The C30 started life as a car that was not going to have a life. The first version was our Safety Concept Car (SCC) in 2000. It had a few demonstratable safety features, like an adjustable rear seat for children, which was later used in the XC90 and other models, along with Blind Spot Identification System, that we started offering in the S80 and is now available in all our cars. The following year VCC built a running version with many more safety systems that worked. To handle all of the software, there were three laptops buried behind the back seat with more cables and routers than one could imagine. And true to form, good old Windows operating system worked most of the time. We dreaded the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ on demonstration days.
Somehow we talked the Swedes into loaning this second version to take around the U.S. for media ride and drives. They made me promise not to drive it on real roads. Huge parking lots were perfect and most could be had for very little cost. We hit six major cities and ended up in Seattle. The last day before it was to be shipped back to VCC we borrowed a manufacturers plate and drove it down to Pike Place Fish Market.
What made this tour unique was having two great engineers from Ford – David Wagner (Vehicle Engineering Manager) and Dr. Steve Rouhana (Sr. technical leader for Passive Safety Research and Advanced Engineering); and one from Volvo – Christer Gustafsson (lead project manager for SCC), working together as spokespeople for this project. Both companies used systems from this project and both car lines are safer for that project. This was the first time we worked together. The whole experience was amazing: two great brands working together to help save lives.
As for me, well lets just say VCC was not too happy with me driving it into Seattle. Not that anything official or unofficial happened but it was more like “You drove it on real roads?” In the end, the project garnered the most media exposure we ever had and to this day SCC is considered rather advanced for it’s age.
On Wednesday December 19th, the last C30 rolled off the assembly line in Volvo’s assembly plant in Gent. Since 2006 Volvo built 209,510 C30 cars in Belgium. Volvo’s “Love it/Hate it” car (as it was marketed at its launch) helped create a younger and sportier image for the Swedish car maker, and recently its Rebel Blue appearance made a remarkable impression on the streets and on the race track alike.
The Volvo C30 was also the platform for Volvo’s full electric cars, and the development work in co-operation with Siemens continues into the future.
Picture: The last three C30 cars, all R-Design models: The last one in the middle, which will go to the Volvo Museum, the Ice White version for the UK, and the Passion Red one for the US. Employees in Ghent took a last look… The sympathetic small Volvo will be missed!
Posted in C30 | 6 Comments »
Over the years, Volvo clubs form, mostly from one owner befriending another, and then those two befriend a couple more and it turns into a Swedish Snow Ball gathering with a whole bunch of little snow balls. Then, some of those small clubs join bigger organizations like Volvo Sports America or Volvo Club of America. C30 World is..well C30 World.
We knew that bringing in C30 was going to be different, how different I suspect we never knew. We didn’t think it would be a tribe unto itself – kind of like the rebirth of the P1800 mentality. Good to know we still can attract people who love to be unique.
Next month is the 3rd Annual C30 World event in western North Carolina. America is full of beautiful places, and this area – the Great Smoky Mountains – is truly one of our most scenic roads.
The first C30 World people came from 14 states and Canada. This year they have folks from 20 states and, of course, Canada. First year was 13 C30s and so far, more than 35 C30s are coming. Volvo owners from SwedeSpeed.com, TurboBricks and Facebook friends will vie for trophies and lots of grab bag goodies. All Volvo models are welcome.
Come along and enjoy a few days with good Volvo people from April 19-22.
Enjoy the ride.
danPosted in C30 | 4 Comments »
In the past, to add even minor horse power to our cars, meant getting dirty, spending hours finding parts, and even more hours trying to make sense of what you bought. When we were running SCCA Pro-Rally with 142’s and then 242’s, even small bumps in HP were long nights with boxes of parts and tools…Okay, and a few beers and chips were also in this mix just to help smooth out torque wrench readings.
Ahh today tis a brave new world where One’s and Zero’s rule just about everything we touch – even stuffing more horse power into our cars.
