Arriving with a flash of Orange Flame Metallic paint, the 2011 Volvo C30 is a fireball of dynamic styling, making the introduction of a new flaming orange paint even more appropriate for Volvo’s debut of the C30’s brilliant new exterior design.
Emphasis on the exterior changes are focused up front, as the unique, swoopy rear of the C30 has already proven itself to be an eye-popping game changer in the small two-door premium car segment. The C30 gets an all-new front-end style for 2011.
Volvo stylists explain they’ve “radically” altered the fascia, headlights, fenders and grille. The headlights are pulled wide and up for a new look that suggests assertiveness of action that is both sporty and playful. The front bumpers become more angular and the grille wears a bold badge of the Volvo iron mark.
The clever rear design — featuring a large glass open space through a highly visible liftgate — is only slightly modified, though incredibly bold. For 2011, Volvo stylists push their madcap designing to further extremes with rear fascia contours that are curvier than ever. This one evokes strong approval. The people I showed the car to were crazy about the provoking looks of the C30’s rear hatchback section.
The four-passenger C30 enters 2011 with a base price of $24,600 for the T5 model, which comes standard equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The destination charge is $850. An alternate C30 trim offered to buyers is the T5 R-Design. It is priced at $26,950. The chassis and steering on the T5 R-Design receive significant changes for 2011.
New to the 2011 T5 R-Design model is a Sport Chassis that sees a 30 percent increase in spring stiffness; and dampers that get a new mono-tube design with quicker build-up pressure (20 percent). Additionally, a quicker steering ratio allows the driver to experience a more precise steering feel behind the wheel. And for cornering maneuvers there’s been a reduction in leaning tendencies due to stiffer roll stabilizers. The R-Design model comes with 18-inch Midir diamond-cut alloy wheels while the T5 base model is shod with 17-inch all-season tires and alloy wheels.
The C30 is a front-wheel-drive compact hatchback featuring a five-cylinder turbocharged engine displacing 2.5 liters.
It produces 227 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and there’s terrific torque residing within this spirited compact hatch of 236 lb.-ft. from 1,500 through 5,000 rpm. The test vehicle had the optional ($1,250) five-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic manual up/down selection.
Fuel economy was so-so. You might expect better than 21 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway from a four-passenger, two-door small car with a curb weight of 3,200 pounds, but have to figure the turbocharger with strong torque — though heavy on the driving pleasure — might draw on the need for fuel.
Volvo knows how to entice with all the goodies. My tester was filled with about $10,000 in optional equipment that moved the C30 from premium car status to luxury-oriented. Among them were the $1,800 Preferred Package of power glass moonroof, power driver/front passenger’s seats and fog lights.
It’s good, however, to see the entry-level premium C30 loaded with content desired by the young buyers Volvo hopes to serve. Standard equipment includes the Bluetooth hands-free phone interface; a high-performance 160-watt sound system with HD radio and USB inputs; illuminated steering wheels controls; leather gearshift knob, and handbrake; plus even a tilt/telescoping steering column. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next New On Wheels: 2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost
Next Bonus Wheels: 2010 Nissan Versa
2011 VOLVO C30 T5
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 4-passenger FWD compact hatchback
BASE PRICE___________________ $24,600 (as tested: $34,090)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ DOHC turbocharged 5-cylinder
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 227 at 5000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 236 at 1500-5000 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 103.9 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 167.4 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,200 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 15.9 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
2011 BMW ALPINA B7: Arriving this spring at BMW dealerships, the 2011 Alpina B7 is the most dynamic 7 Series model. It retails for $122,875 to $126,775. The B7 sedan is equipped with BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine and is capable of producing 500 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. This rear-wheel drive performance/luxury Sedan achieves 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The interior features blue illuminated door sill trims, Switchtronic heated steering wheel in hand-stitched Lavalina leather, Alcantara headliner, Heads Up display, and the Black-Panel LCD screen instrument cluster branded with Alpina. (Source: BMW)
ASK THE AUTO DOCTOR: The climate control system on my 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis blows on high speed only. Do I need a new blower motor? Answer: Most of the time when the blower operates only on high, the problem is a blower motor resistor. In many cases with a Ford vehicle the small wire harness that goes to the resistor needs to be replaced. There are two major causes of blower resistor failure: poor connections at the blower resistor and high current draw from the a/c heater blower motor. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST: The 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost passes through 60 pairs of hands, as the production process of the new Ghost involves more than 2,000 individual operations and takes at least 20 days to complete. The leather is sourced from bulls raised in pastures free of barbed wire, thereby ensuring fewer imperfections. At least eight hides are used for each interior, and to guarantee color consistency, each hide comes from a batch dyed at the same time. All seats and interior panels are hand-stitched. Veneer from one tree only is used in any car to ensure that the grain matches throughout the interior and that each area ages and colors at the same pace. (Source: FreeWheeling, Motor Matters)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010