Volvo envisions modern-day P1800

What you see here is not destined to be a concept car let alone a production model, but it does provide a rather interesting look at how Volvo envisions a modern-day version of its P1800 coupe.

The sketch is the work of Volvo's design director Christopher Benjamin, who let his imagination wild in celebration of the P1800's 50th anniversary.

This sketch shows the design director's vision of a modern-day P1800 coupe.

Arguably the best looking Volvo ever, the P1800 was styled to look like an Italian sports car.

It was first launched in 1961 and was built on a shortened version of the Volvo 121/122S floorpan and powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that was good for 74kW.

Volvo followed that up in 1968 with a 2-litre engine good for 88kW, while an even more powerful fuel injected version came in 1969.

However, the P1800 was almost killed off by Volkswagen before it even saw the light of day. Volvo had originally approached Karmann to build the P1800 as the Swedish carmaker lacked the capacity to build it.

Volkswagen was a far bigger customer at the time and threatened to break its ties with Karmann if the coachbuilder went ahead with the P1800.

After battling to find a suitable company to build it, Volvo almost canned the project, but eventually turned to Jensen Motors of the UK.

In the end, the Volvo coupe enjoyed a lifecycle of nine years, in which almost 40 000 of them were produced.