2006 Volvo C30 Concept
By Anthony C. Hall
When Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Cars says, there are a large number of “fairly young, successful people who are attracted by our brand, but who still cannot find a model in our range that exactly matches their taste and lifestyle,” it calls for a quick translation. What he means is there are young folks without kids, who like the reputation Volvo has for safety, but can’t yet see buying one of their boxy, but lovable sedans or station wagons favored by soccer moms. The answer, said Arp, is the far sexier Volvo C30, a three-door machine with muscle and pizzazz, safety standards intact, that can zip around a city block and look fairly hot. It isn’t Ferrari hot, but it is being touted as “nimble” and it has its points. (With its cambered, side-hugging headlights and understated grill, it leans more toward a Jaguar’s styling, anyway.) From the sides and front the C30 looks magnificent.
Revealed to public viewing at the Detroit Motor Show in January and scheduled to be arriving in show room floors shortly after the Paris show in September this year, the C30 will have a two-toned urban look (for example, silver and brown or bronze and white) and a sleek interior. Volvo will not confirm the engine for production models, but one scenario—an official rumor—has it powered by an in-line, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 260 horses with 258 pound foot of torque, which would give it performance car dynamics on the road with a six-speed manual gearbox. Test cars hit 100 k/hr. (62 m.p.h.) in 6 seconds. The top speed, controlled electronically, is 250 k/hr. (155 m.p.h.).
The C30 will be fitted with 19-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli Corsa 223/35 R19 tires and four-piston Brembo brakes with aluminum calipers and 13-inch ventilated brake discs front and rear.
Designers have studied their target audience without dismissing the reliability Volvo is famous for. While luggage and kids were not considered in a big way, the rear seats fold down if necessary. The rear looks unavoidably awkward, as most hatchbacks do, (in this case, it’s reminiscent of the space craft in a Jetsons cartoon). But the classy silhouette helps. Volvo will also put top-shelf audio equipment in the production model, choosing a 5x140 digital ICE Power amplifier from Alpine, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround sound with 10 separate loudspeakers from Dynaudio of Denmark.
One typical Volvo innovation: individual rear seats, divided by a console, which favor the center line, so passengers in back will have a roomy feeling and be able to see the windshield. They won’t feel forgotten, making the C30 a sexy car for a double-Dutch date that is also able to impress the rest of the sales crew (or your tennis partners) with its thoughtful sophistication.
The roots of the car’s design begin with the P1800 ES, a rare breed of hatchback (8,043 made), which Volvo produced for three years only, 1971-1973. Volvo, however, keeps trying to put a sports car on the road, as they have the SUV, sedan and station wagon areas well covered with various models. So, what’s left? They needed a sporty car for Paris Hilton on her chauffeur’s day off. This car will fit that bill just fine.
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Pictures of the Volvo C30 Concept
Click pictures to enlarge
Posted February 28, 2006
Photos courtesy of