Fans of Swedish carmaker Volvo are in for something special at this month’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The company plans to unveil the new face of the 2010 C70 convertible. If the thought of a convertible from the same carmaker who thinks seatbelts are sexy gives you pause, you’re not alone. But as the previous-generation C70 proved, Ikea is not the only company from way up north that can do stylish. The car has undergone significant revision for the new model year, including new exterior and interior bits, and the result is a snappier look all around.
The biggest news from the C70 is a slew of new body work. The drop-top now wears a brand-new front clip, including a front fascia with plenty of the S60 Concept look
thrown in. That’s no bad thing, especially when you lay eyes on the convertible’s sculpted lower lip and angled fog-light recesses. New, swept headlights join the conversation to give the C70 a set of grinning eyes. There’s more than just new plastic onboard, too, as Volvo has stitched a new hood and fenders onto the car’s nose. From the front, the overall effect is something of an arrowhead profile.
Volvo has also put the drop-head’s interior under the knife. New gauges with C70-specific graphics are on hand to lend the car a little personality and are housed in a new soft-touch instrument cluster. The company has wrapped the seats in softer leather, and we can supposedly also look forward to greater attention to fit and finish – something we haven’t worried about from Volvo in years.
The 3-piece retractable hardtop from last year’s C70 stays on, doing its acrobatic mechanical wizardry
in around 30 seconds. Volvo says the steel panels are still controlled by an electronic/hydraulic/computer trifecta, and as a result the roof needs only about 6 feet of vertical space to do its thing.
Under the hood, there’s a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine with around 227 horsepower, but as you might expect, the really impressive hardware is in the safety department. Volvo has included an innovative rollover protection system (ROPS): If the car starts to go ugly side up, a gyroscopic sensor in the C70 will tell the car to deploy two steel hoops behind the passengers. Since that space is usually occupied by the rear glass if the top is up, those hoops will smash right through with the hardtop in place. Still, that's better than trying to support the whole car with your head.
Expect to see the 2010 Volvo C70 at the Frankfurt Auto Show starting Sept. 15. The convertible should make its North American debut at the Miami Auto Show later this year.