The Volvo C30 R-Design is the nearest thing to a dedicated sports car in the present Volvo model range.
The new chassis stiffer, more distinct properties add sharpness to the sporty drive - and the exclusive extra equipment gives the C30 R-Design just the right attitude.
The new Volvo C30 R-Design's most significant changes are hidden beneath the car's extrovert body kit. The chassis experts have focused on creating a sporty driving experience and a sophisticated feeling of comfort to match the very best.
"The new R-Design chassis builds further on the success of the sport chassis introduced in the Volvo S80 earlier in 2009. Although the actual properties differ between these two car models, we've had plenty of good experience to inject in the C30 project," says Stefan Sällqvist, manager Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Cars.
Significant changes to the sport chassis
The optional R-Design chassis has been modified in several areas. The steering is more precise owing to the installation of stiffer bushings. The steering ratio is lower, giving 10 percent faster response to steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been increased by no less than 30 percent in order to increase the car's poise in enthusiastic driving. The dampers are also stiffer and the exclusive mono-tube technology builds up pressure much more quickly. The roll stabilizers are stiffer to reduce any leaning tendency when cornering.
The new sport chassis has made the C30 R-Design a better-balanced and more agile car. Road contact is more distinct and feedback from the wheels is faster and clearer, promoting a more alert feeling while driving. This is something that also benefits safety.
"The driver should feel confident that the car is eager to behave exactly as expected. That is an important part of our safety focus when we develop new chassis. This feeling of security also means the driver can fully enjoy the sporty driving characteristics," says Stefan Sällqvist.
Good test results, clear differences
Volvo's chassis experts have put the new R-Design chassis through a regime of intensive tests throughout Europe. The programme has included narrow, twisting lanes in England, high speed driving on the German autobahn as well as icy winter roads in the very north of Scandinavia.
"A customer who test-drives the new C30 R-Design will immediately feel the difference. Even before the car has covered fifty metres, the driver will be aware of the crisp steering and the distinct chassis response. We are very pleased with the result and beleive that keen drivers will feel the same way," continues Stefan Sällqvist.
New colour-matched body kit
The most noticeable design change is an all-new body kit featuring a redesigned front and rear. The body kit is colour-coordinated with the rest of the body, giving a visual impression that the car has been lowered more than the actual 10 mm reduction in ride height. The new C30 R-Design is also equipped with five-spoke Cratus wheels that are the hallmark of the R-Design range. The interior is now available with dramatic new black upholstery as an alternative.
C30 R-Design - an overview
The R-Design package allows customers the option of choosing between seven exterior body colours and offers a range of specially designed exterior and interior details.
R-Design attracts new customers
The R-Design sales version has been designed for the discerning younger customer segment that is looking for a personalised car with an exclusive, sporty nature.
At the same time, R-Design has become a way for Volvo Cars to boost the company's attractiveness as a brand and to enhance a more emotive connection to its products. And customer surveys show that this strategy is paying off.
On some markets, no less than 80 percent of all C30 customers choose R-Design. A large proportion of these customers are under 35 years old and many of them come to Volvo from a different car make.
"The design and attitude of the R-Design model are pulling in more and more young customers. In this way, R-Design has helped both increase our sales and bring down the average age of the Volvo buyers, two very positive moves," says Susanna Johansson, Product Manager R-Design at Volvo Special Vehicles.
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