For a long time, Volvo has been known to produce safe but boxy cars. However, in recent decades, the company has produced cars that are not only safe, but also appeal to the demand and tastes of car buyers of the younger generation. Developments in design architecture have enabled Volvo to create a new generation of Volvos.
In the US auto market, Volvo Cars’ latest offering is its first compact car: the C30. Said compact vehicle is designed by Canadian Simon Lamarre. It was introduced by the Swedish car company owned by Ford Motor Company at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.
Fredrik Arp, Chairman and CEO of Volvo Cars, has the following to say about the development of its first compact car: “We know that there are a large number of quite young and successful people who are attracted to our brand, but who are not yet they can find a model in our range that exactly matches their taste and lifestyle. The Volvo C30 design concept was developed precisely for this group. From its inception, the Volvo C30 project focused on one main demographic: young urbanites with fast-paced and intensive racing, active lifestyles, the customer clinics allowed these people to express their opinions and give their views on the car’s design and technical content.”
Meanwhile, Håkan Abrahamsson, C30 project manager, has this to add to what Arp said: “These customers are moving in a fast-paced world between their homes, work, meetings, the gym, and their favorite restaurants and nightclubs in Many of them describe their ideal mode of transportation as a nimble car designed to get them where they want to go. They focus on attractive design and entertaining driving properties and rarely have more than two people in the car.”
The Volvo C30 combines striking styling details, a high-end entertainment system, a high-performance engine and a confident structure. Some of the design cues employed by the C30 were taken directly from the Safety Concept Car. According to Abrahamsson, “The Safety Concept Car (SCC) heralded a bold design language for Volvo. Its roots can be found in the classic proportions of the P1800 ES But there was no denying that it was also a Volvo of the future. As it turned out, the SCC is an excellent reflection of our ambition for the C30 project.”
The Volvo C30 employs the Scandinavian luxury theme employed by other Volvo models, most notably the award-winning Volvo XC90. On the outside, the use of two colors makes the C30 easily identifiable as a Volvo. On the outside, the stylish headlights and grille add to the aesthetic value of the C30. The rear light is unique to the C30 and is one of the most striking exterior design cues employed by the C30. The compact vehicle’s tailgate is a tribute to the automaker’s past. “This unique and agile glass tailgate is inspired by both the classic Volvo P1800 ES and the SCC Concept,” explains Steve Martin, Design Director at Volvo Cars. “The pattern of light is so unusual that you’ll never be in any doubt which one, because it’s right in front of you,” he added.
The car looks smaller than it really is. While it looks like a very small car from the outside, it is surprisingly spacious inside. The front seats, of course, offer enough space for the driver and passenger, the surprise comes with the rear seats that offer ample head and leg room even for adults. Slightly centered rear seat occupants can get a good view ahead without having to adjust their position. Accenting the C30’s dash is Volvo’s famous floating center console. “The space between the seats also showcases Volvo’s visually floating, super slim center console, which is fully visible from behind through the glass rear door,” says Steve Martin.
In terms of entertainment, the C30 includes the Volvo Premium Sound System which comprises: a 5x130W digital ICE power amplifier from Alpine®, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and 10 speakers from Denmark’s Dynaudio®. This entertainment system complements the efficient parts used in the construction of the vehicle. Its mechanical components were designed to produce less noise and provide efficient operation. Components like the Volvo power steering pump, suspension assembly and power window motors, to name a few, operate without much noise or vibration.
The small car’s power comes from the 2.4-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine. With the added boost of the turbocharger, the engine can produce up to 260 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque before reaching 5,000 rpm. Transferring power from the engine to the drive wheels is a precision-engineered six-speed manual transmission. With the smooth gear changes and so much power, Volvo claims the C30 can reach speeds of 100 kilometers per hour from a standstill in just six seconds.
According to Abrahamsson, “Sporty driving characteristics are a must to appeal to this category of customer. A car that exudes muscular agility has to live up to its appearance once you get behind the wheel.” Its features include 19-inch aluminum wheels fitted with 19-inch aluminum wheels. Stopping power is provided by four-piston brakes fitted with aluminum calipers and 330-millimeter Brembo ventilated brake discs. This set of brakes, combined with a long list of safety features one would expect from a Volvo car, makes the C30 one of the safest compact cars on the market.