At its launch in early 2006, the Volvo C70 broke new ground as the world's first four seater convertible with a retractable hard top. In late 2009, more than four years on, the Volvo C70 coupe/convertible was given a design refresh to give the car a new look, whilst retaining the three-piece retractable roof, spacious seating for four adults, and class-leading convertible safety standards as the outgoing model.
The Volvo C70 is an extraordinary sports coupe that can transform itself into a full convertible at the touch of a button. The unique three-piece metal roof goes up or down in less than 30 seconds and makes the Volvo C70 two cars in one: a sports coupe that offers excellent performance and agile handling, and a convertible just fine for lazy days open-sky motoring.
The hard-top roof design is particularly innovative. Its three-piece - rather than conventional two-piece - design reduces folding bulk to improve style and increase packaging space.
Three trim levels - ES, SE and SE Lux - are offered with comprehensive standard specification, including, ECC (Electronic Climate Control), cruise control and Trip Computer. There is a choice of three five-cylinder engines; two diesels, the 150PS 2.0 D3 and 177PS 2.0 D4, plus the top-of-the-range turbocharged petrol T5 230 PS.
The Volvo C70 retains the four individual seat offering comfortable rear seat room for two adults. The interior cabin has been created to offer a comfortable and luxury feel. Featuring a modern, innovative design, and distinctly Scandinavian look thanks to its clean surfaces, use of genuine materials - including aluminium and wood-effect - and fine functionality. The interior also features Volvo's unique 'floating' ultra-thin centre dashboard that stylishly houses all the main audio, ventilation controls with a display for the car's menu system that allows locking and sound preferences to be individually customised.
It has also been engineered as one of the safest convertibles on the market with regard to both preventative and protective safety. The car has an advanced body structure and several solutions that are unique to convertible cars and the lack of a fixed roof has been compensated by structural reinforcements.
The Volvo C70 Is built in the Uddevalla factory in Sweden, in a collaborative effort with the legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina.
The Volvo C70 is a modern, handsome, sports vehicle designed to look good roof up or down. ‘The use of a hard-top instead of soft-top gives us a big advantage in style,' says Volvo's British-born design director Peter Horbury. ‘Roof up, the car looks just as good as a purpose-built coupé. Equally, the compact three-piece roof design minimises the size of the folded roof stack, improving convertible style and packaging.'
The redesigned front of the C70 takes inspiration from the S60 Concept that was unveiled in early 2009, thereby making the C70 more closely aligned with the design language of the larger cars in the Volvo range.
The refresh in late 2009 extended beyond plastic components as the front wings were redesigned to give the nose a more distinct wedge-shape. New headlamps have a more pronounced upward orientation, whilst more detail has been added around the fog lamps and the lower grille. From the front, the bonnet and grille form an open, inviting "V" shape, whilst the enlarged iron mark and the larger air intakes reinforce a strong on-the-road stance. To offer even more road presence a dramatic Flamenco Red Pearl exterior paint colour was introduced.
The shoulder line swings up towards the rear to give an impression of dynamism and reinforces the feeling of a protective collar around those travelling in the back.
The rear of the car continues the front's bold design. High-tech LED lamps, as found on the XC60, were the most noticeable addition to the rear and the entire lamp unit is now clearly integrated with the oval that frames the C70's rear panel.
The Volvo C70 is not overtly aggressive in design. Instead, it is clean and simple, classically Scandinavian, with a minimum of fuss and uncomplicated rather than complex surfacing. Its stance is low, hunkered down to the road.
The hard-top makes the Volvo C70 a considerably more practical and secure vehicle compared to its soft-top premium brand rivals, as well as a more handsome one.
‘We wanted to create two cars in one, without compromising,' says project manager Patrik Widerstrand. ‘We have succeeded in creating a car that is both an elegant convertible and a sporty coupe. A touch of a button transforms the car.'
Apart from the extra flexibility, the retractable metal roof also makes for a quieter, more comfortable coupe. The normal-sized rear window, made of real glass, offers excellent rear visibility and has improved demisting compared with a plastic screen. It also gives extra rigidity to the body.
One of the many brilliant design features is the boot: made from aluminium, it opens rear-hinged to stow the folding roof and front-hinged (as in a normal car) to load luggage.
Unique Retractable Three-piece Metal Roof:
The advantages of the hard-top over a soft-top roof are numerous. The metal roof improves the styling of the car top-up, it reduces NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), it aids security, and it gives the Volvo C70 its two cars-in-one character, without any compromises.
