1 Jan 1998
VOLVO’S front-wheel drive, 850/S70-based C70 Coupe and its eventual Convertible counterpart was the result of a joint venture between the Swedish company and TWR, racer Tom Walkinshaw’s engineering company.
The Coupe debuted first, in early 1998, but to widespread disappointment.
Despite a 176kW/330Nm 2.3-litre turbo-charged five-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic/five-speed manual gearbox, critics panned the Volvo’s sloppy handling and unruly dynamics.
A handsome convertible was offered with a choice of two powerplants - a 2.3-litre high-pressure turbo unit and a 2.4-litre low-pressure version followed in September 1999.
As with the Coupe, a five-speed manual gearbox was standard in both models while a four-speed automatic (five-speed auto from late 2000) was optional.
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 was also introduced in the C70 coupe in late 1999.
The convertible benefits from the Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), comprising two U-shaped hoops, which pop up if a sensor detects an imminent rollover.
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.
Only 15 75th Anniversary limited edition convertibles were imported into Australia in October 2002.
The C70 Coupe was discontinued due to poor sales in February 2003, while from March 2003 until the model’s demise in September 2004 the Convertible’s turbo 2.3 unit was rated to 180kW and 330Nm.
The Road to Recovery podcast series