Design  - Overview - Volvo C70

The new Volvo C70 is a modern, handsome, sports vehicle designed to look good roof up or down. 'The use of a hard-top instead of soft-top gives us a big advantage in style,' says Volvo's British-born design director Peter Horbury. 'Roof up, the car looks just as good as a purpose-built coupé. Equally, the compact three-piece roof design minimises the size of the folded roof stack, improving convertible style and packaging.'

The redesigned front of the new Volvo C70 takes inspiration from the S60 Concept that was unveiled in early 2009, thereby making the C70 more closely aligned with the design language of the larger cars in the Volvo range.

The refresh extends beyond plastic components as the front wings have been redesigned to give the nose a more distinct wedge-shape. There are new headlamps which now have a more pronounced upward orientation, whilst more detail has been added around the fog lamps and the lower grille. From the front, the bonnet and grille form an open, inviting "V" shape, whilst the enlarged iron mark and the new, larger air intakes reinforce a strong on-the-road stance. To offer even more road presence a dramatic Flamenco Red Pearl has been introduced.

The shoulder line swings up towards the rear to give an impression of dynamism and reinforces the feeling of a protective collar around those travelling in the back.

The rear of the car continues the front's new bold design. High-tech LED lamps, as found on the XC60, are the most noticeable addition to the rear and the entire lamp unit is now clearly integrated with the oval that frames the new C70's rear panel.

The new Volvo C70 is not overtly aggressive in design. Instead, it is clean and simple, classically Scandinavian, with a minimum of fuss and uncomplicated rather than complex surfacing. Its stance is low, hunkered down to the road.

The hard-top makes the Volvo C70 a considerably more practical and secure vehicle compared to its soft-top premium brand rivals, as well as a more handsome one.

'We wanted to create two cars in one, without compromising,' says project manager Patrik Widerstrand. 'We have succeeded in creating a car that is both an elegant convertible and a sporty coupe. A touch of a button transforms the car.'

Apart from the extra flexibility, the retractable metal roof also makes for a quieter, more comfortable coupe. The normal-sized rear window, made of real glass, offers excellent rear visibility and has improved demisting compared with a plastic screen. It also gives extra rigidity to the body.

One of the many brilliant design features is the boot: made from aluminium, it opens rear-hinged to stow the folding roof and front-hinged (as in a normal car) to load luggage.

Unique Retractable Three-piece Metal Roof:

Hard-top roof goes up or down in less than 30 seconds
Three-piece metal design folds more compactly than rival two-piece designs
Hard-top roof reduces NVH and aids security, as well as improving style

The advantages of the hard-top over a soft-top roof are numerous. The metal roof improves the styling of the car top-up, it reduces NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), it aids security, and it gives the new Volvo C70 its two cars-in-one character, without any compromises.

The roof panels are made from steel and - unusually - are divided into three sections. Most hard-top convertibles have two-section roofs, which require much more space when stacked. The joints between the sections have rubber seals. The roof is closed and opened automatically, at the touch of a cabin button, in less than 30 seconds. An electric motor, hydraulic pump and computer are used to activate and control the roof.

Folding hard-top roofs are renowned for robbing much - and sometimes virtually all - the luggage space. On the new Volvo C70, the boot still has a spacious 200 litres of space when the roof is down. A practical roof divider in the boot makes it easy to assess how much can be loaded when the roof is down. To improve access when loading, roof-down, a 'load assist' button in the boot lifts the folded roof panels 200 mm.

Designed and developed in conjunction with Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina, the roof is a masterpiece of engineering, and extremely easy to use. Just push a button and the roof is raised or lowered automatically. Volvo recommends it should only be operated when the car is stationary. The rigidity of the car is improved by about 15 percent when the roof is raised.

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