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Future models - Volvo - C30

First look: Volvo hatches new-look baby

Hatch hatched: Volvo's revamped C30 will get a Prius-challenging diesel DRIVe version from early next year.

Facelifted C30 hatchback emerges from Volvo’s skunkworks just in time for Frankfurt

8 Sep 2009

VOLVO has pulled the virtual covers off its facelifted C30 hatchback on the eve of its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week.

Featuring similar front and rear styling updates to the C70 coupe-convertible that will also make its global debut in Germany on September 15, the revised C30 will go on sale in March next year, precisely three years after the original was released in Australia.

Volvo says the cosmetic updates for the 2010 C30 are more comprehensive than usual to show the full potential and personality of its cheeky three-door small-car, while a bold new accessory styling kit aims to add further aggression.

The front-end facelift not only includes a new front bumper (with XC60-style air intakes and an exclusive grille design featuring the new-look Volvo ‘iron mark’ from other models), but different headlights and front quarter panels to better differentiate Volvo’s smallest model from its mid-sized S40 sedan and V50 wagon siblings.

Similarly, the rear-end of the updated C30 features a more deeply detailed and contoured rear bumper, comprising a contrasting body-coloured lower section to replace the current model’s black plastic panels.

Other new exterior features include the “elegant and trendy” Orange Flame Metallic paint colour, a visible exhaust outlet for T5 and D5 models, two new wheel options including white wheels for the first time, and five different colour options for the lower trim from the ‘C30 Contrast Colour Collection’.

18 center imageTo match, the new-look C30 interior brandishes an aluminium-look centre stack and door-handles that Volvo says were inspired by ancient nautical charts, with longitude and latitude lines plus dashed direction lines emphasising an explorer theme, while the pattern of the floor mats is designed to resemble a world map.

The C30’s centre stack will also be available in Oyster Blue Deco, which was apparently inspired by the surface texture of the classic Swedish Hagström guitars played by stars such as Elvis Presley in the 1950s.

There is also a range of new interior colour options, led by an all-new combination dubbed Espresso/Blond, comprising a dark brown upper section and a lighter, more Scandinavian shade on the lower door sides. It can be combined with new orange, green and blue fabric colours and a new Cranberry leather colour, while a new-material rear luggage cover comes with a new graphic pattern.

The C30’s new accessory styling kit includes foglight trims, aluminium-look front and rear skidplates, side scuff plates with engraved C30 logos and, for D5 and T5 variants, two 90mm stainless steel exhaust outlets.

Most importantly to some, however, the 2010 C30 will be available with an optional ‘sport chassis’ that Volvo says is “considerably sharper, with stiffer, more distinct properties” thanks to 30 per cent firmer springs, stiffer monotube dampers and stronger anti-roll bars. Stiffer bushings are also claimed to sharpen the C30’s steering, while the steering ratio itself is lower to deliver a 10 per cent improvement in response.

The more focussed chassis package will be available across the C30, with the exception of the fuel-sipping C30 DRIVe, which will feature an idle-stop function that will also become available to Australians in early 2010.

In Europe, the revised C30 green-car is claimed to return average fuel consumption of a Toyota Prius hybrid-matching 3.9L/100km, albeit with higher CO2 emissions of a class-leading 104g/km.

Volvo Australia’s C30 range currently opens at $34,950 for the C30 S manual and extends to the manual-only DRIVe ($35,950), auto-only 2.0D Powershift ($37,950), LE ($39,950), T5 ($43,450) and T5 R-Design ($47,150).

With 341 sales to August this year, the C30’s popularity is 18 per cent down in Australia so far in 2009.

“Since its (European) introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance,” said C30 product manager Daniel Backman.

“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.

“The new exterior is also a better match for the way the C30 drives – challenging, direct and with a whole lot of attitude,” said Mr Backman.

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