Friday, May 21, 2010

2011 Volvo C30 T5 R-Design

Sweden’s tumultuous auto industry dutifully and consistently cranks out modestly conservative, refined sedans – but occasionally a wicked little something sneaks through the cracks and reminds us that those Nordic dwellers like a little spice in their lives. Enter the refreshed 2011 Volvo C30 T5 R-Design.

Over the last decade or so, the Saab camp offered up the hot-rod 9000 Aero, the sprightly, torque steer-plagued 9-3 Viggen hatchback and the voluptuous Aero X concept car, but it is Volvo that is really known for uncharacteristic spurts of emotion sliced in between “respectable” family haulers.

“It’s not your Uncle Olaf’s Volvo,” touted ads for the then-revolutionary turbocharged 850 sedan more than 15 years ago. Volvo tossed its stodgy image aside and started to build outlandish bright yellow turbocharged wagons with Alcantara-covered seats and a Porsche-massaged five-banger. Ever since, the “I Roll” brand has, between building modestly luxurious sedans, wagons and SUVs, proven that it can rock, too.

What is it?
Slotted below the S40 sedan and V50 wagon, the C30 takes its general flair from Volvo’s iconic P1800 ES three-door wagons that debuted back in 1972. Those shapely wagonbacks only lasted for two model years, but their legacy has made them cult collector’s items.

The C30 was first introduced to the United States as a 2008 model (small car-friendly Canada got it a few months earlier as a 2007). Quirky and unique from the tail end, the C30 was virtually identical to the much more sedate S40 up front. To rectify this stylistic confusion, Volvo gave the C30 a far more daring front fascia for 2011.

Our test C30 featured the sport-oriented R-Design trim level, which adds a full body kit, partial-leather seats, a sporty steering wheel, a sport suspension, a few additional upgrades and $2,350 to the base C30 T5. All C30s in the United States come with Volvo’s ubiquitous 2.5-liter turbo five-cylinder (which means T5 in Volvo-speak) and either a six-speed stick or (as tested) a five-speed automatic.

Not cheap at nearly $33,000 as-tested, the C30 still smarts from historically challenging Euro-to-dollar exchange rates.

1 comment:

sachin said...

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auto body

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