- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2009

The new Volvo C30 steps out and shows the model’s full potential and personality, which can be seen in the fresh design of the front and is emphasized by a wide range of options, including an urbane, bold accessory styling kit.

The C30 is Volvo’s most playful and spontaneous car model. It appeals to customers who spend most of their time in the city environment and who impose considerable demands on the car’s design, driving properties and personality. The C30 can be configured in an almost unlimited range of variants thanks to a wide selection of drivelines, design details and equipment levels. And the new C30 offers even more choice than before.

“Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car’s entire personality has been boosted to an entirely new level,” says Daniel Backman, product manager for the C30.

“The new exterior is also a better match for the way the C30 drives - challenging, direct and with a whole lot of attitude,” he says.

The entire front has been redesigned, including body panels such as the front wings. This gives the car a radical new appearance from the front, carving out a distinctive personality that separates the new C30 from the Volvo S40 and V50.

“By integrating greater depth into the design language, the front has become more dramatic and expressive. Along with the angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness,” says Fedde Talsma, exterior chief designer at Volvo Cars.

In the middle of the front is the new, larger iron mark just as in the rest of the Volvo range. The air intake has also grown in size and resembles the intake in the XC60. The grille has a new pattern used solely on the C30.

“The fact that the C30 has enhanced its visual volume and self-confidence is entirely in line with Volvo Cars’ design strategy. At the same time, the C30 has a one-of-a-kind expression. The new honeycomb grille, for instance, means it takes just a quick glance in the rear-view mirror to see that the car filling your view is the new Volvo C30,” Mr. Talsma says.

Although the biggest design changes have taken place at the front, the rear also sports the same deep new lines and detailing. The contours are wavier and more dynamic than before. The black plastic panels have been replaced with more body color lower down, in the same or a contrasting color.

The new Volvo C30 also offers a range of new interior options. Among other things, there is now an all-new color combination known as Espresso/Blond, consisting of a dark brown upper section and a blond shade on the lower door sides. The blond tone is somewhere between gray and beige and is an expression of Volvo’s strong Scandinavian design tradition.

The Espresso/Blond interior permits the integration of energetic new highlight colors such as orange, green and blue in the fabrics, as well as a new color for leather upholstery, cranberry.

“We know that a large proportion, almost half, of all C30 customers make detailed interior choices. They want to decide for themselves what their car should look like and are not interested in ready-made packages. The new C30 gives them a range of fresh, modern style cues in terms of both color and fabric to choose between,” explains Maria Uggla, program chief designer, color and trim at Volvo Cars.

“We have also focused on making it easier for customers to match exterior design elements with interior trim in an attractive way, something that has been made that much easier with the new Espresso/Blond color combination,” she says.

Yet another new feature is the luggage compartment cover in the rear, which uses a new material and a new graphic pattern to further enhance the car’s modern image.

A youthful new accessory styling kit with a bolder, less polished style gives the C30 even more attitude. The kit includes foglamp decor, a front skidplate, side scuff plates with engraved C30 logo and a rear skidplate with a stylish aluminum look. For D5 and T5, two 90 mm tailpipes in polished stainless steel are added to underline the powerful engine.

The exterior detailing is complemented by a dramatic interior, where the pattern of the floor mats forms a world map. The aluminum center stack, including inner door handles, is inspired by an ancient nautical chart and a sea adventure map. Its pattern shows longitude and latitude lines as well as dashed direction lines to further emphasize the explorer theme.

The new optional sport chassis for the Volvo C30 is considerably sharper, with stiffer, more distinct properties. It is lower, giving 10 percent faster response to steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been increased by no less than 30 percent in order to increase the car’s poise in enthusiastic driving. The dampers too are stiffer and are now of the exclusive mono-tube type that builds up pressure much more quickly. The roll stabilizers are stiffer to reduce any leaning tendency when taking corners.

The Volvo C30’s sporty chassis and steering can be combined with a particularly wide range of drivelines, covering the full spectrum of needs from sparkling acceleration and performance to diesel engines with class-leading low fuel consumption and environmental impact.

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