Ready to shine like a diamond
For those of you who still think of Volvo as a maker dour, safe and dependable luxury vehicles, climb out from under the rock you’ve been living, and take a look at the exciting new Volvo C30 Concept. A thinly-disguised version of the actual production three-door hatch that Volvo plans to introduce at the 2006 Paris Auto Show in September, the C30 Concept has excitement written all over its sheetmetal. Dour, this ain’t. But it will surely be safe, given the track record Volvo has established, and it will probably dependable, based on recent new vehicles introduced by Ford’s Premier Automotive Group’s (PAG) shining star. Let’s face it: without Volvo, PAG would be, well, dour – though Aston Martin has recently been on a roll and Jaguar has high hopes for its hot XK coupe and convertible. In the here and now, however, Volvo has arguably done more to boost the fortunes of Ford’s luxury hopes than any of the other nameplates. You could even say that Volvo technology has had a hand in making some very, um, critical Ford products successful. Given this, it’s safe to assume that Volvo’s own C30 concept will be a smash hit, and from a first look in Detroit, the style of the entry-lux hatchback will have people lining up outside dealerships with lattes in hand. Never mind the Rich Yankee disregard for hatches. This one is hot. Starting with the exterior, the front is characterised by angled headlamps and a low, wide grille. Wheel arches define the side, and a sloping roofline and exaggerated greenhouse gives the car a fast, aggressive appearance. Car shoppers will be familiar with the tail light set up in back, as it’s like all Volvo SUVs – a nod to safety, without compromising style. Inside, the C30 Concept is a four-seater, and will likely stay that way. The package is powered by a five-cylinder engine that makes 260 horsepower and will supposedly get to 60 mph in six seconds, driving 19-inch wheels with Brembo brakes front and rear. But forget the inside. That’s something we’ll take a look at in September. For now, all there is to do is gaze at the sporty styling of what very well could be the sexiest car ever built by a bunch of boring Swedes.
Photos by Ron Perry