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Volvo C70 PDF Print E-mail
Volvo is generally regarded as the maker of ultra-safe but rather staid and cumbersome sedans, frequently driven by middle-aged men wearing hats. Not a producer of a stylish coup?-convertible that would appeal to both genders and, particularly those young at heart. But that is exactly what the new Volvo C70 is offering and it has just been released in Thailand.

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The C70 was originally conceived and developed by Tom Walkinshaw?s TWR company in 1997 and was built at Tom?s 51 per cent-owned facility in Uddevalla in western Sweden. More than 50,000 cars were built until it was discontinued in March 2005. Now TWR has gone bust and the factory is 60 per cent owned by Turin styling house Pininfarina, 40 per cent by Volvo. And the second-generation C70 has been jointly engineered and developed by these two companies.

The latest C70, says Volvo, started life as a conventional coup?, but the design team, headed by Fedde Talsma, decided to ?open it up?, creating an open or closed car, according to whim and weather. The new car is shorter and lower than its predecessor, but retains the same width. Unlike some of its rivals, it is a full four-seater, with wide opening doors to facilitate ease of access to the rear.

While the C70 may not be the first coup?-convertible on the market, it is the first with a three-piece top in the premium segment. It takes less than 30 seconds for the roof to disappear into its dedicated trunk compartment. Unfortunately, with the roof down, the trunk capacity is halved, but a practical trunk divider makes it easy to assess how much luggage can be accommodated when the roof is lowered.

The interior is modern and typically Scandinavian in design, with clean surfaces, genuine materials and a sound degree of functionality, as found in the best Swedish furniture. On a more important issue, there is a cabin air filter and an advanced air-quality monitor that ensures the air occupants breathe is as clean and healthy as possible. It shuts out or removes unhealthy particles, gases and odors. In addition, all interior fabrics meet the ?ko-Tex Standard 100 which ensures that textiles and leather are free from allergy-inducing substances or harmful emissions.

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An open-closed car is a serious challenge to an audio engineer, but in the C70 its occupants can experience a world-class sound system, complete with a mind-boggling 910W output, Dynaudio speakers and dual subwoofers behind the backrests. To cope with the changeable conditions from closed to open configuration, Volvo has invested in the latest digital technology to adapt the sound system and maintain consistent reproduction.

Two power plants are available in Thailand: a five cylinder 2.4i with continuous variable valve timing on the inlet side, or a five-cylinder, turbocharged 20-valve model with variable timing on both inlet and exhaust camshafts. The 2.4i produces 170 bhp (125 kW); the T5 220 bhp. Performance figures are a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 10 seconds for the smaller unit, eight seconds for the T5. Maximum velocity is 215 and 235 km/h respectively.

More significantly, the torque output of the T5 is a strong 320 Nm, produced between 1500 and 4800 rpm. The 2.4 liter model still offers good torque of 230 Nm, but peaks at 4400 rpm. Both cars are only offered with a five-speed automatic transmission in this market.

Volvo expects to sell 16,000 of the C70 annually, with half that total going to the US. The UK and Germany will account for roughly 30 per cent, with the remainder going to other markets, including Thailand. According to Volvo Cars? research, every second C70 coup?-convertible will be owned by a female.

Prices are 4.19m baht for the 2.4i, 4.79m for the T5.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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