The new Volvo C30 a street smart Swede with loads of attitude


The C30 is undoubtedly Volvo’s most playful and spontaneous car model to date. It appeals to customers who spend most of their time in a city environment and who want a car with character and excellent driving properties. They want a car that raises a few eyebrows with its unique style and personality, which is exactly what the new Volvo C30 offers.

The new Volvo C30 steps out and shows the model’s full potential and personality – it offers customers a generous dose of road presence as well as a variety of bold styling choices. Like its predecessor, the new Volvo C30 is designed to stand out in the premium hatchback crowd.

This can be seen in the fresh, self-assured design of the front, and is emphasized by a new range of options, including a bold and stylish accessory styling kit.

“Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car’s entire personality has been boosted to a new level,” says Daniel Backman, Product Manager for the new Volvo C30.

The new exterior is also a better match for the way the C30 drives – challenging, direct and with a whole lot of attitude,” continues Daniel Backman.

“When you drive a C30, you instantly stand out from the crowd”, says Michelle Naudé, Marketing Director Volvo Car South Africa, “it’s the bolder choice for those who want a truly sexy coupé hatch with all the comfort and refinement that Volvo is known for.”

Striking new front
The renewal of the Volvo C30 is more comprehensive than is usually the case with Volvo’s models. At its initial launch, the C30 created a stir with its unique look, and with the facelift will grab even more attention. The entire front has been redesigned, including body panels such as the front wings. This gives the car a radical new appearance, carving out a distinctive personality which clearly separates the new C30 from the Volvo S40 and V50.

“By integrating greater depth into the design language, the front has become more dramatic and expressive. Along with the angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps, which now slant upward, reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness,” says Fedde Talsma, Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo Cars.

Front and centre is the new, larger iron mark. The air intake has also grown in size and resembles the intake in the XC60, while the new pattern on the grille is unique to the C30.

“The fact that the C30 has enhanced its visual volume and self-confidence is entirely in line with Volvo Cars’ design strategy. At the same time, the C30 has a one of a kind expression. The new honeycomb grille, for instance, means it takes just a quick glance in the rear-view mirror to see that the car filling your view is the new Volvo C30,” continues Fedde Talsma.

Although the biggest design changes have taken place at the front, the rear also sports the same deep new lines and detailing. The Volvo C30’s contours are much more dynamic than before. The black plastic panels have been replaced with more body colour lower down, to forge a closer visual contact between the car and the road surface.

The other new exterior features:

  • Elegant and trendy new body colour, Orange Flame Metallic
  • Visible exhaust tailpipe on some high-end models
  • Two new wheel options – and for the first time, white wheels are available!

“The white wheels will no doubt raise a few eyebrows,” says Michelle Naude, “but that’s the point – the new C30 offers more choice for those who dare to be different.”

Bold interior options
The new Volvo C30 also offers a range of new interior options. Among other things, there is now an all-new colour combination known as Espresso/Blond, consisting of a dark brown upper section and a blond, fresh shade on the lower door sides. The blond tone is somewhere between grey and beige and is an expression of Volvo’s strong Scandinavian design tradition. The bold new colour for leather upholstery – Cranberry – is ideal for those who want to stand out from the crowd.

“We know that a large proportion of C30 customers want to make detailed interior choices. They want to decide for themselves what their car should look like. The new C30 gives them a range of fresh, modern style cues to choose from,” explains Maria Uggla, Program Chief Designer Colour & Trim at Volvo Cars.

“We have also focused on making it easier for customers to match exterior design elements with interior trim in an attractive way, something that has been made that much easier with the new Espresso/Blond colour combination,” continues Maria Uggla.

Yet another new feature is the luggage compartment cover in the rear, which uses a new material and a new graphic pattern to further enhance the car’s modern image.

Rock-star centre stack
Volvo’s special centre stack is already available in a range of innovative variants. Now another new option is being added, Oyster Burst Déco. Volvo’s design team was inspired by the surface texture of the classic Swedish Hagström guitars that enjoyed world renown in the hands of stars such as Elvis Presley back in the 1950s. Hagström used the word “burst” in many of its model names and gave their guitars a pattern that shifted subtly from light to dark and back again. Just like in the new centre stack of the Volvo C30.

Add this to any of the new colours and wheel options, and your sleek and stylish Volvo C30 instantly becomes a talking point.

Accessories with a global theme
The Volvo C30 hits the mark with buyers who have a keen eye for design. A youthful new accessory styling kit with a bolder, less polished style gives the C30 even more attitude. The kit includes foglamp décor, a front skidplate, side scuff plates with an engraved C30 logo and a rear skidplate with a stylish aluminium look. On the T5 derivative, two 90 mm tail pipes in polished stainless steel are added to underline the powerful engine.

The exterior detailing is complemented by a dramatic interior where the pattern of the floor mats forms a world map. The aluminium centre stack, including inner door handles, is inspired by an ancient nautical chart and a sea adventure map. Its pattern shows longitude and latitude lines as well as dashed direction lines to further emphasise the explorer theme.

Quick C30 facts

  • The new Volvo C30 is available with a choice of 12 different exterior body colours
  • The 11 leather upholstery choices available now would increase the combination possibilities
  • Then a choice of 5 decor inlays in the centre stack increases the range of combinations even further
  • Being able to specify the car with or without a rear spoiler doubles the number of configurations
  • Active bending lights as an option
  • Emergency brake lights and hazards are now standard
  • All in all, there are so many unique combinations that Volvo thinks our target market is going to love expressing their individuality in their car.