The roof panels are made from steel and - unusually - are divided into three sections. Most hard-top convertibles have two-section roofs, which require much more space when stacked. The joints between the sections have rubber seals. The roof is closed and opened automatically, at the touch of a cabin button, in less than 30 seconds. An electric motor, hydraulic pump and computer are used to activate and control the roof.
Folding hard-top roofs are renowned for robbing much - and sometimes virtually all - the luggage space. On the Volvo C70, the boot still has a spacious 200 litres of space when the roof is down. A practical roof divider in the boot makes it easy to assess how much can be loaded when the roof is down. To improve access when loading, roof-down, a ‘load assist' button in the boot lifts the folded roof panels 200 mm.
Designed and developed in conjunction with Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina, the roof is a masterpiece of engineering, and extremely easy to use. Just push a button when the car is stationary and the roof is raised or lowered automatically. The rigidity of the car is improved by about 15 percent when the roof is raised.
2521cc, 20v, 5-cylinder
1984cc, 20v, 5-cyl
1984cc, 20v, 5-cyl
Min kerb weight
Steering/turning circle, m
Rack and pinion; 11.8
6-speed manual: D3 and D4
5-speed Geartronic: T5
6-speed Geartronic: D3 and D4
Brakes: Front discs:
320mm ventilated: T5, D4
300mm ventilated: D3
280mm (all models)
Load capacity: litres
Load length 4 seat mode
Width (inc mirrors)
Front/rear track width
12,500-mile/1-year (whichever is first)
Full technical data, prices and options information available in price lists, or downloadable at http://www.media.volvocars.co.uk/
The Volvo C70 is two cars in one - and not just visually. The driving experience is also multi-dimensional.
The Volvo C70, especially in convertible form, is a car that can be driven gently and romantically under an open sky. At the same time, the car has the potential for sporty driving thanks to its powerful, responsive driveline, rigid body and stable roadholding.
Advanced engine and exhaust filtration means Volvo's engines combine high performance with low environmental impact.
There is one petrol unit, the top-of-the-range 230 PS T5 turbo and two 2.0-litre diesel powerplants. The 150 PS D3 is smooth, refined, torquey (350Nm at 1500-2750rpm) and returns up to 61.4mpg on the extra urban cycle while the 177 PS D4 features second-generation common-rail technology to provide cleaner emissions, improved fuel economy and a quieter drive.
The top-range unit is the 2.5-litre light-pressure turbo T5. Not only is it strong in absolute performance - top speed 146mph, 0-60mph acceleration in 7.4 seconds - but its wide spread of torque makes it highly responsive over a wide rev band. Maximum torque of 320 Nm comes from as little as 1500 rpm.
The T5 engine offers a terrific blend of performance and economy. As the manifold and turbo unit have been cast together in high-alloy cast steel, it is extremely heat resistant (emission temperatures are permitted to reach 1,050°C). The need for cooling using petrol has therefore been minimised. The engine can be run on a leaner petrol mix with lower fuel consumption and emissions, particularly when driving at high speed or with a heavy load.
The D3 offers drivers a combination of enhanced driving pleasure and impressive fuel economy. This engine gives drivers a powerful 150 PS and 350Nm of torque enabling a top speed of 130mph (manual) and 0 to 60mph in 10.2 seconds. Power does not come at the expense of the economy; the Volvo C70 D3 offers a strong 47.9mpg combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 154g/km. The 2.0-litre D4 diesel marries turbo-charged performance with superb fuel economy of up to 47.9 mpg with 137mph top speed and can sprint to 60mph in 9.3 seconds.
D3 and D4 models are available with six-speed manual or Geartronic automatic gearboxes. The Geartronic can be driven either as a conventional auto or a clutch-less sequential manual.
All Volvo C70s are front-wheel drive, which offers more predictable handling and better traction than rear-drive. The transverse engine design improves space efficiency - the sideways layout takes less fore/aft space. It also improves safety by creating a generous crumple zone in the engine compartment.
Chassis, Steering and Brakes
Excellent driving dynamics was a priority for the Volvo C70.
Convertible cars are renowned for poor structural rigidity - which hurts handling response, refinement and safety. By contrast, the current Volvo C70 has twice the structural rigidity of the original C70, and is one of the most torsionally rigid convertible cars in the world. So its feels taut, agile and predictable at all times, roof up or down.
