Here are the first photos of one of the year’s most talked about debutants - the new Volvo C30. A sporty design, two doors, four individual seats, and a glass tailgate give the C30 a unique character that will attract new Volvo buyers. The new Volvo C30 will be unveiled for the public at the Paris Motor Show in September, and production will begin at the end of 2006.
“The new C30 is a cool car. A car that aims for a group of young singles, or couples, with an intense urban lifestyle. These people prioritise excitement in design and driving characteristics, and this car is designed to suit their taste and lifestyle,” says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.
The volume target is 65,000 cars per year. Volvo expects that 75 percent of the buyers will be in Europe and the largest markets are Italy, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom.
“The compact format has not prevented us from integrating much of what is best in the larger Volvo cars,” says Håkan Abrahamsson, Project Director for the C30. “Even the smallest Volvo should provide the right premium feel – in all respects. This applies not only to the appearance and the impression of quality, but just as much to how it is to drive and use. Our intention is that the Volvo C30 should attract people who love driving.”
Dynamic front and fast silhouette
The design of the production-ready model is in tune with the Volvo C30 Design Concept, which was presented at the Detroit Motor Show at the beginning of the year.
The front retains its dynamic character, with the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille.
Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housings and sloping roof give the new C30 a fast silhouette, which is further enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows.
The shoulders at the rear are powerfully rounded and are accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern of the tail lamps, and the glass tailgate. The spoiler at the upper edge of the tailgate is available in two different versions.
“The C30 has plenty of muscles in a sporty and compact package. Anyone who recalls the Volvo SCC (Safety Concept Car) will recognise the exclusive and convenient rear tailgate. The distinctive tail lamps ensure that no one will be uncertain about which car they have in front,” says Volvo Car’s Design Director Steve Mattin.
Styling for individualists and room for four adults
The new C30 has room for four adults thanks to the two separate rear seats with generous head and leg room. The rear seats are slightly centred to provide a feeling of space and a good forward view.
The space between the seats also makes the thin, visually floating centre stack clearly visible through the glass tailgate. The interior program has been designed to meet the target group’s taste for personal choices. Even the base program offers, for example, upholstery in three attractive colours.
“The C30 is about “customised functionality”. There are a lot of possibilities for personalisation and the car has all the right and cleverly designed solutions that the people who choose this type of car want,” says Håkan Abrahamsson, who heads the C30 project.
Manoeuvrable and sporty to drive
Thanks to its small size and well thought out design, the Volvo C30 is very nimble to handle, even in limited space. Otherwise, it is built according to the same principles as the other Volvo cars. A compact and solid body, a generous track width, and a relatively long wheelbase contribute to giving it inspiring and stable driving characteristics. The chassis, with MacPherson front wheel suspension and a Multilink rear axle, is optimized to enhance fun to drive. High level of body control and precise response are key properties. A lowered sport chassis is available as an option.
DSTC, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, is standard in most markets. Steering is electro-hydraulic (hydraulic for the 1.6-litre petrol), with a distinct and controlled steering feel. The range of options for the Volvo C30 includes a number of alloy wheels in sizes from 15 to 18 inches.
Range of engines from 100 to 220 hp
The new Volvo C30 has a wide selection of engines, ranging from a 100 hp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, a clean and efficient four-cylinder, 1.6-litre diesel with 109 hp to the five-cylinder D5 and T5 turbo engines, providing 180 and 220 hp respectively.
At 425 centimetres (167 inches), the C30 is the smallest member of Volvo’s model range - 22 centimetres (8,5 inches) shorter than the Volvo S40.
“A car that exudes muscular manoeuvrability must live up to the promise of its looks when you are behind the wheel. Therefore, the C30 has a chassis that offers sporty driving characteristics, regardless of whether you choose the 1.6-litre diesel or the T5 engine,” says Håkan Abrahamsson.
Even in the base model, the Volvo C30 offers a high-class audio system – and true audiophiles can choose the Premium Sound system, with a digital 5x130W ICE Power amplifier from Alpine®, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround, and 10 loudspeakers from Danish Dynaudio®.