“Polestar, Volvo’s Swedish-based performance partner, has developed tuning software for C30, C70 and S40 carlines fitted with a T5 engine, model year 2008 and newer. With an MSRP of $1,295 installed, the tuning package goes on sale Nov. 14 and adds a powerful 23 hp and 29 lb.-ft. of torque to the respective models. The power boost is realized by increasing airflow into the combustion chambers and advancing spark timing.”
Look at this another way. More HP, more Torque (we all love Torque). Heck, it’s kind of like going to the dentist and getting only a cleaning and you’re all smiles. For about the same amount of time, you’ll drive away from one of our retailers…all smiles.
Check here for more details: http://www.volvocars.com/us/sales-services/sales/default/pages/polestar.aspx and
Just wanted to post couple of charts about this system. Click on them to enlarge.C30, C70, Horsepower, Performance, Polestar, S40 | 2 Comments »
PV444 1958 S60 2011
When I brought home my first Volvo, a ’58 PV444, I didn’t noticed how uncomfortable the seats were. After I drove from Torrance to my Aunt and Uncle’s home in Livermore – about 300 miles – I couldn’t wait to get out of that car. I later bought a seat back cushion (a small coiled wire with cloth covering) that helped air circulate and gave me a little more back support, but it was still an uncomfortable journey. I did find the adjustment for the seat back, a small 10mm screw in the bottom of each seat fame side – clever but not practical – and there wasn’t any lumbar support. When I started at Volvo, out back behind our warehouse was a 164 that was accident damaged. I ‘borrowed’ the light tan leather front seats and threw away those ’58 back breakers. It was kind of hard to close the doors, but boy those were comfortable seats. So what happened between ’58 and ’68?
Volvo’s newly installed (1956) President Gunner Engellau, killed the P1900 fiberglass convertible, which was terrible to drive, had poor brakes, and guess what, rotten seats. He sensed that while we made good cars, except P1900, we really didn’t understand seat design. In the following years there were minor improvements to seat back and cushion design, but everything would change when he hired Doctor Ulf Nachemson who was a spinal specialist (thanks Bob for finding this) to work with Nils Bolin to teach us how to build good seats. Basically it was not rocket science to designing a comfortable seat, just ask someone who knows bones, how best to support our back, and you’ll have a great seat. I think aside from giving the world a three-point seat belt, Volvo’s next great accomplishment was to put a lumbar adjustment in seats.
Then again, here’s what USA Today’s automotive editor Jim Healy’s wrote in his 2009 C30 review:
The seats. You can’t talk about a Volvo without championing the seats as probably the industry’s most comfortable. You gotta wonder why all other automakers don’t simply copy ‘em.”
History of Volvo seats:
The Volvo seat was the result of scientific research conducted largely by Nils Bohlin, the person who just a few years earlier created the three-point safety belt. The new seat had two major new features: firstly, the backrest angle could be adjusted with a rotary control, and secondly, there was built-in adjustment of lumbar support in the backrest. Volvo was the first manufacturer in the world with these features.
Before this, the backrest angle could be adjusted to three preset positions. In the new seat, the backrest angle could be adjusted infinitely. The height of the seat above the floor could be set at a choice of three levels and at the front the seat cushion had softer foam padding than in the rest of the seat. The angle of the seat cushion could be adjusted to suit leg length or “driving experience,” as it was worded back in 1964.
The backrest was of a totally new design, lowering the burden on the body higher up towards the shoulders. However, the biggest news was that the backrest’s lumbar section could be adjusted to suit individual taste. This lumbar support consisted of two robust horizontally tensioned rubber straps whose tension could be altered via a rotary control in the side of the backrest. Another advantage with the new front seats was that they featured built-in attachments for a specially designed head restraint.
What is more, both front seats could now be moved much further fore and aft than before. The Volvo seat was big news from the viewpoints of both technology and safety. Previous seats may have been nice to look at but they were by no means designed to meet specific requirements. With the new seat, the Volvo driver took a giant step forward toward increased comfort and thus safer travel.
At the same time, a new type of upholstery material was introduced in Volvo’s models – vinyl. Together with the new design of the seat – Volvo did not hesitate to call it elegant – it was clear that this was a new era, an era when comfortable seating was regarded as important for safety on the road.
