2015. This bunch has done some amazing things with current-model cars from Volvo – I had an V60 Polestar station wagon for a while that earned me a speeding ticket from the Vermont State Police the third day I owned it – and is now beginning to reinterpret historic Volvos as modern performance cars. Here’s what we’re talking about.

Just let it sink in for a moment. This is a Volvo P1800 coupe, the specialty Volvo first introduced in 1960, and famously driven by Roger Moore in The Saint, which Cyan Racing has imagined as a modern-day high-performance automobile. The rear-drive P1800 Cyan started with a 1964 body that was reinforced with high-tensile steel and carbon fiber for maximized rigidity. The original B18B four-cylinder engine is replaced by the current 2.0-liter turbocharged VEA inline-four that Cyan Racing built up to power Volvo’s S60 TC1 racing car. Linked to a five-speed Hollinger transmission, the engine produces 420 horsepower at 7,700 RPM. Double-wishbone independent suspension, with tubular anti-roll bars, is located at both ends of the car, along with huge four-piston disc brakes. A titanium roll cage ties the whole structure together. It’s a long way from the stock P1800 that the immortal Irv Gordon of Long Island used to roll up more than 3.2 million miles before he passed away. Best of all, you can order this. Reach out via Cyan’s website to find out how, and for how much.

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