Volvo is out to attract new and younger buyers with its first true small car, the C30 hatchback, which will debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Volvo this week released photos of then two-door, four-seater, which features a glass tailgate.
Production will begin at the end of 2006 for sale in Europe early in 2007. The C30 is expected in New Zealand late next year.
Volvo CEO, Fredrik Arp, says the C30 is "a cool car...that aims for a group of young singles, or couples, with an intense urban lifestyle. These people prioritise excitement in design and driving characteristics, and this car is designed to suit their taste and lifestyle."
Volvo plans to sell 65,000 C30s a year - 75 percent in Europe with the largest markets in Italy, Germany, Spain and Britain.
The peroduction car is based on the Volvo C30 concept car shown at the 2006 Detroit Motor Show, and retains the show car's angled headlights and low, wide grille.
Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housings and sloping roof give the new C30 a fast silhouette, enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows. The rear haunches are powerfully rounded and are accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern of the taillights, and the glass tailgate. The spoiler at the upper edge of the tailgate is available in two different versions.
The C30 has two separate rear seats with generous head and legroom. The rear seats are slightly centred to provide a feeling of space and a good forward view. The space between the seats also makes the thin, visually floating centre stack clearly visible through the glass tailgate.
Interior trim and choices have been designed to meet the target group's taste for personalising vehicles. Even the base model offers upholstery in three colours.
The base model also offers a high-class audio system, and udiophiles can choose the Premium Sound system, with a digital five by 130W ICE Power amplifier from Alpine, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, and 10 speakers from Danish Dynaudio.
"The C30 is about 'customised functionality,'" says C30 project boss Hakan Abrahamsson. "There are a lot of possibilities for personalisation and the car has all the right and cleverly designed solutions that the people who choose this type of car want."
Engine choices range from a 100bhp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, through a clean and efficient four-cylinder, 1.6-litre diesel with 109bhp to the five-cylinder D5 and T5 turbo engines, providing 180 and 220bhp.
At 4250mm, the C30 is the smallest member of Volvo's model range - 220mm shorter than the S40.
The chassis has been tuned for sporty driving, regardless of engine.
Safety equipment includes BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), which helps the driver to identify another vehicle in the blind spot at the rear sides of the car; front airbags and seatbelt tensioners; Volvo's Whiplash Protection System, WHIPS; and a Side Impact Protection System with side airbags and the Inflatable Curtain, IC.
The front has the same patented structure as the S40 and V50.