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Volvo readies C70 convertible

Debonair drop-top: Volvo will launch its stylish C70 convertible in September.

Volvo will make its debut in the convertible segment with its suave drop-top C70

Volvo logo19 Jul 1999

VOLVO is preparing to take on its prestige car rivals in the rarefied premium drop-top segment with its C70 convertible.

The handsome convertible, due here in September, will be offered with a choice of two powerplants - a 2.3-litre high-pressure turbo unit and a 2.4-litre low-pressure version.

It will be marketed strictly as a niche model with pricing starting at $92,488 for the low-boost version, rising to $102,490 for the more powerful variant.

A five-speed manual gearbox is standard in both models while a four-speed automatic transmission adds $2500 to the cost.

On price, the low-boost C70 convertible will compete against the $86,000 Saab 9-3 2.0 Turbo Convertible, $86,990 Audi Cabriolet and $99,250 BMW 328i Convertible.

The high-boost variant will be pitched against the $112,600 supercharged Mercedes-Benz CLK 230 Elegance and $109,900 Porsche Boxster.

The flagship model's high-boost 2.3-litre, five-cylinder engine is the same unit used in the C70 Coupe, producing 176kW at 5400rpm and 330Nm between 2400rpm and 5100rpm.

The low-boost 2.4-litre powerplant generates 142kW at 5100rpm and 270Nm from 1600 to 5000rpm.

This latter engine will also be introduced in the C70 coupe, reducing the entry level price to $82,486.

The C70 has been viewed as the first step in Volvo's renaissance as a maker of finely styled cars - and it has had some in the past the 1970s P1800 coupe for example.

Notwithstanding its good looks, the C70 has tended to deliver less than it promised as it is based on the elderly S70 platform with its less than supple suspension.

The coupe has met with limited sales success here with just 35 sales to its credit during the first half of this year. It may gain impetus once the low-pressure turbo variant is launched.

Both the coupe and convertible should offer high safety levels as larger side airbags and Volvo's Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) - which tilts the seat backrest rearwards in the event of a rear-end collision - are now standard.

The convertible also benefits from the Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), comprising two U-shaped hoops which pop up if a sensor detects an imminent roll-over.

Braking has been uprated in the C70 by incorporating larger 302mm front discs, as used in the rapid V70R wagon.

Equipment levels are generous with traction control, limited-slip differential, a full complement of airbags and a host of luxury items such as automatic climate-control, CD sound system and leather upholstery included at no extra cost.

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