What it Is
Volvo C30 by Heico Sportiv Preview – SEMA Show: Remember when we told you that Volvo was keen on getting the youth market to take a look at its brand? They weren’t kidding. As proof, here’s the Volvo C30 by Heico Sportiv. As far as we can tell, “Heico Sportiv” is how you say “orange leather” in Swedish. Actually, it’s the name of the leading tuning house for Volvos, sort of like AMG before Mercedes-Benz bought ‘em outright. Anyhow, this particular C30 ups the ante with more power, bigger wheels and tires, better suspension and an aggressive body kit. And a lot of orange leather inside. (production note: normal)
By Keith Buglewicz
Photo credit: Volvo
Why it Matters
Volvo’s buyers are mostly female and in their 40s. The C30 is aimed at Golf and GTI buyers, and we think its aim is pretty good. The Heico Sportiv model is aimed even more precisely at those for whom a car is simply a jumping off point for their own hopes and dreams. You know, the kinds of people who go to the SEMA show in the first place.
What’s Under the Hood
Luckily, there is much more to the Heico Sportiv C30 than just orange stickers. The company has tuned the engine to an even 300 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. This is a significant improvement over the stock engine, which produces 227 horses and 236 lb.-ft. in stock form thanks in part to a sport exhaust system, and we’re certain, extra boost. Likewise the suspension is upgraded, with new shocks and springs which lower the car by about 1.5 inches. Brakes are likewise upgraded with four-piston front calipers gripping larger discs. Finally, 19-inch Volution V Titan wheels with 235/35R19 Continental tires round out the mods.
What it Looks Like
The Heico Sportiv C30 looks like it accidentally drove through a Hawaiian shirt factory. A bright orange flower pattern festoons the doors and rear fenders of the car, sweeping into the bumper as well. The entire car benefits from a sporty Heico Sportive body kit as well. The result is a peculiar combination of aggression and flower power that we’re not quite sure gels. If you’re going to go with a decal package that screams “Sweden,” we say opt for the ripped-metal-exposing-a-Swedish-flag motif instead.
If you ever wanted to drive from the inside of a Cheetos bag, this car is for you. It isn’t just orange, it’s ORANGE! It’s easier to say what hasn’t been swathed in the bright fabrics and leathers: the instruments, the signature “waterfall” center stack, the vents and some of the buttons and switches. Everything else is as bright an orange as you can imagine, and unless you’re a true orangeophile, you’ll probably wish for something a little more subdued. On the other hand, it sure is eye-catching, and you can eat boxes of Cheese-Its without worrying about staining the interior
When You Can Buy It
If you want the performance gear, you’re in luck. Heico Sportiv offers the performance hardware on its website, www.heicosportivna.com. As for the wacky orange interior, you’re on your own.
What We Think
Lose the orange, and give us the gear. The C30’s biggest problem for us was its rather high price of entry and lack of power relative to its weight. Aftermarket gear doesn’t lower the price, but it does improve the performance, which is just fine with us. It also gives the aftermarket-darling GTI a run for its money. Ah, don’t ya just love a horsepower war?