Should you’re one of many ten-or-so fortunate sods every year who’ll take supply of a £380,000 Volvo P1800 Cyan, could I counsel dropping a few of your chump change on an unique P1800 from the Sixties, too. Solely then will you admire the lengths Cyan Racing has gone to to kiss the very peaks of restomod perfection.
Whereas the old-timer is all types of great – 4 and a half metres of sweep, swishes and swoops perched atop moon disc hub caps – Cyan’s reimagination is healthier. It takes the Volvo’s Driving-Miss-Daisy-delicacy and provides muscle in all the fitting locations, tweaks the general proportions to go well with (the wheels are moved ahead, giving it a extra cab-back stance) and shows a forensic consideration to element that attracts unavoidable comparisons to a hallowed firm in California. What Singer does to previous 911s, Cyan has finished to an previous Volvo.
Dismantle one and the one carryover components from – on this case – a 1964 donor automotive are 50kg of metal across the passenger cell, the bonnet catch, a fly-off handbrake and the windscreen wipers. Overlook devoted replicas, that is very a lot a fantasy reimagination of what a P1800 full of right now’s newest track-developed know-how would appear like. And it seems to be good.
Cyan Racing, to the uninitiated, is the staff previously often known as Polestar – earlier than Volvo re-assigned that identify to its all-electric offshoot. No matter they’re known as, they’re the present World Touring Automotive kings… in order that they know a factor or two about turning street-spec Volvos into track-tuned champions. This mission, based on Hans Bååth – Cyan’s Basic Supervisor, was born to have fun World Touring Automotive Championship victory in 2017, the identical yr Volvo celebrated its 90th, making it “a homage to all Volvo motorsport”.
And that features the engine – a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder; the identical one which powered the S60 TC1 race automotive to that 2017 title, tweaked to provide 414bhp and 336lb ft of torque, with a redline of 7,700rpm.
The automotive is, after all, rear-wheel drive. There’s a five-speed guide Holinger gearbox, a limited-slip differential, the suspension is all-new – with race-grade double-wishbones and adjustable dampers – and nearly all the things that may be carbon fibre is now carbon fibre. Which means it weighs simply 990kg. That’s lower than a Ford Fiesta. Oh and there’s no digital aids – no traction management, no ABS. You’re by yourself, Sven.
The expertise begins method earlier than you flip the tiny key within the barrel. You method it craning your neck to absorb each angle you may, crouching to admire the centre-exit exhaust, working your finger alongside the upswept characteristic line and chuckling on the sheer obsession in persevering with the creases into the bolt-on arches. The color: not simply Polestar blue (Volvo, admirably, has agreed to not use this paint for the subsequent decade to keep away from confusion) however a nod to the nationwide racing colors of Sweden. The stripe is colour-matched to Gul Yellow from the 850 T-5R.
Door open, step over the roll cage and descend right into a world of black leather-based, itchy-looking Scandi-cool gray cloth, chrome dials and switchgear engraved in Swedish. If it rains, you’ve bought a one-in-six likelihood of discovering the wipers.
Hearth the engine and there’s a woofly however monotone idle, give it some revs and also you get the odd detonation on the overrun. Sorry, however this can be a automotive that sounds higher from the skin than in – passers-by, you’re in for a deal with on a couple of stage. Dip the clutch, seize the spindly however inflexible gearlever, thoughts the high-biting level and also you’re rolling. It calls for no extra of the driving force to function than a diesel XC40… except you select to poke it with a stick, or on this case a battered size-nine working shoe.
Ooof, it hits arduous… undeniably turbocharged, however the increase doesn’t arrive in a single dump, it’s fed in easily and makes chasing the redline value it. Maintain onto the gears although and also you’re correctly shifting by the point you’ve slid down the dogleg-pattern ‘field into third.
I’m always conscious that there’s moisture on the floor, no electronics to masks my expertise deficiencies, luxurious homes that value much less and presently solely certainly one of these on this planet. However stick at it and the automotive begins to embrace you, you begin to belief the speedy power-assisted steering, be taught that the brakes wish to be mashed, that a little bit or a big slide right here and there’s the way it likes to be dealt with. Cyan calls it “an genuine rear-wheel-drive expertise,” we name it an OAP with bionic hips and a repeat prescription for adrenalin.
This might have so simply been a racecar with a numberplate sporting a nostalgic hat – banging in lap occasions is Cyan’s speciality, in spite of everything – however Bååth says he fought arduous to ringfence the enjoyable. What you get then is a neat street/observe compromise – mushy sufficient to get pleasure from on the general public freeway, quick and interactive sufficient to maintain even the most convenient of palms completely happy on observe. You may neglect your stopwatch and simply get pleasure from a little bit of built-in squish, the pure motion of the automotive by means of your buttocks and that old-school analogue really feel regardless of a new-school tolerance to abuse.
After we first noticed photos of this automotive, and had taken a quiet second within the nook to regroup, all of us assumed it might be electrical. After we found it wasn’t, pleasure was common within the Prime Gear workplace. Not as a result of we don’t like EVs, however as a result of a automotive that’s a homage to the previous deserves to signify it in all its fuel-belching glory. Plus, “it might have been 1,500kg”, Bååth reminds us. “It is a time capsule of all the things up till now, electrical comes subsequent.”
In my e book, the mark of really nice meals is taking the only of components and making them sing. I ate grilled lettuce coated in a thriller sauce at a South African restaurant as soon as, and let me let you know it was transcendental.
It is a carbon fibre, two-seat coupe with a four-cylinder turbo in its freakishly clear engine bay. The specs are nothing particular, however the general style is. Issue within the again story, the audacity of the thought, the hundreds of man hours to construct it, the OCD match and end, the depth of character that continues to disclose itself the extra you drive and the love that spills out of it, and also you’re left with one thing very particular certainly. I like driving and geeking out on trendy supercars, but when it was my very own cash? Give me a storage stuffed with these.
Pictures: Mark Riccioni
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