Swedish automaker Volvo has never been one to promote performance over style. Actually, they have never been one for flashiness either. What the company takes seriously, though, is automotive safety. On this end, few can question their standing as one of the world’s safest cars.

But every so often, Volvo goes a different route - ’naughty’, as they once called it. This time, though, they’ve decided to give one of their models - the C30 - a more up-scale treatment.

Called the "Black Design" edition, this limited run C30 only has 600 units and is only available in Italy. It’s got enough exterior upgrades to drive up the car’s overall design, which if we’re honest, is actually one of the nicer ones in its class.

But before people start drooling over what appears to be plenty of carbon fiber used on the Black Design, you guys need to know that the material isn’t exactly carbon fiber.

What is it? Well, head over after the jump and find out.

  • 2011 Volvo C30 Black Design
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    2.0-liter gas engine
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    145 horsepower
  • Energy:
    Gas / Diesel
  • Price:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design High Resolution Exterior
- image 398197

Built in cooperation with Eidon and Berman, two companies that specialize in building special edition vehicles, the Volvo C30 Black Design is a definition of an otherwise mundane three-door Swedish hatch that has been given a an aggressive style make-over. The car features a number of new key elements, the most notable of which is the DI-NOC film (3M) that’s made of a surface adhesive carbon fiber finish. It’s not carbon fiber, but it certainly looks like it. This material was put on the C30’s roof, side frames, grille frames, and side door mirrors. While the DI-NOC film pretty much stands as the most eye-catching element of the C30 Black Design, Volvo still diversified the new options on the car, including new side sills, LED daytime running lights, and a set of 17” Fondmetal matte black alloy rims. Meanwhile, the interior was left largely untouched except for the interior trim, which was upgraded from the standard stock to T-tech fabric.


2011 Volvo C30 Black Design High Resolution Exterior
- image 398195

The Volvo C30 Black Design comes with a number of engine options, including a base model that’s powered by a 1.6-liter D2 diesel engine that comes with 115 horsepower. Other engine options include a 2.0-liter D3 diesel engine with 150 horsepower and a 2.0-liter gas engine with 145 horsepower.


2011 Volvo C30 Black Design High Resolution Exterior
- image 398192

As with all the engine options, the price tag for this special edition varies. The base D2 model costs €19,600 ($27,900), followed by the D3’s €23,300 ($33,200) price tag. Meanwhile, the 2.0-liter gas model retails for € 21,450 ($30,600).


A number of other European brands have models that compete directly with the Volvo C30, including the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3. Aesthetically speaking, we like the C30’s design better than its German counterparts, both of which looks completely tamed and mundane compared to the sleekly-styled Volvo hatch.

But when it comes to the engine, the C30 falls remarkable short against the A3 and the Golf. The A3’s base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower compared to the C30’s relatively paltry 145 ponies. When it comes to the Golf, though, the numbers aren’t all that apart from each other with the C30. The Golf comes with a base 2.5-liter five cylinder engine model that produces 157 horsepower.

The question is now, would you prefer the aesthetically-pleasing-made-even-more-stunning-looking Volvo C30 Black Design or more powerful options like the VW Golf or the Audi A3?

Seeing as this is a question only our Italian friends can answer, we’ll leave it up to them. If we had our choice though, we’d take a real good look at the special edition C30 Black Design. For that price, it’s pretty affordable too.

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design High Resolution Exterior
- image 398193
  • Leave it
    • Is it really carbon fiber?
    • Not a lot of interior upgrades
    • Avalable only in Italy
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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What do you think?
Show Comments


  (453) posted on 02.17.2012

I love the classy look of this car, so simple yet elegant. I love the white body top with black, and the taillights are unique. The set of wheels are just right for this type of car.

  (553) posted on 02.9.2012

The exterior looks classic and elegant. I’m glad there’s a lot to chose from. The thirty thousand dollar above was quite reasonable.

  (595) posted on 01.24.2012

I like its platform. Very aesthetic and classy looking car. I love its exterior details, plus the fact that it is being sold in a reasonable price. Too bad it is only available in Italy.

  (397) posted on 01.2.2012

Well bad thing it is only available in Italy, why is that? I must agree in the article that it is one of the nicer one in its class. It is so luxurious and classy; it is a nice decision to upgrade its over-all design.

  (559) posted on 01.2.2012

I just only hope that they would also sell this one to the other country and not only on Italy. I bet lots of Italians are really excited to this.

  (427) posted on 01.2.2012

Well, the total appearance of this is like a remarkable car unit, And based to its exterior its firm outlook gives the biggest competitor with the highest capacity to travel in a high-speed.

  (599) posted on 12.28.2011

Volvo is not after the looks. They are after the safety of the car. However, even if they’re not after the looks, still they manage to make it look elegant and refreshing.

  (498) posted on 12.19.2011

Volvo is not after the looks. They are after the safety of the car. However, even if they’re not after the looks, still they manage to make it look elegant and refreshing.

  (197) posted on 12.13.2011

Its engine is really a big disappointment on it. I think Volvo should truly boost it more so that it could truly offer a nice and awesome packaged. Anyway, just like them, I’m as well satisfied with its looks.

  (488) posted on 12.8.2011

I love the classy and rich image of this C30 Black Design. I just only hope that they would also sell this one to the other country and not only on Italy. I bet lots of Italians are really excited to this.

  (441) posted on 12.6.2011

Well, I can’t see anything wrong with this Volvo S60 R-Design. The improvement of this S60 is a valid sign for them and a good start for a new impressive and reliable car.

  (382) posted on 11.24.2011

Yeah! It really looks rich on its exterior appearance, but is it truly a carbon fiber? Anyway, I wonder if what upgrades they do on its interior. I hope that they also include some pictures of it.

  (474) posted on 11.14.2011

It really looks rich and classy on its platform, and I’m glad that it still had a reasonable price in spite of having that fabulous exterior appearance. smiley Anyway, I just only had a doubt on its engine.

  (484) posted on 09.28.2011

I’m disappointed with its 145 horsepower. I just don’t think that it can give a better performance on this C30. As for the looks, I’m impressed with the decency and the simplicity of it.

  (776) posted on 09.26.2011

I like how it made with strong engine that can make a fast car drive. The automotive part and its total package do complement with each of its parts. Seriously, this look simply outstanding.

  (242) posted on 09.22.2011

I can say that this is very masculine looking car, even the wheel, top of the car, the interior and exterior are almost perfect. I want to buy this one. It also seems for a strong and speedy look.

  (459) posted on 09.21.2011

I’m impressed with the looks of this C30 Black design, with the decency and classy exterior of this. It will surely stand out, but how about its engine performance?

  (474) posted on 09.8.2011

Well, I have to agree with Maria Nalocca, the design that it had now is very striking a refreshing. It is now more looks so classy and sophisticated.

  (306) posted on 09.6.2011

I love the exterior upgrades that they did on this car, it is very impressive and much looking great! The beauty that it had now is very irresistible.

  (328) posted on 08.22.2011

Volvo C30 is really a great competitor, the exterior upgrades of this car is really a good idea, it becomes one of the nicest car on its class. And I must agreed that Italians are really so excited about this.

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