January 4, 2006 Volvo is revealing a sporty two-door concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9 January, which gives a strong indication of the design of an exciting, new smaller Volvo C30 model it will launch at the Paris Motor Show in September. The C30 Design Concept has a compact, sporty design with two doors, four individual seats and a distinctive glass tailgate. It is capable of 0-62mph in six seconds thanks to a high performance 260bhp, five-cylinder, 2.4-litre engine producing 350Nm of torque for plenty of flexibility from 2,100rpm.
The styling of the C30 Design Concept is inspired by the classic Volvo P1800 ES and Volvo's recent SCC (Safety Concept Car) and incorporates today's modern Volvo styling cues such as a boat-shaped aerodynamic front section and shapely rear shoulders enhanced by the horseshoe-shaped rear light clusters.
"The rear light pattern is so unusual that you'll never be in any doubt about what car you have in front of you," said Steve Mattin, design director at Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo has a busy schedule of new model launches in 2006, but the C30 will be one of the most significant as it does not replace an existing model and is designed to appeal to new, younger customers without children who want a compact premium car that's good to drive and has plenty of style. It will take Volvo into a new sector of the market, to compete against the popular Audi A3, BMW 1-Series or Alfa 147, and is part of Volvo's strategy to broaden its model range to achieve its global sales target of 600,000 cars per annum4.
"We know there are a large number of younger people who are attracted by the Volvo brand, but cannot find a compact model in our range that exactly matches their taste and needs," says Volvo Car Corporation's new President and CEO, Frederik Arp. "The Volvo C30 Design Concept has been developed precisely for this potentially important group of new customers," he continued.
Volvo carried out research clinics to gauge opinions of younger professional couples and singles across Europe. The results showed that most rarely need to take more than two people, and describe their ideal car as an agile, rewarding runabout; but, significantly, a good design and brand name are particularly important for them whether buying clothes, household items – or a car.