The New Volvo C30 – Pics & Video

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Volvo must think it’s on to something with their C30, because they’ve gone ahead and updated it and have been deluging the press with what’s so new and hot about it. On the one hand, the C30 makes sense. It’s sort of like Volvos answer to Audi’s A3, especially the three-door A3 that we, sadly, cannot get here in the states. The C30 comes across as small and sporty and stylish, not to mention a car that’s just begging to have the performance aftermarket have a go at it.

On the other hand, Volvo walks that precarious line between needing to branch out with new products yet not blow off its core constituency. They’ve seemed to be accomplishing this though. I see those enormous Volvo SUVs all over the place, to mention just one break from tradition. So what does the new C30 bring to the table?

“The new Volvo C30 steps out and shows the model’s full potential and personality. This can be seen in the fresh, self-assured design of the front. And it is emphasized by a wide range of options, including an urbane, bold accessory styling kit.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa … hang on Volvo! That’s how they start out their presser, but all I could think of (besides they need to work on their translations) is that if a dealer tries to tell me I should buy a car because it’s “urbane” I might not stop laughing for a month.

Anyway, here’s what the C30 has (in addition to overwrought press copy).

Volvo stresses that the C30 has a wide selection of drivelines, design details and equipment levels that should really appeal to the cars target market. Think hip urban types, and you’ll be just about dead center. Factor in those that are more conscious of style than what’s under the hood, and that’ll be a direct hit.

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“Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car’s entire personality has been boosted to an entirely new level,” says Daniel Backman, Product Manager for the new Volvo C30.

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The entire front end of the C30 has been reworked, including the front fenders. According to Volvo, the car now has a “radical new appearance” that separates it from the Volvo S40 and V50 models. They also re-did the interior, but that only follows.

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There’s an enormous range of engines for the little guy, from start/stop petrol mills to oil burning diesels. There’s no mention of which ones will be coming to The States, but you can bet that none of the diesels will (at least in the near future).

So, what to make of the C30? I look at it more like Volvo’s answer to the base-level TT: A car aimed more at those that value style over performance.

Here’s a pretty nifty video:

And here’s the press release from Volvo:

The new Volvo C30 – with a sporty new front and even
more choice

The new Volvo C30 steps out and shows the model’s full potential and personality. This can be seen in the fresh, self-assured design of the front. And it is emphasized by a wide range of options, including an urbane, bold accessory styling kit.

The C30 is Volvo’s most playful and spontaneous car model. It appeals to customers who spend most of their time in the city environment and who impose considerable demands on the car’s design, driving properties and personality. The Volvo C30 can be configured in an almost unlimited range of variants thanks to a wide selection of drivelines, design details and equipment levels. And the new C30, which makes its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2009, offers even more choice than before.

“Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car’s entire personality has been boosted to an entirely new level,” says Daniel Backman, Product Manager for the new Volvo C30.

The new exterior is also a better match for the way the C30 drives – challenging, direct and with a whole lot of attitude.” continues Daniel Backman.

Major exterior changes

The renewal of the Volvo C30 is more comprehensive than is usually the case with Volvo’s models. The entire front has been redesigned, including body panels such as the front wings. This gives the car a radical new appearance from the front, carving out a distinctive personality which clearly separates the new C30 from the Volvo S40 and V50.

“By integrating greater depth into the design language, the front has become more dramatic and expressive. Along with the angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps, drawn offset and up, reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness,” says Fedde Talsma, Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo Cars.

In the middle of the front is the new, larger iron mark just as in the rest of the Volvo range. The air intake has also grown in size and resembles the intake in the XC60. The grille has a new pattern used solely on the C30.

“The fact that the C30 has enhanced its visual volume and self-confidence is entirely in line with Volvo Cars’ design strategy. At the same time, the C30 has a one of a kind expression. The new honeycomb grille, for instance, means it takes just a quick glance in the rear-view mirror to see that the car filling your view is the new Volvo C30,” continues Fedde Talsma.

Although the biggest design changes have taken place at the front, the rear also sports the same deep new lines and detailing. The contours are wavier and more dynamic than before. The black plastic panels have been replaced with more body colour lower down, in the same or a contrasting colour, to forge a closer visual contact between the car and the road surface.

The other new exterior features:

* Elegant and trendy new body colour, Orange Flame Metallic
* Visible exhaust tailpipe in the T5 and D5 models
* Two new wheel options – and for the first time, white wheels are available!
* The option to choose five different colours on the lower trim – the C30 Contrast Colour Collection.

Matching interior updates

The new Volvo C30 also offers a range of new interior options. Among other things, there is now an all-new colour combination known as Espresso/Blond, consisting of a dark brown upper section and a blond, fresh shade on the lower door sides. The blond tone is somewhere between grey and beige and is an expression of Volvo’s strong Scandinavian design tradition. The Espresso/Blond interior permits the integration of energetic new highlight colours such as orange, green and blue in the fabrics, as well as a new colour for leather upholster, Cranberry.

“We know that a large proportion, almost half, of all C30 customers make detailed interior choices. They want to decide for themselves what their car should look like and are not interested in readymade packages. The new C30 gives them a range of fresh, modern style cues in terms of both colour and fabric to choose between,” explains Maria Uggla, Program Chief Designer Colour & Trim at Volvo Cars.

