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.