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2008 Volvo C30

By Larry Edsall

On Sale: October 2007
Expected Pricing: $23,000-$26,000

Volvo is launching a new luxury compact car for 2008 called the C30. Already on sale in Europe, the four-seat hatchback will be coming across the Atlantic this fall loaded with safety features. It promises sporty handling and performance with upscale appointments and comfort. The C30 will start at $22,700 for the C30 Version 1.0 and $25,700 for the C30 Version 2.0 (prices do not include destination charges of $695).

The 2008 Volvo C30 should appeal to at least two groups of people: Those who are young and successful, who like the practicality of a hatchback that seats four, but who can afford something a little more upscale; and those with fond memories of the old P1800 ES sport wagon.

The C30 also will appeal to people who buy Volvos for their emphasis on protecting the people inside. The C30 will come with electronic stability control, anti-whiplash head rests, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, and other safety features engineered by the world-renowned expert.

The Volvo C30 shares underpinnings with the S40 sedan and S50 wagon, which share underpinnings with the acclaimed European Ford Focus, an athletic compact that shares only its name with the American Focus.

The exterior design of the C30 was inspired in part by the old P1800 ES and in part by the Volvo Safety Concept Car. The result is a stylish hatchback with a large glass backlight.

The C30 is 8.5 inches shorter than the S40, but slightly wider. It shares the S40's powertrain (engine, transmission), but will provide spunkier performance, benefiting from its lighter weight (320 pounds lighter than the S40). Volvo reportedly is tuning the suspension on the firm side and 0-60 mph sprint times of less than seven seconds are anticipated. This sounds like a quick car with sporty handling to us.

Both versions of the C30 are powered by a turbocharged T5 5-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower. Manual and automatic transmissions will be available.

A concept for the C30 was displayed on the auto show circuit a couple of winters ago with a 260-hp, turbocharged engine, so we know such an engine fits under the hood. We also know several aftermarket tuners are ready with performance and customization parts for the car as soon as it arrives.


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