First Look: 2011 Volvo C70

By Editors on November 30, 2009 10:32 AM

Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month, and hitting European showrooms later in the year, the next-gen Volvo C70 won't be arriving In the U.S. until early 2011. But with its dramatic new look and even more emphasis on a premium driving experience, the compact retractable hardtop should be well positioned to grab even more customers when it finally does turn up on our shores. Fedde Talsma, exterior chief designer at Volvo Cars, sees the new C70 as an upward extension of the original package. He notes: "What we have done is to carefully redesign the front and rear so they harmonize more with both today's and tomorrow's Volvo models." Much of that revamping reflects themes introduced in the S60 Concept car shown earlier this year. A more angular fascia, redrawn character lines and bolder grille and headlamp treatments give the new C70 more impact up front while XC60-flavored LED taillamps that preside over its aggressively shaped rear valance make a stronger statement there, as well. As before, the C70 is crowned with a three-piece steel retractable hardtop that raises/lowers at the touch of a button in less than 30 seconds.

Talsma says a comprehensive cabin restyle that brings a new dash, model-specific gauges/instruments and richer materials further elevate the C70's position in the Volvo hierarchy. "We've focused the new interior features around the driver to give the owner a stronger perception of being rewarded behind the wheel. The seats are upholstered in a new type of soft hide and there is even better detail finish to make driving a more pleasurable experience than ever before."

While offering a full line of gasoline and diesel engines in other markets, we're advised that the U.S. C70 will continue on in T5 spec, driving its front wheels with a 225-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 that will likely be backed by either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.