The C70 shares its basic technology with other Volvo models, including front-wheel drive and an extremely stable, compliant chassis. Suspension is fully independent. MacPherson struts are fitted at the front and there is a multi-link axle at the rear. Spring and damper rates have been designed to blend agility and response, with comfort and suppleness. DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) ensures stable handling by eliminating wheel slip and automatically helps correct the car if any slide is detected.
Steering is speed-dependent rack-and-pinion. Electro-hydraulic power assistance blends the superior feel of an hydraulic system with the added energy benefits of electric power steering.
Large power-assisted anti-lock disc brakes give superb stopping power. The front discs are ventilated for superior cooling, reducing brake fade. EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) cuts braking distance in an emergency while EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) further improves braking by correctly distributing front-to-rear brake bias taking into account vehicle loads and road conditions.
Compared to the original C70, the interior of the new C70 has been updated to create a more comfortable and luxury feel. The instrument panel offers a wider, sleeker look with improved finish and the surface of the panel has a new texture that enhances the quality feel.
The cabin of the Volvo C70 is inspired by modern Scandinavian design. ‘It is simple, functional and clean,' says design director Peter Horbury. ‘Inspiration has come more from Scandinavian product design than pure car design.'
The innovative super-thin ‘floating' centre stack, first seen on the Volvo S40 saloon, then the V50 Sportswagon, and most recently on the Volvo XC60 Crossover and all-new S60, is also featured on the Volvo C70. This not only looks terrific, but hosts most of the major controls in a simple and ergonomic manner. It is available in different trim finishes: Bauxite, Aluminium, Nordic light oak or Oyster Burst.
The inspiration for the interior came from outside the car world. "If you want to be innovative, there is little point looking at what the competition is doing," explains Peter Horbury, Volvo's Design Director. "It is far more valuable to look at what they're not doing."
Volvo's design teams were influenced instead by the Scandinavian design tradition of clean surfaces and uncluttered lines. They drew inspiration, for example, from the elegant simplicity of the classic compression-moulded Series 7 chair, designed by the world-famous Arne Jacobsen.
Trends in high-tech electrical equipment, such as cameras, audio systems and computers, were also studied. Notes were taken on how the designers use and combine new materials so that they form part of the user-experience. These disparate influences - classic Scandinavian style and high-tech innovation - were combined to create a radically different interior concept.
The interior is built up of several visual layers. The first is an edge that flows around the base of the windscreen and along the door frames, trimming the entire interior. This provides occupants with the impression that they are safely ensconced in a cocoon.
The second layer is the primary fascia, which is minimalist. The air vents and secondary controls are positioned in individual islands, while the main instruments are grouped in two round gauges, surrounded by contrasting metal bezels. The choice of fascia finish is also significant - Volvo has eschewed the traditional leather look in favour of a new texture that conveys a sense of cutting-edge technical innovation.
The ultra-thin central instrument stack forms the uppermost layer. Boasting a prominent position in the centre of the car, it fulfils the role of a remote control unit in a contemporary home entertainment system.
Unlike most convertibles, the C70 is a full four-seater. Four adults can be seated in comfort on long journeys, roof up or down. The two rear seats have comfortably angled backrests and generous space to the side. The front seats are ergonomically shaped and can be folded forward easily to facilitate entry to the rear seat. Legroom in the front seat is also very generous. To further enhance comfort levels, the seats in the C70 are upholstered in a soft hide to offer all occupants a great level of comfort. A vibrant Cranberry accent leather is also available.
There are spacious storage areas beside each seat and several of them are linked to the car's central locking system for convenient locking using the remote control.
The boot is also spacious, for a convertible of this size. It has a 404-litre capacity roof-up and a still-generous 200-litres roof folded. A practical boot divider makes it easy to assess how much can be loaded with the roof down. To facilitate loading and unloading when the roof is down, the whole roof package is lifted approximately 200 mm with the aid of an electric motor and a control button. A ski hatch makes it possible to transport long objects.
QUALITY AND EQUIPMENT
A passion for high quality lies at the heart of the Volvo brand. This is inherent not only in the build quality that reflects the ruggedness, durability and reliability for which Volvo is renowned, but also in the choice of body and trim materials. From the exquisite, free-floating centre instrument stack to the discreet ‘theatre lighting', the Volvo C70 exudes a feeling of quality and well-being. The switchgear has a solid, chunky feel and the fascia is enveloped in soft-touch plastics, reminding occupants that they are enjoying a premium product
Volvo typically offers higher levels of equipment than rival premium car makers, and the Volvo C70 is one of the best equipped cars in its class. There are three trim levels available: ES, SE and SE Lux.
