Take the outrageous notion of blending a Formula One car with a hot European street machine and you’ve got the idea behind the Volvo C30 concept by Evolve Cars Inc. This one-off show car started life as a European spec version of Volvo’s youthful new C30 — unveiled to rave reviews at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. Letting its imagination run wild, Evolve created an enthusiast’s dream machine that draws on F1 technology and its renowned track record of maximizing the performance potential of Volvo vehicles.
With its stunning aesthetics combined with staggering performance capabilities, the Evolve C30 targets the enthusiast who seeks the ultimate Volvo sport compact. From the street, to the strip to the track, this driver wants a car that can deliver the goods on the promise of serious performance, excellent handling and head-turning style.
To achieve the muscular stance it envisioned the Evolve team began by removing all the vertical panels on the car. It then painstakingly added six inches of width at the rear fenders, tapering to zero stretch at the tips of the front fenders. The pronounced wedge shape and broad rear shoulders give the C30 a menacing hunkered-down look. Up front, an adjustable F1 style front spoiler commands attention. At the rear, a functional diffuser accelerates air as it exits the vehicle to help keep the car glued to the tarmac at speed. A roof-mounted rear spoiler can be adjusted by the driver to tailor downforce as desired. The body was sprayed in an eye-popping shade of BASF Glasurit Competition Yellow with Silver and Graphite highlights.
Under the hood, Evolve has modified the stock C30’s 2.5-liter turbocharged engine to deliver pavement-blistering performance. A combination of increased air volume and pressure matched with proper fuel and spark delivery through tuning yields an estimated 507 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and a stump-pulling 468 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,800 rpm. Sequential twin turbochargers are the keys to extracting maximum performance. Carefully engineered plumbing and boost management with Turbosmart components tie the turbos together to create a brutally forceful combination.
Instead of a traditional intercooler, Evolve devised a totally cool solution it dubs the Charged Air Cooler. Integrated with the factory air conditioning refrigerant system, an evaporator was constructed inside a fabricated sheet metal intake manifold. Hot, charged air from the turbos crosses over super-cooled piping prior to entering the throttle body. This dramatically reduces the intake charge temperature making the heated air considerably cooler than ambient outside temperature. Engine exhaust enters a five-into-one header, feeds the turbos, passes through a catalytic converter and exits via a custom-built muffler and twin, rear-facing exhaust tips located high in the quarter panels.
While the Volvo C30 is a front-drive car, Evolve decided to leverage the full potential of its talents by converting it to all-wheel drive. This arduous task required underbody modifications to route a driveshaft to the newly installed rear differential. Electronically controlled AWD employs custom software created for this application by Haldex of Sweden — a name familiar to Volvo aficionados as the supplier of Volvo’s other production models. A 6-speed manual transmission puts the driver in charge of the action.
Continuing its quest for creativity, Evolve engineered and built its own brake system for the C30. The front caliper assembly consists of more than 100 components resulting in a 14-piston billet aluminum work of art. Rear calipers are six piston assemblies. Each piston/cylinder is finned and exposed to 360 degrees of airflow to reduce the tendency for brake fluid to boil during repeated high-speed use. The massive two-piece directionally vaned rotors measure 386mm in front and 362mm in the rear and feature an exclusive Evolve slot pattern. Evolve devised a mechanical/hydraulic parking brake system that uses stock brake handle components to exert hydraulic pressure upon the front calipers. Its two small "master cylinders" are mounted on the front strut tower bar for easy viewing. The parking brake system locks the front wheels allowing the driver to "load" the turbochargers for brutal off the line acceleration.
To optimize handling, Evolve once again took matters into its own hands. The front suspension is fitted with hand-built strut tubes around double-adjustable Koni cartridges. Heavy-duty Eibach springs support the front end for a firm, track-ready setup. With the switch to AWD, a clean slate approach was taken for the rear suspension. Fabricated control arms connect to an adjustable ladder bar to keep the independently acting rear wheels firmly planted under varying loads. Koni struts activated via pushrod assemblies can be spied from the rear of the car through the lower air diffuser. Evolve’s quick height adjustment suspension enables the driver to vary the front ride height underhood using a standard socket on a strut-to- chassis interface. Rear height is similarly changed using a single adjuster positioned in the center of the rear diffuser.
Rounding out the performance package is an aggressive set of wheels and tires. The Evolve C30 rides on 265/30-19 Pirelli Pzero Rosso tires in front and monstrous 355/25-19s at the rear. The massive rear tires neatly tucked into the modified rear fenders gives the car a track-ready appearance. Multi-piece forged alloy Evolve wheels are sized 19 x 9 inches in front and
19 x 14 inches in the rear. As utilized on most every racecar, Evolve wheels feature a true single center nut method of attachment. Graphite painted center sections with spun brushed aluminum wheel hoops gives the Evolve C30 just the right attitude.
In true racecar fashion, Evolve took a minimalist approach to interior design. A six-point chrome moly safety structure was meticulously TIG welded in place. Evolve leather upholstery in two-tone perforated black and smooth graphite colors is contrasted with yellow stitching. The same pattern is applied to the steering wheel. The C30’s signature floating center console was remade with translucent plastic to serve as a focal point for the interior. Volvo’s stock Premium Sound System features 650 watts of Alpine(R) amplified power, 10 loudspeakers from Dynaudio(R) and Dolby(R) Pro Logic II Surround sound. Evolve added a hands-free Bluetooth mobile phone system for safer communication while driving.