Volvo C30 engine range
Locally the new Volvo C30 will be available in 1.6 petrol manual, a 2.0 petrol in either manual or powershift and the awe-inspiring T5 R-Design coupled with either a manual or Geartronic gearbox. At launch the R-Design package will be offered exclusively with the T5.

Petrol engines  Power output   Fuel consumption          CO2
T5 (2.5 litres)  169kW/320 Nm              8.7 l/100 km                   203 g/km
2.0   107kW/185 Nm              7.4 l/100 km                   177 g/km
1.6   74kW/150 Nm              7.0 l/100 km                   167 g/km

  • All the engines are extremely compact and installed transversely in the engine bay for the best possible safety and maximum cabin space
  • Turbo technology is used in the T5 engine to deliver the best possible performance

Dynamic new chassis
The new sport chassis, which is standard on the T5 R-Design and optional on the C30 2.0, is considerably sharper, with stiffer and more distinct properties than before. The steering is more precise due to the installation of stiffer bushings and the steering ratio is lower, allowing a 10 % faster response to steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been increased by no less than 30% in order to increase the car’s poise during more enthusiastic driving. The dampers are also stiffer and are now of the exclusive mono-tube type that builds up pressure much more quickly. The vehicle’s roll stabilizers are also stiffer to reduce any leaning tendency when taking corners.

Volvo’s chassis experts have put the new sport chassis through a regime of intensive tests throughout Europe, on narrow, twisting lanes in England, at high speed on the German autobahn as well as on icy winter roads in the very north of Scandinavia. And the results are highly gratifying.

“A customer who test-drives the new C30 R-Design will immediately feel the difference. Even before the car has covered fifty metres, the driver will be aware of the crisp steering and the distinct chassis response. We are very pleased with the result and have considerable hope that keen drivers will feel the same way,” continues Stefan Sällqvist.

New Volvo C30 T5 R-Design
The Volvo C30 T5 R-Design is unarguably the sportiest and most dynamic model in the current Volvo line-up.

The biggest changes in the new Volvo C30 R-Design are actually hidden beneath the skin. Despite the car’s extrovert body kit and design cues it’s the chassis and steering that have been the main focus of attention. As a result the new Volvo C30 R-Design offers a sporty driving experience and a sophisticated feeling of comfort to match the very best.

“With the new sport chassis, the new R-Design builds further on the success of the sport chassis introduced in the Volvo S80 earlier in 2009. Although the actual properties differ between these two car categories, we’ve had plenty of good experience on which to build further in the Volvo C30,” says Stefan Sällqvist, manager Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Cars.

The most noticeable design change is the R-Design’s all-new body kit featuring a redesigned front and rear. The body kit is painted the same colour as the rest of the body, creating the impression that the car has been lowered by more than the actual 10 mm reduction in ride height. The new C30 R-Design is also equipped with five-spoke Cratus wheels and the interior is now available with dramatic new black upholstery as an alternative.

Popular choice
The new Volvo C30 R-Design is designed for the discerning younger customer looking for a personalised car with an exclusive, sporty nature. R-Design has become a way for Volvo Cars to boost the company’s attractiveness as a brand and to enhance a more emotive connection to its products. And customer surveys show that this strategy is paying off. On some markets, no less than 80 % of all C30 customers choose R-Design. A large proportion of these customers are under 35 years old. More than in any other instance, these are customers who have come from a different car make.

“What has enticed these customers to Volvo are the design and attitude of the R-Design model. In this way, R-Design has helped both increase our sales and bring down the average age of our customer base, both of which are very positive moves,” says Lennart Stegland, president of Volvo Special Vehicles.

Volvo C30 R-Design features:

  • R-Design badge in the grille
  • Grille and door mirror housings in special silk metal finish
  • Body kit with front and rear spoilers, lower door trim moulding and side-skirts colour-matched to the rest of the body
  • New 17-inch five-spoke Cratus aluminium wheels (18-inch optional)
  • Tailgate spoiler
  • Visible chrome-plated sports tailpipes (90 mm)


  • Upholstery in two colour combinations: cream-coloured leather with sides in dark grey
  • Flex-Tec, or off-black leather with edges in off-black (new)
  • Embossed R-Design emblem in the front seats
  • R-Design centre stack and panel inserts
  • Gear lever knob trimmed in leather and aluminium
  • Sports pedals in aluminium, with rubber ribs
  • Sports steering wheel trimmed in leather, with R-Design emblem
  • Blue speedometer and rev counter gauges
  • Textile floor mats with contrasting piping

More choice and more attitude
The new Volvo C30 builds on the previous model’s unique character by offering buyers even more choice, personality and exclusivity. The C30 is bold and refined, and offers buyers a unique choice in the premium hatch market. The new colours and accessories – and especially the T5 R-Design – encourage buyers to have even more fun with their Volvo C30.

New Volvo C30 Pricing

  • Volvo C30 1.6 manual   R227, 400
  • Volvo C30 2.0 manual   R255, 700
  • Volvo C30 2.0 Powershift  R271, 200
  • Volvo C30 T5 R-Design manual  R328, 500
  • Volvo C30 T5 R-Design Geartronic R341, 000