The ES model features a comprehensive standard specification including ECC (Electronic Climate Control), 16" alloy wheels, DSTC, front fog lights, power windows, information centre, Cruise Control, Passenger Airbag Cut Off Switch and Performance sound audio system with CD, floor mats, Bauxite trim and Borgholm upholstery.
Volvo never compromises on safety. Key safety equipment are standard on all Volvo C70 models including dual stage driver and passenger airbags, Volvo's SIPS (side impact protection system), plus ROPS (rollover protection system) and door-mounted inflatable curtain.
In addition to the equipment on the ES specification, the SE includes Bluetooth® handsfree, Rear Park Assist, 17" alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, power folding door mirrors including ground lights, and a high-performance 1xCD/radio audio system with eight speakers and 4x40 W amplifier.
Over and above the SE the top-of-the-range SE Lux has a power drivers seat, leather-faced upholstery and Active Bending Lights with Headlamp Cleaning System.
In addition, every C70 features IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System). The IDIS function continuously analyses the driver's activity by monitoring steering wheel movements, the position of the accelerator pedal, the indicator function and so on. This information is then processed and each moment is assigned an activity level.
In certain circumstances the driver can make phone calls, read text messages (not while driving) and receive traffic information. But when the road conditions require their full concentration - such as when they are braking, overtaking or manoeuvring - all non-essential signals from the telephone and peripheral systems are withheld until the incident is past. IDIS is pre-programmed to accommodate future information and telematics communication systems. The more infotainment functions the car possesses, the greater the benefit of IDIS.
The sophisticated electronic networking that makes IDIS possible also allows owners to personalise their vehicle. For example, the Volvo's C70 central locking system can be programmed via the menu option on the centre stack to offer the following options:
The system also allows the settings for the audio system to be customised - news and traffic alerts can be selected, for instance.
Customers can pick from a vast range of optional extras, and some are conveniently grouped together to offer better value, such as the Winter pack available on ES and SE models:
Heated front seats, headlamp cleaning system
Winter Pack with Active Bending Lights:
Active Bending Lights, heated front seats, headlamp cleaning system
Superb safety is a cornerstone of any new Volvo, and the C70 sets the standard in the convertible class. It is full of innovative safety solutions and offers similar safety standards to a saloon of the same size.
The lack of a fixed roof stimulated Volvo's safety engineers into developing the world's first door-mounted inflatable curtain. It inflates upwards, instead of being released from the roof as in the rest of the Volvo range. The innovative curtain has an especially stiff construction to help it remain upright and provide excellent head protection, even if the window is down. It deflates slowly, to provide continuing support in a roll over.
The A-pillars are ‘hydro-formed' in extra strength steel, providing even greater protection in the event of a roll-over. The pillars run all the way down to the body sills, for added strength.
To compensate for the lack of permanent B- or C-pillars, Volvo's innovative ROPS (Roll-Over Protection System) triggers metal roll-over bars that pop up behind the rear seats. Together with the strong A-pillars, they form a protective cage. The ROPS bars are also raised in the event of a rear impact to protect rear passengers from any flying objects from the vehicle behind. WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) in the front seats reduce whiplash injuries by moving the seat to absorb some of the forces during the impact.
B-pillars can also compromise side impact protection - but not on the C70. Volvo's SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) has been redesigned on the C70 using five powerful transverse floor members, reinforced diagonal door beams and strong crossmembers ahead of and behind the passenger compartment. In addition, the Volvo C70 can be fitted with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that uses cameras mounted in the side door mirrors to register if another vehicle is in the blind spot. A warning light near the mirror alerts the driver.
The natural agility of the C70, with its fully independent suspension and front-wheel drive, also boosts safety.
The C70 also has the usual suite of Volvo electronic primary safety features, to help avoid accidents by preventing slips, slides, traction loss, brake locking and spins. These include DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) that helps correct the car if it shows any tendency to skid, latest-generation ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and automatic EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) and the Intelligent Driver Information System that was introduced by Volvo Cars in 2003, IDIS.
As with all Volvos, the C70 was developed and extensively crash tested in the company's world renowned Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, to ensure class-leading safety.
‘Since the Volvo C70 does not have a fixed roof, we knew we had to find a different way of dealing with the incoming forces from an impact,' says Thomas Broberg, Volvo Cars Safety Centre. ‘This applies in most collision scenarios - frontal, offset, rear-end or side-impact. And it applies also in the event of the car rolling over.'
