Marking Volvo’s entry into a new market sector, the new C30 Hatchback is the same but different. More of which, later.
The C30 made its first appearance as a design concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2006 with design elements borrowed from the 2001, Safety Concept Car (SCC. Following the NAIAS teaser, Volvo received over 24,000 enquiries but potential customers had to wait until last year’s (2006) Paris Motor Show, to see the finished article.
Volvo is obviously pleased with the result and expects the predicted annual production run of 65,000 Belgian-built C30s to be snapped up by young couples without children and ‘empty-nesters’ looking for some safe excitement. The company also anticipate that 75 per cent of C30 buyers will be new to the marque.
Clearly a Volvo, the C30 SportsCoupe follows on from where the 480ES left off in 1995 and has a similar rear end to the 1800ES estate car, which the company tells us is not a retrograde step but is re-used because it’s “practical and attractive”.
The C30 is Volvo’s smallest car but it has the broadest shoulders, to the point that the company had reached the limits of its metal stamping capability. The shoulder-line and front end is what makes it so obviously Volvo.
Based on the ’wheel-in-every-corner’ layout, the C30 has a wide track and long wheelbase making for stability and optimum cabin space. It sits low on its wheels, which also adds to the sporty appearance.
Inside, there are four individual seats and for the front occupants, there is plenty of legroom. However, there is not quite enough legroom in the back for adults to sit square unless they are small. Indeed, the C30 project director, Haken Abrahamsson, tells us that customers “will rarely use the back seat”. As an extra deterrent, ISOFIX attachments for the rear seats are a £30 option. For those that will use them, however briefly, the seats are set inboard, separated by an adjustable, narrow armrest and are, legroom aside, comfortable and supportive.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our Volvo archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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