With the new C30, Volvo makes its debut in the segment for two-door premium cars.
The sporty design, with two doors, four individual seats, and a glass tailgate, aims to give a young and dynamic group of customers “a Volvo of their own.”
“The new C30 aims for a group of young singles, or couples, with a intense urban lifestyle. These people prioritise excitment in design and driving characteristics, and this car is designed to suit their taste and lifestyle,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Brand, Business and Product Strategy at Volvo Cars.
During the development phase of the C30 project, Volvo Car Corporation has organised customer clinics in a number of European countries. People living in urban areas with accelerating careers and an intensive lifestyle were invited to judge the car’s design and technical content.
For an active life in urban areas
Volvo has focused primarily on singles, or couples without children who see the car as an entertaining tool for keeping up with their intense lives. When they buy clothing, home furnishings, or electronic devices, design and brand are very important factors – and they choose cars in the same way.
“These are customers who move between their homes, the office, meetings, the gym, and to their favourite spots around town at a fast pace. This group prioritises exciting design and exhilarating driving characteristics, and for the most part there are not more than two people in the car,” explains Håkan Abrahamsson, Project Director for the C30 project. He adds:
“It is important to point out that this is a question of lifestyle rather than age. When the children grow up and move out, you also have time and money for an active and fast-moving life. Therefore, we believe that next to the great part of younger customers, a considerable share of the C30’s volume will be bought by so-called ‘empty-nesters’. Another appealing possibility, of course, is that the C30 will be the second car for families with children.”
Design Concept preview in Detroit
The international customer clinics confirmed that the project was on the right track – and at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2006, Volvo offered a glimpse of the coming production model by displaying the C30 Design Concept.
The concept car was subsequently put on display at numerous auto shows, and Volvo Cars has also organised international events with specially invited guests, in cities such as Milan.
“In one of the customer clinics, one of the participants said: ‘Finally, a new exciting challenger in the segment, probably my first Volvo.’ This was sweet music to our ears, the perfect expression of our ambitions for the C30-project. We must win new customers to make the C30 an important part of Volvo Cars’ volume increase to 600,000 cars per year,” says Håkan Abrahamsson.
Dynamic front and fast silhouette
The design of the production-ready model is in tune with the Volvo C30 Design Concept. The front will retain its dynamic character, with the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille.
Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housings in contrasting materials, and the sloping roof give the new C30 a fast silhouette, which is further enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows. This is created by the narrowing roof and the wide shoulders.
The shoulders at the rear are powerfully rounded and are accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern of the tail lamps, and the glass tailgate. The spoiler at the upper edge of the tailgate is available in two different versions.
“The C30 has plenty of muscles in a sporty and compact package. Anyone who recalls the Volvo SCC (Safety Concept Car) will recognise the exclusive and convenient glass tailgate. The distinctive tail lamps ensure that no one will ever be uncertain about which car they have in front of them,” says Volvo Car’s Design Director Steve Mattin.
Styling for individualists
The possibility of adapting the car to their personal taste is high on the wish list among the intended buyers.
A specially designed body kit with larger exhaust pipes is available fully colour coordinated or in dual tone. To further personalise the car, the body kit can be combined with a lowered sport chassis and 18" wheels.
The body kit is available in many colours to create a wide range of possibilities for exciting personal combinations.
Styling items available for the interior are a sport steering wheel and sport gear lever with aluminium inlays, brushed aluminium pedals, and specially designed C30 carpets.
The Volvo C30 will be introduced with, for example, an entirely new colour: Cosmic White Pearl. Equipped with the body kit in brown Java Pearl, the car will stongly recall the Volvo C30 Design Concept.
Room for four adults
The new C30 has room for four adults thanks to the two separate seating positions in the rear seat, with generous head- and legroom. The rear seats are slightly centred to provide a feeling of space and a good forward view. It also makes communication between front and rear occupants much easier.
The space between the seats also makes the thin, visually floating centre stack clearly visible from the outside through the glass tailgate.
The centre stack is available in four different versions. Completely new is the Virtual White inlay, inspired by the modern, glossy surfaces of the worlds of sport and computers. The same material is also used in the doors.
A striking version with surf-patterned aluminium is also available as an accessory, and has been inspired by the C30 Design Concept.
Personal interior choices
The interior program has also been designed to meet the target group’s expressed wishes for personal choices. Even the base program offers, for example, upholstery in red and blue. There are also black upholsteries that can be accentuated with contrasting red carpeting.
“With respect to practical details, we prefer the expression customised functionality. The Volvo C30 does not claim to be a full-sized family car. However, it is specially adapted to its target group,” says Steve Mattin.
Target 65,000 cars a year
The Volvo C30 will be unveiled for the public at the Paris Motor Show in September, and production will begin at the end of 2006.
The volume target is 65,000 cars a year. Volvo expects that 75 percent of the buyers will be in Europe. The largest markets are Italy, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, the USA, France, Sweden, and Holland.
The new C30 will make a firm impression in a segment that is new for Volvo – and the intention is that at least three out of four Volvo C30s will find customers who do not currently drive a Volvo.
“I am convinced that the new C30 will be a great success. Since we displayed the concept car in Detroit, it has become one of the market’s most talked about and eagerly awaited newcomers. The C30 will be a tough nut to crack for our competitors in the segment,” says Lex Kerssemakers.