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Volvo's C30 hatch breaks cover before Detroit show

Cues from the past: The new C30 features styling cues from the P1800ES.

Volvo has accidently released teaser photos of its new C30 hatch

28 Dec 2005

WITH the Detroit motor show just around the corner, car-makers are releasing photos of the concepts they will debut at the important North American event.

However, Volvo has not only released teaser photos of its new C30 hatch in early December, but detailed photos of the car were accidently leaked on a Spanish Volvo web-site on Boxing Day and subsequently picked up around the world.

The C30 will be based on the S40/V50 platform but is about 10cm shorter than the S40. It will use the same architecture of the Ford Focus and Mazda3, and is clearly influenced by the Safety Concept Car and 3CC concept.

The C30 Design Concept to be shown at Detroit bears a strong resemblence to the actual production car, which will be unveiled at September’s Paris motor show and go on sale in Europe and North America in 2007.

Production is due to start at the end of 2006 at Volvo’s Ghent factory in Belgium.

Visually the three-door C30 borrows some heritage cues – like the large glass rear hatch – from Volvo’s successful ES1800 back in the 1970s.

Inside the cabin adopts the dashboard and seats from the S40, including the floating centre console and brush aluminium highlights.

The car is somewhat larger than Audi A3 three-door and although not confirmed, a five-door hatch is mooted. The C30 is expected to not only challenge the A3, but the BMW 1 Series, Mini Cooper and VW Golf in the premium hatch segment.

The front differs little to the S40 and V50, Volvo has saved its styling points for the car’s rear end, which uses a large glass hatch with the words “Volvo” prominently displayed. The large tail lights extend upwards on the C-pillar to the roof.

The C30 is expected to be powered by a range of diesel and petrol engines.

European buyers will have a choice of four or five cylinder petrol engines with a high performance T5 model on offer, developing 162kW and 320Nm.

Three diesel engines, a 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and possibly 2.4-litre, are expected to be offered in Europe.

According to the Volvo C30 project director, Hakan Abrahamsson, the C30 was targeted at customers with a “fast paced world between their homes, work, meetings, the gym and their favorite restaurants and nightclubs in town”.

“The Safety Concept Car (SCC) heralded a bold design language for Volvo. Its roots could be found in the classic proportions of the P1800 ES, but there was no denying that it was also a Volvo of the future. As it turned out, the SCC is an excellent reflection of our ambition for the C30 project,” he said.

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