With a few exceptions, Volvo has never been keen on building sportscars, which is precisely why the said attempts to enter the two-door world are treasured collector items these days. And the model most enthusiasts think about when this side of the Swedish automaker is mentioned is the P1800 sold between 1961 and 1973. And now that the company is focusing on electrification, the dream of the P1800 returning as part of the company’s Recharged range, perhaps even in pure EV form, comes to us via this independent rendering.
Introduced in 1961, the P1800 quickly made itself visible after being driven by British actor Roger Moore in The Saint TV series the following year.
The grand tourer was initially launched in coupe form and while a cabriolet never came along—it was probably the Swedish weather—Volvo did add a two-door wagon that was only available for 1972 and 1973, the final years of the model.
Dubbed 1800ES, the shooting brake featured a traditional Volvo design while sporting an all-glass tailgate. Speaking of which, the profile of its greenhouse brought it the Schneewittchensarg German nickname, which means “Snow White coffin” in English. And with under 8,100 units of the Volvo P1800ES having rolled off the production line, this practical machine is a rare gem.
Perhaps this is what determined digital artist Lars O. Saeltzer (aka Larson Design or lars_o_saeltzer) to revive the P1800SE on all-electric bones.
The latest styling language of the Swedish automaker is present on the two-door station wagon, with the uber-slim light clusters present at both ends of the vehicle doing quite a lot for its futuristic look.
And while the proportions pay homage to the original, the thick pillars and raked nature of the upper half mean the said nickname is more of a nostalgic bit now.
The P1800 Recharged looks like a job for Polestar
Returning to the sports car point made in the intro, Volvo has delegated sports car production to the Polestar performance brand it bought back in 2015—both marques were acquired by Chinese company Geely.
So, when the time came for a grand touring coupe to be launched in 2017, the Polestar 1 was introduced. Speaking of which, Volvo had already considered a shooting brake iteration, which would be the 2014 Concept Estate that evolved into the more conventional V90 four-door wagon currently found in showrooms—you’ll find the show car in the YouTube clip at the bottom of the page.
Polestar has serious expansion plans, having become an all-electric automaker meanwhile. The company debuted the Polestar 2 mid-size liftback in 2019 and is preparing to give us the Polestar 3 sporty crossover later this year.
And whereas the Polestar 2 rides on a platform used by multiple models coming from Volvo, Geely and Geely-owned Chinese automaker Lynk & Co, 2020 saw Polestar unleashing the Precept show car. The concept introduced a flagship platform for future Polestar models, with the first production car to use it set to be the Polestar 5 sedan, which is due in 2024.
And while the 5 could take on the Porsche Taycan, Polestar debuted the 02 concept last month, a 2+2 electric sports car that could take a jab at Porsche’s upcoming battery-powered sports cars if it ever reaches production.
Now, while the Polestar 1 is already regarded as the spiritual successor of the P1800, that is a hybrid. So perhaps a proposal like this one could arrive further down the line, in all-electric form.