1 Dec 2006
VOLVO has worked very hard to right the old C70 Coupe and Convertible wrongs, with the all-inclusive second-generation model, known as the Hardtop Convertible.
If you own the old car, you will probably marvel at the dynamic, refinement and quality advances the latest C70 achieves.
The latest C70 is built off Volvo’s P1 small-car platform, the Ford Focus-derived C1 base underpinning the S40, V50 and Mazda3.
Driving the front wheels (no all-wheel drive models have been announced – but it is a possibility) is the choice of two five-cylinder powerplants. Mounted transversely, each offers twin cams, 20 valves and variable-valve timing.
In the base LE, a 2435cc 2.4-litre unit produces 125kW of power at 6000rpm and 230Nm of torque at 4400rpm, and is matched to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic gearbox with a sequential shift function Volvo dubs Geartronic.
Meanwhile, the 2.5-litre, turbo-charged, T5 five-cylinder engine, delivering 162kW at 6000rpm and 320Nm at 4800rpm, also uses the Geartronic auto, but is also available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Volvo benchmarked the BMW E46 3 Series, along with the Audi A4 Cabriolet and Saab 9-3, when devising the C70, even though all lack a folding hardtop.
The company says it designed the C70 (at its Californian studio) as a coupe first, sticking with the old car’s basic silhouette (the work of Jaguar designer Ian Callum) before starting work on the folding roof mechanism.
Making the car as strong and safe as possible is a Volvo given, so the C70 introduces a world-first door-mounted side-inflatable airbag curtain that expands upwards for total head protection, and is aided by extra rigid walls and a delayed deflation process.
Front seat-mounted side airbags are also part of the side-impact protection package, while anti-whiplash headrests and seatbelt pretensioners are fitted. Volvo has beefed up the body considerably.
Volvo’s ROPS Roll Over Protection System, which now uses pyrotechnic, rather than spring-fired as with the old C70, is also fitted.
Active safety comes in the form of stability and traction controls and anti-lock brakes.
The C70 is a joint venture with Pininfarina, although it did not have a hand in the design of the Volvo. The production facility, located in Uddevalla Sweden, is 60 per cent owned by the Italians.
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