For the past ten years, Volvo has been moving away from their reputation of making boxy cars. While the original design is an effort of the company in relation to their “safety first” philosophy, competition have upped the ante in terms of designs in an effort to attract younger buyers that will remain loyal to them. The logical step therefore is for Volvo to design stylish car in consonance with today’s standards. But the effort to alter their tried and tested design must be done while still keeping the safety of their customers in mind. This evolution in the design of Volvo cars is apparent in its first entry to the compact luxury car market which is the Volvo C30.
The car’s exterior, designed by Simon Lamarre, is a testament to the company’s effort to connect with the younger generation of car buyers. The Volvo C30 is a combination of modern styling and a touch of past styling evident on the coupe’s glass tailgate. The designed penned by the Canadian-born designer relies on the long rear side windows, rear side panels, and the rear window with upright taillights on each side to catch the attention of its prospective buyers. The interior of the Volvo C30 is designed to impress, with its floating center stack as the first thing that anyone will notice upon entering the vehicle.
The car is essentially a four seater but the compact design of the coupe makes access to the second row of seats a little bit hard. But the car is intended by Volvo to be used as a two seater with extra luggage space. With this in mind, the second row of seats can be folded down to increase its luggage capacity to 32 cubic feet from a meager 10 cubic feet with the second row of seats in an upright position. The sloping roof of the coupe limits the view to the rear and decreases the headspace for anyone sitting on the second row.
While the design of the car has been given much attention, the performance has also been given the same thought. The coupe’s powerplant is a turbocharged five-cylinder engine which can provide up to 218 horsepower and coupled to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission depending on what the customer opts for. Both transmissions facilitate the smooth transition of power from the Volvo plug-induced combustion in the souped up engine to the wheels. The engine can power the car from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds and can further give it a top speed of 146 mph. Suspension comes in two settings which are the Comfort and the Dynamic which allows the driver to adapt the suspension to the terrain he is driving his over.
Safety is once again emphasized by Volvo in the development of the car; after all, the Ford Motor Company subsidiary is known the world over by their safety-first attitude towards car production. The coupe has the standard airbags and safety belts which are the most advanced in any vehicle in the market. It also carries with it two safety systems just recently developed and employed by Volvo on their cars. One of the systems is the BLIS technology or Blindspot Information System which uses cameras to alert the driver if any car has entered his blindspot. Another system being employed by the car is IDIS or Intelligent Driver Information System which will suppress text messages and non-critical warnings when it senses that the driver is working the car hard. The system does this with the aid of sensors that checks the steering, throttle, and brakes and turn signals.
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