Volvo C70

Latin for "I roll," Volvo has been making cars since the first of its kind tumbled off the assembly line back in 1927. Even during those early pre-Great Depression days, Volvo founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larsson placed a solid emphasis on vehicular safety, a maxim that holds just as strong today as it did back then.

More on the Volvo C70
Volvo C70 Origins

By the time the U.S. car-craze of the 1950s swung into action, Volvo had already begun to establish its brand in the states with the highly successful compact PV444. The frontrunners of car safety, Volvo pioneered many of the features that came standard in many automobiles today in the ensuing decades: three-point safety belts, padded dashboards, child-proof locks, energy resistant crumple zones, rear-facing child seats, and collapsible steering columns.

Up until the mid-to-late 1990s, Volvo cars were known for being rather "boxy" and rectangular in design. The introduction of the two-door Volvo C70 in 1997 signaled a company-wide body-shift towards a shapelier, rounded, sculpted aesthetic. Developed over a period of two-and-a-half years, the Volvo C70 brought together a trio of automotive artists and experts: British designer Peter Horbury, Mexican designer Jose Diaz de la Vega, and the Tom Walkinshaw Racing team.

Throughout its long and successful career in the automotive industry, Volvo offered an exhaustive list of exclusive coupes to car enthusiasts who relish a balanced combination of comfort, safety, solid road handling, and high performance. Unveiled at the 1996 Paris Auto Show, the Volvo C70 owes a debt of gratitude to some of its performance and design predecessors: the Volvo P1800, 262C, and 780.

About the Volvo C70

Available as either a coupe or a soft-top convertible, the Volvo C70 was equipped with five-cylinder engines with the buyer’s choice for either an automatic or manual transmission. Drawing power from either a 190 hp or a 236 hp turbocharged inline engine, the Volvo C70 was decently robust but not the powertrain standout in its class, as were some of its competitors of the time.

In spite of the C70’s notable features, the first generation Volvo C70 soft-top convertible was not without its downsides, most notably, "Scuttle Shake," which is an issue common to many convertibles. Because there’s no roof, the middle chassis of the car has a tendency to shake and vibrate when traveling over uneven or rough roads.

Volvo C70 Features

Spread out over three trim choices (T5, T5 Premier Plus, and T5 Platinum), opting for the base level gets buyers plenty: leather seats, keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth, eight-speaker surround system, satellite radio, and an iPod/USB jack. Up it to Premier Plus and consumers receive parking sensors and an on-board compass, while at the upper echelon’s Platinum level, bonuses include a navigation system, and a 14-speaker surround sound audio extravaganza. There’s also a Climate Package eligible on all trims.

Under the hood, the two-door, four-seater Volvo C70 comes packed with a turbocharged 2.5-liter, inline, five-cylinder engine good for 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Estimated EPA fuel economy for the 2012 C70 comes out at 18/28 mpg city/highway.

As would be expected from Volvo, abundant safety features abound throughout with child seat anchors, electronic brake force distribution, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, automatically deploying roll bars, and dual front and side mounted airbags.

Volvo C70 Evolution

When the Volvo C70 made its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1996; journalists were thrilled, due in no small part to the obvious exterior alteration from Volvo’s previous square design to the C70’s decidedly less angular appearance. By the time the second generation of Volvo C70’s rolled around in 2007, designers took the aerodynamic look a step further, offering a Volvo body with even more pronounced curvy edges intended to communicate a richer, sleeker look.

Originally available in either a coupe or convertible, by 2002, Volvo decided to drop the coupe model altogether. Three years after that, the company replaced the convertible soft top with a futuristic retractable hard top version that opens and closes in about 30 seconds at the push of a button.

Driven by a roll-over protection structure, fire-proof roll hoops hidden behind the rear seats that deploy upon impact, and air bags with a stiffer construction, the innovative nature of the second generation Volvo C70’s safety features proves once again that the Swedish manufacturer leads the industry when it comes to passenger protection.

Select a Volvo C70 Year

2013 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

2012 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

For 2012, the C70 gets new Premier Plus and Platinum models, and a new color: Caspian Blue Metallic.

2011 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

The C70 features substantially revised styling via a freshened nose, grille, front fenders, headlights, rear fascia and LED taillights. The C70 has been updated inside as well with a new dashboard, textures, premium leather and unique gauges. Now standard is the 5-speed automatic transmission (the manual has been dropped), 17-in alloy wheels, Sirius satellite radio, plus two new colors, Flamenco Red and Ember Black. Meanwhile, the Premium package has been deleted; a new Convenience package includes rear parking assist and keyless ignition.

2010 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

2009 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

The 2009 Volvo C70 is a luxury convertible that eschews style, while still focusing on safety.

2008 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

The 2008 Volvo C70 was first introduced to the market at large in the late 1990s.

2007 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

While it’s true that there may be better performing convertibles on the market, the 2007 Volvo C70 offers plenty of style, good looks, and safety features to make it a car worth considering.

2006 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

2004 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

The Volvo C70 never really managed to take-off when first introduced.

2003 Volvo C70

Convertible, Luxury

2002 Volvo C70

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

The 2002 Volvo C70 coupe or convertible faces some serious competition.

2001 Volvo C70

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

The introduction of the two-door Volvo C70 in 1997 signaled a company-wide body-shift towards a shapelier, rounded, sculpted aesthetic.

2000 Volvo C70

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

Introduced in 1997, the Volvo C70 went from its typical boxy shape to a Volvo featuring a newer design in 2000.

1999 Volvo C70

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

The 1999 Volvo C70 classifies as a convertible manufactured and sold by Volvo from 1997 onward.

1998 Volvo C70

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

Forget Volvo’s typical sedans and wagons.