“We have also focused on making it easier for customers to match exterior design elements with interior trim in an attractive way, something that has been made that much easier with the new Espresso/Blond colour combination,” continues Maria Uggla.

Yet another new feature is the luggage compartment cover in the rear, which uses a new material and a new graphic pattern to further enhance the car’s modern image.

New centre stack – Oyster Burst Déco

Volvo’s special centre stack is already available in a range of innovative variants. Now another new option is being added, Oyster Burst Déco. Volvo’s design team was inspired by the surface texture of the classic Swedish Hagström guitars that enjoyed world renown in the hands of stars such as Elvis Presley back in the 1950s. Hagström used the word “burst” in many of its model names and gave their guitars a pattern that shifted subtly from light to dark and back again. Just like in the new centre stack of the Volvo C30.

New expressive accessory styling kit

The Volvo C30 also meets the wishes of buyers with a broader car design interest. A youthful new accessory styling kit with a bolder, less polished style gives the C30 even more attitude. The kit includes foglamp décor, a front skidplate, side scuff plates with engraved C30 logo and a rear skidplate with a stylish aluminium look. For D5 and T5 two 90 mm tail pipes in polished stainless steel are added to underline the powerful engine.

The exterior detailing is complemented by a dramatic interior where the pattern of the floor mats forms a world map. The aluminium centre stack, including inner door handles, is inspired by an ancient nautical chart and a sea adventure map. Its pattern shows longitude and latitude lines as well as dashed direction lines to further emphasise the explorer theme.

New sport chassis with excellent characteristics

The new optional sport chassis for the Volvo C30 is considerably sharper, with stiffer, more distinct properties than previously. The steering is more precise owing to the installation of stiffer bushings. The steering ratio is lower, giving 10 % faster response to steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been increased by no less than 30 % in order to increase the car’s poise in enthusiastic driving. The dampers too are stiffer and are now of the exclusive mono-tube type that builds up pressure much more quickly. The roll stabilizers are stiffer to reduce any leaning tendency when taking corners. The new sport chassis is available in all C30 versions except for 1.6D DRIVe.

Drivelines – considerable freedom of choice here too

The Volvo C30’s sporty chassis and steering can be combined with a particularly wide range of drivelines covering the full spectrum of needs from sparkling acceleration and performance to diesel engines with class-leading low fuel consumption and environmental impact.

C30 DRIVe with start/stop function

As of spring 2009, the Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe is available with an advanced start/stop function that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill, for instance at traffic lights or in a traffic queue. This cuts fuel consumption to as little as 3.9 l/100 km while carbon dioxide emissions are just 104 g CO2/km, the lowest in this segment.

Engine range, Volvo C30

The figures below are for versions with a manual gearbox running in the mixed driving cycle.

Petrol engines Power output Fuel consumption CO2
T5 (2.5 litres) 230 hp/320 Nm 8.7 l/100 km 203 g/km
2.4i 170 hp/230 Nm 8.4 l/100 km 200 g/km
2.0 145 hp/185 Nm 7.4 l/100 km 177 g/km
2.0F (Flexifuel) 145 hp/185 Nm 7.8 l/100 km 185 g/km
1.6 100 hp/150 Nm 7.0 l/100 km 167 g/km

Diesel engines Power output Fuel consumption CO2
D5 (2.4 litres) 180 hp/400 Nm 6.2 l/100 km 164 g/km
2.0D 136 hp/320 Nm 5.7 l/100 km 151 g/km
1.6D DRIVe 109 hp/240 Nm 4.5 l/100 km 119 g/km
1.6D DRIVe start/stop 109 hp/240 Nm 3.9 l/100 km 104 g/km

Engine facts in brief:

* All the engines are extremely compact and installed transversely in the engine bay for the best possible safety and maximum cabin space
* Turbo technology is used in the T5 engine and all diesel engines to deliver the best possible performance
* A six-speed manual gearbox is available for the T5 engine, D5 and 2.0D
* A five-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic is available for the five-cylinder petrol and diesel engines
* A six-speed Powershift automatic is available for the 2.0D and 2.0 petrol engines (2.0 petrol only in Asia)
* A particle filter is standard on all diesel engines
* The 1.6 DRIVe with start/stop function has extremely low fuel consumption, 3.9 litres per 100 km

A few facts: the number of possible combinations, new Volvo C30

* The new Volvo C30 is available with a choice of 13 different exterior body colours and with the lower spoilers in five different colours. All told, there is a choice of 49 exterior combinations (previously 13 combinations)
* If the 11 different aluminium wheels are added, the customer now has 529 possibilities of creating a unique car
* The 27 upholstery choices (previously 15) now make 14,553 combination possibilities
* A choice of 4 decor inlays in the centre stack increases the range of combinations to 58,212
* Being able to specify the car with or without a rear spoiler doubles the number of configurations to 116,424
* The customer can specify a roof hatch – or not. The available variants have now increased to 232,848
* The C30 is available with eleven different drivelines (manual/automatic transmission included), making 2,561,328 possible combinations
* What is more, the Volvo C30 can be equipped with a choice of three different audio systems, a variety of safety and security functions, parking assistance, Bluetooth and so on to suit customer wishes
* All in all, there are so many unique variants that Volvo estimates that if every single person in Britain – about 60 million people – were to order a new Volvo C30, no two cars would have to be alike!

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric "systems." He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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