Track Day

Watch: Volvo P1800 Cyan heads to northern Sweden for a snowy track day

The Volvo P1800 Cyan heads to Åre for a snowy track day.

Photo courtesy of Cyan Racing

The blue paint job makes the Volvo P1800 Cyan instantly identifiable as it whips around a snowy rally course in northern Sweden. Cyan Racing chief engineer Mattias Evensson and his crew have been busy throwing the car sideways between snow walls in -20 Celsius conditions.

The track is 1,000 kilometers north of the Cyan Racing headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. If the town name sounds familiar, that's because it should. Gothenburg is also the hold of Volvo. The snow-covered roads of Åre were prime testing fodder and just so happen to be Evensson's home turf.

The Volvo P1800 became an iconic Volvo sports car shortly after during in 1960. Cyan Racing, the reigning triple World Touring Car Champions, has recreated the iconic car with a modern twist. The car is engineered by the team behind the first world title-winning Volvo race car and the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept Prototype.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

Photo courtesy of Cyan Racing

The Volvo P1800 Cyan heads to Åre for a snowy track day.

"The Volvo P1800 Cyan is our way for us to combine the best from the past and today, moving away from the power, weight and performance figures of contemporary performance cars," said Evensson, Volvo P1800 Cyan Project Manager and Head of Engineering at Cyan Racing.

The Volvo P1800 Cyan has a high-strength steel and carbon fiber body. It features a bespoke and independent fully adjustable chassis. The body design has been altered by the engineering team to include a wider track, larger wheels, and repositioned greenhouse.

There's also a Cyan-designed independent rear suspension and limited slip differential. The fully adjustable front and rear suspension features bespoke lightweight components, including aluminum uprights, double wishbones and two-way adjustable dampers with Cyan hydraulics.

All of it needed to be put to the test, and it was.

"What really struck me from this expedition was that the car is so easy to drive and that you do not need to provoke it to get it where you want," said Evensson. "All of the properties that we have tried to achieve were almost amplified by driving it on the low grip of snow and ice. 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."

The Volvo P1800 weighs less than 1000 kilograms, has no modern safety features, and comes equipped with a dog-leg manual gearbox and an engine designed to deliver increasing power all the way to the redline.

"Our aim has been to make a car with a sound base design that leaves it to you as the driver to explore the limits, rather than leaning on electronic driver aids to control the power and weight as with most modern performance cars," said Evensson. "And it's all connected with the engine response, the chassis balance and the low weight, making the car playful and rewarding."

Watch video of the testing below.

Sideways the Scandinavian way www.youtube.com

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The Nissan GT-R probably isn't the first supercar that comes to mind, but it's worthy of consideration if you're not all about being seen.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

You put the pedal down. A confident growl busts out the back end. The wheels may squeal, and you might too. It's not all about the power, though it has plenty. The 2021 Nissan GT-R delivers the type of drive experience that you're never going to get from an electric vehicle - and it's magnificent.

Godzilla has been in production since 2007 with nips and tucks and add-ons here and there along the way. It's not as sleek or stylish as the Audi E-Tron GT or even Audi's R8. There's no giant wing out back à la McLaren and certainly nothing Italian about it. The GT-R is it's own man.

Even areas of the country that are supercar-heavy, aren't heavy with GT-Rs. A Ferrari or Lamborghini is a bigger status symbol for adoring eyes. It's the real drivers out there who know that a GT-R is perhaps the better investment for someone who wants a supercar to drive, not just to be seen in. Its unique looks are subtle but properly athletic.

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium The car is capable as a daily driver but it can also push the limits during a track day.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

The reason for that starts but doesn't end with Nissan's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6. It rests below the hood, not behind your ears, and delivers 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque creating a visceral acceleration experience. It's enough to satisfy you, bring a smile to your face, impress those around you, and make you realize that Godzilla really is a beast.

The six-speed dual-clutch transmission in the GT-R Premium ($113,540 base price) manages the power nicely and shifts relatively smoothly - it's no Ford 10-speed automatic and that's okay. If you want a GT-R with a manual transmission, you'll have to upgrade to the NISMO model. Don't "save the manuals" me. So few people are buying them that they're becoming extinct despite your bumper sticker saying and hashtag. Most supercars don't have them. Nissan is just simply following an industry trend and the DCT is perfectly fine for drivers not spending the majority of their time on a track.

All wheel drive is standard on the model, meaning that the GT-R sticks to the road as you put it through its paces. That also means that you don't need to head home every time there's rainfall or snow in the forecast, and you can take corners a little faster than the local constabulary may prefer.

The car has athletic looks despite not conforming to the typical supercar design language.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

Proper engineering has made the GT-R a great daily driver. It's fun to push it around the twisties on a winding road in the country during a long weekend, but it's also not a bad car to commute or run errands in (it has a real trunk!). Like any good supercar, the GT-R goes right where you want, when you want it, whether you're doing slow speed maneuvering around a neighborhood or putting the throttle down on the highway. The speed-sensitive steering calibration is spot-on.

Parts of the interior are dated, especially when compared to other vehicles in its price point. But none of those parts are enough to make the GT-R even the least bit undesirable. The seats are surprisingly comfortable and the ride isn't too harsh. Analog dials are a nice break for the eyes.

But the real reason you're in the GT-R isn't because of the the amenities. It's because you love to drive. Because you're confident enough to go with Godzilla rather than a flashy Italian or German. Because you understand that the car nicknamed after a fictional monster, and its gasoline-powered ilk, are in danger of going extinct as carbon neutral priorities seem keen on removing the type of visceral fun that internal combustion engines provide.

The car has analog dials in front of the driver.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If we're going to have to make concessions to make the air and water cleaner, it would be nice if, on the other end of the spectrum, the powers that be let us keep having the muscle of the GT-R.

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The Volvo C40 Recharge is a couple-like version of the XC40.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Earlier this week, Volvo announced that it is going all-in on electric vehicles by 2030. Now it's showing off its latest model, a take on the XC40 Recharge - the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge.

Taking a note from the Audi playbook, the C40 Recharge is a sloped roof version of the XC40 Recharge. It has sleeker design than its predecessor even though they both ride on the same platform. The face of the model shows off a new design path for Volvo and has headlights with state-of-the-art pixel technology, something also on the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Volvo has given the car an electric powertrain that consists of two electric motors, one on the front axle and one at the back, which are powered by a 78-kilowatt-hour battery that can be charged to 80 percent in 40 minutes. It has an expected range of 260 miles.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

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The C40 Recharge offers a high seating position and is available in a large range of color ways. It is the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free. Volvo has given the model its infotainment system, which runs on Android technology. Apps such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store are built in. The tech allows for over-the-air updates.

Volvo will only sell the C40 Recharge online and it will come with a care package.

"The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going," said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. "It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive."

The XC40 was Volvo's first all-electric car. Volvo promises additional electric models are on their way in the coming years. The automaker predicts that by 2025, 50 percent of its global sales volume will consist of fully electric cars. The rest will be hybrids. To achieve this, Volvo is expected to lean heavily on the Asian and European markets where EVs are more popular with buyers due to government regulation.

The C40 Recharge will go in production this fall and will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium.

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