In a saloon or other vehicle with a fixed roof, incoming collision forces are led in a variety of directions, including up into the roof. This is naturally not possible in a convertible. Instead, the forces must be diverted through other paths into the body structure. An integrated network of beams and reinforcements interacts to help keep the passenger compartment as intact as possible.
The body structure with its controlled deformation zones provides effective protection even in an impact from the rear. The horseshoe-shaped member behind the rear seat and the double steel bulkhead behind the backrest help reduce the risk of penetration into the passenger compartment. And if the retractable hardtop has been folded down into the boot, it works together with the double bulkhead to absorb rear-end impact forces. The ROPS hoops are also activated in the event of a collision from the rear.
A compact construction and efficient packaging of the engine both help create space for deformation in the engine compartment.
A reminder system ensures all occupants, including those in the rear, fasten their seat belts - a Volvo invention, of course.
Pedestrian safety is also a priority, and is helped by the rounded extremities, ‘soft' area around the grille and the energy absorbent bonnet and front wings that reduce the risk of injury.
Volvo is committed to protecting the car, its occupants and their possessions.
The use of a hard-top rather than a soft-top convertible roof obviously improves security. Roof-up, the Volvo C70 offers similar security to a premium coupe or saloon. Every model features an anti-theft alarm including immobiliser, volume sensor and level sensor. The alarm even reacts to movement inside the car or a broken window, roof up or down. The alarm can also be activated by your hand-held remote control, should an emergency arise on your way to or from the car. The Volvo C70 also features a key integrated remote control locking including fuel flap with deadlocking system.
You can close or open all windows simultaneously and the door locks can be set to lock automatically when you drive away.
To illuminate your passage to and from the Volvo C70 at night, the car and its immediate environment can be lit up using the car's remote control. With the ground lighting in the door mirrors, the pool of light around the car is further extended.
The 'Volvo On Call' system is an advanced telematics programme that uses the integrated mobile phone and the built-in GPS satellite unit to ensure help is at hand. If an airbag is deployed in an accident, the Volvo On Call system automatically rings the emergency services. The satellite tells of your precise location even if the driver is unable to. Pressing the red SOS button on the integrated phone puts you straight through to the emergency services. If the car breaks down, the 'Volvo On call' button puts you straight through to a Volvo operator. Vehicle tracking is also available.
Volvo cares passionately about environmental protection, whether it's in reducing pollutants from its vehicles, or cutting pollutants entering the car. The well-being of people is at the core of every decision taken. Volvo's environmental dedication dates back to the 1970s and encompasses the car's entire lifecycle, from design, construction and production to use, servicing and recycling. The main focus is on efficient energy and resource utilisation, reduced emissions and non-allergenic car interiors.
The turbodiesel D3 and D4 diesel engines have a combined cycle fuel economy of 47.9 mpg (44.1mpg for Geartronic versions). Even the top-range high-performance model, the T5 Auto, gives excellent economy considering its performance potential - 30.1mpg on the combined cycle. Naturally, all three engines meet latest emission regulations. The petrol engine eliminates between 95-99 percent of harmful pollutants, while the diesel's particulate filter stops 95 percent of all soot particles from being emitted. The emission control system is designed to work efficiently as soon as possible after start-up - when emissions are at their highest. Even the fuel cap has been carefully designed to prevent emissions: it is designed to allow minimum fuel evaporation both when driving and stationary.
When the roof is up, a cabin filter prevents dust and pollen entering the car through the ventilation system. Optional AQS (Air Quality System) further filters out unhealthy or unpleasant traffic pollutants and can close the ventilation intakes completely.
‘Clean Inside and Out' Environmental commitment
Volvo's ‘Clean Inside and Out' commitment represents a holistic approach to the environmental impact of cars, including the ecological consequences of production, use and disposal of the vehicle.
Many people do not know that the air inside a car can be just as harmful as pollutants outside, or that the materials used in a car's interior can emit substances that can cause allergies and distress. The air-conditioning system also incorporates an air filter that prevents dust, pollen and exhaust gas particles entering the car.
The Volvo C70's cabin features materials that are hypoallergenic and free from any hazardous substances. They meet a strict international standard called Oeko-Tex. This also includes all materials that occupants are likely to touch, including exterior and interior door handles, upholsteries, plastics and ignition key.
All materials used in the manufacture of the Volvo C70 have been carefully chosen. Eighty-five percent of the car, by weight, can be recycled. Recycled wood fibre and felt are used in some interior trim, and all plastic components are specially marked to help recycling.