At the Detroit Motor Show in early January, Volvo Cars opens the door to the future. The Volvo C30 Design Concept provides an indication of what the new Volvo C30 will look like at its unveiling in Paris in September 2006.
The Volvo C30 Design Concept is a sporty two-door, four-seater with a glass tailgate. The sleek, modern look is exhibited in a contrasting combination of two colours; Quite White and Very Bronze. The design clearly reflects several elements from the Volvo Safety Concept Car. "Our aim was to give the Volvo C30 Design Concept a hefty dose of muscles in a sporty and compact package," explains Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.
The dynamic front is characterised by the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille. Looking along the side, the well-defined wheel arches and the sloping roofline gives the car a fast silhouette, which is emphasized by the extreme boat shape of the glasshouse. The curvature of the rear shoulders is very pronounced and further enhanced by the horseshoe-shaped tail light pattern and the glass tailgate.
"This exclusive and nimble glass tailgate is inspired both by the classic Volvo P1800 ES and the SCC concept car. The light pattern is so unusual that you'll never be in any doubt of which car you have in front of you," says Steve Mattin.
Full four seater
The interior reinforces the sporty character of the Volvo C30 Design Concept. The individual rear seats with generous legroom make the car a full four-seater. The rear seats are slightly centred, which gives the passengers an aura of space along with good visibility to the front. "The space between the seats also showcases Volvo's super-thin, visually floating centre stack, bringing it into full view from behind through the glass tailgate", says Steve Mattin.
Space for luggage – when necessary
The Volvo C30 Design Concept was designed for a customer category that mostly uses the front seats only. The luggage space behind the attractive glass tailgate is designed for everyday loads such as briefcases and sports equipment – with the ability to swallow far larger loads if one or both rear seats are folded flat.
World class audio system
A first-class audio system is an important part of the driving experience. That is why the Volvo C30 Design Concept has Volvo's Premium Sound system, with 5x130 W digital ICE Power amplifier from Alpine®, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and 10 loudspeakers from Dynaudio® of Denmark.
Five-cylinder turbo engine with 260 horsepower
Measuring 424 centimetres front to rear, the Volvo C30 Design Concept is no less than 23 centimetres shorter than the Volvo S40, but slightly wider (178 centimetres). Under the bonnet the Volvo C30 Design Concept has an in-line five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbocharged engine. It gives the driver 260 horsepower at 5500 revs a minute and maximum torque of 350 Nm between 2100 and 5000 revs. The car is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Volvo C30 Design Concept accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6 seconds and its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Keeps its promises
The 19-inch aluminium wheels have Pirelli Corsa 225/35 R19 tyres. There are four-pot brakes from Brembo with aluminium callipers and 330 millimetres ventilated brake discs both front and rear. "Sporty driving characteristics are a must to attract this customer category. A car that radiates muscular agility has to live up to its appearance once you slip behind the steering wheel," says Håkan Abrahamsson, the C30 Project Director.
For an active life in the city
Volvo focused primarily on singles and on couples without children, who regard the car as a tool for pursuing their hectic lifestyles. When they buy clothes, decorate their homes or purchase home electronics, design and brand name are particularly important factors – and they choose their cars according to the same criteria.
"These customers move in a fast pace between home, work, meetings, the gym and their favourite restaurants and nightclubs in town. Many of them describe their ideal car as a runabout – a nimble car to get them where they want to go. They focus on attractive design and entertaining driving properties and rarely go more than two people in the car," explains Håkan Abrahamsson, C30 Project Director.
Design inspiration from the SCC
The customer clinics confirmed that Volvo had chosen the right path. A sporty design with two doors, four individual seats and lines inspired by the Volvo Safety Concept Car, makes the forthcoming production model a keen contender in a segment where competition for customers is razor-sharp.
"At the Milan clinic, one of the participants said: ‘At long last an exciting new challenger in the segment, probably my first Volvo.' It's an excellent reflection of our ambition for the C30 project," says Håkan Abrahamsson.