UPDATE – 4 August 2020: The original photographer has since come forward and told UK's Autocar the Volvo P1800 did have an exhaust pipe fitted, and confirmed the car sounded as if it was driving on its original petrol-powered engine.
It remains unknown why the P1800 was in full camouflage, but it's likely the vehicle is some kind of 'restomod' (restored and modified) creation to help celebrate the model's 60th birthday in 2021.
A camouflaged version of a classic Volvo P1800 – with what could be an electric powertrain – has been caught on camera in Sweden.
The vehicle was seen near Volvo's Hällered Proving Ground, and displays a number of differences to the iconic P1800 originally released in 1961.
The camouflage hides wider wheel arches – likely to help accommodate the much larger and more modern wheels and tyres fitted to the car. There is also a distinct lack of visible exhaust pipes.
Next year marks the Volvo P1800's 60th anniversary, and the Swedish car company has previously been open about its intention to move towards electric powertrains.
Our European spy agency has done some digging on the number plate, indicating the vehicle belongs to the head of engine development for Cyan Racing – Volvo's official motorsports partner, formerly known as Polestar Racing.
Historical records show the vehicle has swapped hands within Polestar and Cyan Racing, indicating close ties with Volvo, and suggesting this particular vehicle may be being developed into something special to celebrate the model's 60th birthday in 2021.
Last week German rival Volkswagen trademarked the model names e-Beetle, e-Karmann, e-Kübel, and e-Golf Classic, pointing towards the development of fully-electric retro models.
Is it possible a retro Volvo E1800 could be in the works?