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First look: Volvo smoothes over C70

Streamlined: The Volvo C70 coupe-cabriolet gets Volvo's smooth new design language in a facelift to be revealed at Frankfurt.

Facelifted Volvo C70 emerges ahead of Frankfurt as prices slashed on outgoing model

2 Sep 2009

VOLVO Australia slashed the prices of its three-year-old C70 coupe-cabriolet by up to $13,000 this week on the eve of the global release of the first images of a midlife makeover for the four-seat convertible that will go on public show at the Frankfurt motor show in two weeks.

Although the facelifted model will not arrive in Australia until March next year, the price of the current top-spec turbo-charged C70 T5 was cut from $82,950 to $69,950 on September 1, without any change to specification.

The normally-aspirated C70 LE base model, which will now be dubbed C70 S, drops from $71,950 to $59,990 – a fall of almost $12,000 – while shedding leather upholstery and the top-level “Performance” audio system. Instead, it gets cloth trim and mid-range audio.

The price cuts also coincide with the arrival in Australia of a wave of new premium convertibles, including the $94,900 soft-top Audi A5 Cabriolet, $79,900 Lexus IS250C coupe-convertible and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz E-class cabriolet, to be launched at the Frankfurt show.

Official images of the fresh-skinned 2010 Volvo C70 were revealed on Tuesday – several days ahead of schedule after pictures leaked on to the internet on Monday.

18 center imageThe folding-hardtop four-seater will be shown at Frankfurt alongside a similarly facelifted C30 hatchback, images of which will be released next week.

Although some pundits also expected the next-generation S60 luxury car to make its debut at Frankfurt as well, after Volvo showed a concept of the new car in Detroit this year, Volvo says this was never the plan. Instead, the new S60 is expected to break cover next year, possibly at Paris, ahead of its on-sale launch late in the year.

Changes to the new-look C70 are confined to the body and interior, with powertrains, three-piece roof and safety items all held over from the current generation.

The Swedish coupe-cabriolet – which was the first four-seat folding hardtop in the world when it was launched three years ago – gets Volvo’s new large-car design language, with inspiration drawn from the S60 concept.

Volvo has gone to the trouble of reworking the sheetmetal, with new front fenders contributing to a more wedge-shaped nose.

A new grille, larger lower air opening, bolder headlamps and new detail around the driving lights contribute to a sharper, more streamlined front fascia.

At the back, the C70 gets its own version of the LED lights first used by Volvo on its XC60 SUV.

Says Volvo exterior chief designer Fedde Talsma: “The new C70 has a clearer, more pronounced face. The car's natural elegance has been modernised so it blends seamlessly with the most up-to-date, the most sophisticated backdrops.”

A re-designed instrument panel, with what Volvo describes as a wider, sleeker look with improved finish, headlines the interior makeover that also includes softer leather facings for the seats.

In Europe, the same four engines – two diesel and two petrol – have been held over the 2010 vehicle. For Australia, the engine and transmission line-up is also expected to remain unchanged, with two five-cylinder petrol engines – the 125kW/230Nm 2.4-litre mated to either a five-speed auto or five-speed manual transmission, and the top-of-the-range turbocharged T5, producing 169kW and 320Nm, hooked up to a five-speed auto or six-speed manual gearbox. No diesel is planned.

Key safety features, including Volvo’s innovative door-mounted side curtain airbags and pop-up roll bars that smash through the rear glass in the event of a vehicular upending when the roof is up, remain in place.

Volvo Australia’s public affairs manager Laurissa Mirabelli said the new C70 would arrive in Australian showrooms in March.

The C70 re-launch will come in a busy period of new-model activity for Volvo Australia, with a new, more powerful five-cylinder diesel engine due to arrive over the next couple of months for the XC60, XC70 and facelifted S80. The latter will also become all-wheel drive.

As well, there’s the facelifted C30 that will get Volvo’s eco-friendly DRIVe package of frugal diesel engine, aerodynamic aids and other fuel-saving changes.

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