All engines have four-valve technology and double overhead camshafts, which contribute to the quick response and good high-speed characteristics. The most powerful petrol engine (T5) is turbo charged, and has very high and even torque from low to high engine speeds (320 Nm from 1500 to 4800 rpm). This makes the Volvo C30 very responsive, with willing acceleration.
Smart functions offer great comfort and flexibility
Despite its compact format, the Volvo C30 is capable of offering very comfortable and flexible interior space with a surprising big-car feel. The car offers place for four adults. The front seats are ergonomically designed and offer a correct and relaxing seating position. It is easy to move the seat forward and rearward, for convenient access to the rear seat. The tapered design of the B-pillar also contributes to the easy entrance.
The rear seat has two separate seats and a foldable armrest is available for enhanced comfort. The seats are positioned somewhat towards the centre of the car to provide space and a good forward view. This also provides space for storage in the side panels. Furthermore the centred position of the rear seats facilitates communication with the front seat occupants.
The rear seat backrests are individually foldable. Folding can be easily done when standing behind the car as well as from the passenger compartment.
The glass tailgate is very convenient and easy to open and close. It offers good access to the cargo compartment. To keep items in the cargo compartment from view, two load covers are available: a soft and a hard version.
Air conditioning and air quality system for a pleasant cabin climate
To provide a pleasant cabin climate, air conditioning and a pollen filter are standard in the Volvo C30. Alternatively the car can be specified with ECC (Electronic Climate Control), which is completely automatically controlled and the chosen cabin temperature is kept constant regardless of the outside temperature. Furthermore, it is possible to set the temperature individually for the right and left sides.
The ECC system can be supplemented by IAQS (Interior Air Quality System), which continuously monitors the carbon monoxide level of the incoming air and closes the air vents when the level is too high, for the in-cabin climate comfort and health of the occupants of the car. The system also includes an active charcoal filter to prevent dust, exhaust particles, pollen and unpleasant odours from entering the cabin through the ventilation system at any time.
Sleek body design for good all-round view
“The fact that the Volvo C30 is fun and stimulating to drive is a result of its well controlled body motions, quick steering response and predictable behaviour,” says Håkan Abrahamsson. “This means that it is easy to control, even in unexpected situations, which thereby contributes to safer driving.”
In addition to the predictable driving characteristics, an unobstructed view is very important to preventive safety. The Volvo C30’s special design, with the side windows at the right height, creates a panoramic view from all seats. The inwardly curving rear side windows and the unique glass tailgate provide a very good rear view, not least at an angle rearward. The tapered B-pillars also contribute, which offer a clear view between the side of the body and the head restraint. This also gives the rear seat passengers a good view through the front side windows.
Advanced information systems offer good driver control
To make it easier for the driver to detect other vehicles in the blind spot at the side of the car, the Volvo C30 can be fitted with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System). This system, which is an option, uses cameras mounted in the side door mirrors to register if another vehicle is in the blind spot. If this is the case, a lamp near the mirror illuminates to alert the driver in order to increase the possibility that correct decisions are taken.
To help reduce the risk of the driver being distracted by untimely information in critical situations, IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System) is standard on the Volvo C30 . IDIS is an electronic information system that continuously monitors certain functions in the car such as steering wheel movements, accelerator pedal movement, the direction indicator controls, and braking. This information is processed and at a certain level, information that is not crucial to safety, such as text messages or incoming calls to the integrated telephone, is delayed until the situation is less busy for the driver.
If the driver prefers, IDIS can be set up to let GSM calls through in all driving situations. This is done in the car’s menu settings.
First class safety
When it comes to safety, the Volvo C30 is a true Volvo. Among other things, it is available with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), which helps the driver to identify another vehicle in the blind spot at the rear sides of the car. The front has the same patented structure as the S40 and V50. Combined with airbags and safety belt tensioners, the C30 offers first class safety.
The safety equipment naturally also includes the Whiplash Protection System, WHIPS, and a Side Impact Protection System with side airbags and the Inflatable Curtain, IC.
“The new Volvo C30 plays an important role in our push towards a volume of 600,000 cars a year. We are broadening our model program to make it possible for new, younger customers with an intense, urban lifestyle to choose a Volvo with the right appeal as early as possible,” says Fredrik Arp.