The Volvo seat was introduced on the 1965 model of the Amazon and also on the PV 544 and it was naturally also fitted in the 144 when it was launched a year later. The fact that the Volvo seat came to be the basis for continued seat and ergonomics development at Volvo – and still is – clearly highlights its obvious safety and comfort-enhancing properties.
danPosted in C30, interior, luxury, S60, Volvo History | 5 Comments »
We got this interesting question on Twitter a few days ago, and it deserves some Volvo discussion.
The question doesn’t have a simple answer. In 10 years, when most new cars will have some level of pre-crash technology – much like most cars today have some level of ABS – we will still need to run verification crash testing. Crash testing is used to not only validate each new car model’s body structure (that it meets what we had intended to achieve), but for market by market compliance with governmental standards. I suspect that governments will be slower to change their standards than a car manufacturer’s ability to make safer vehicles that use pre-crash technologies.
Thinking along those same lines is Thomas Broberg, our lead safety engineer at VCC in Sweden, who was recently asked if weight is taken out of cars to get better fuel economy, would that negatively impact vehicle structural safety? Darn simple question…sort of. Thomas said, “…my point being that I do not see any contradiction in being fuel efficient and safe, some challenges yes but we will take them one by one as we move towards our Vision 2020 goal. Also, that part of our increased fuel efficiency is electrification and that actually means cars will be heavier, (dan: our C30 EV is about 200 pounds heavier than non-EV C30) which is beneficial in some situations and challenging in others.”
Thomas’ approach is that we have to think holistically about fuel economy. Just removing weight isn’t the solution, at least for Volvo. How do we meet Vision 2020 (zero deaths or serious injuries in a Volvo by year 2020) and still improve fuel economy? According to many industry experts, the internal combustion engine is not dead. There are ways to combine small displacement, low carbon output engines with PHEV technology to fulfill our need for long distance driving and short city commutes.
danPosted in C30, C30 Electric, crash test, Electrification, Environment, fuel efficiency, future, safety, Vision 2020 | Comments Off
Often times, you’ll find that Volvo fans are obsessed with their cars. Can you blame them? We love our enthusiasts, and encourage them to show off their cars and talk to us about anything and everything Volvo. Some enthusiast groups will have meet ups. A group of fans of the same car model will often meet on message boards and forums on the internet. They’ll organize regional gatherings to show off their cars and share their passion for the brand.
This past weekend, the Volvo social media team was fortunate enough to participate in one of these enthusiast events. We didn’t just show up to this event though. There’s no fun in that, is there? After all, Volvo has a ton of cool models and prototypes at headquarters, things that would make a casual car fan and even an enthusiast green with envy.
The particular meetup we attended was for the C30 coupe. As you can imagine, when we found out about this event on an internet forum, and requested their permission to attend, they were quite thrilled. We decided to take it one step further. Not only did we show up, we brought a surprise.
When we announced on Twitter and Facebook that we would be attending this event, we got a great response. We also mentioned our little surprise which started a flurry of activity and resulted in people trying to guess what we would bring. The surprise? A C30 Electric prototype.
The meetup took place in the parking lot of a restaurant called It’s Nutts in Titusville, NJ. It was a small gathering of about 30 wildly enthusiastic Volvo fanatics. They LOVED the C30 electric. They took pictures with it, explored it and even popped open the hood for a close inspection of the electric components. Oh yeah, their cars were pretty nice too. Imagine a parking lot full of some of the nicest C30′s around. Yes, we had a great time and we’re definitely going to be doing this again soon.
-Volvo Social Media TeamC30, C30 Electric, customer care, volvo employee | 7 Comments »
I’m at this year’s North America International Auto Show in (really cold) Detroit, where on Tuesday we will unveil a crash tested Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric, the world’s first showing of safety in an electric car.
Our focus is to bring the same kind of safety engineering leadership we do with all our cars into our EV program. Yeah, I know, “Isn’t that what you are suppose to do?” While dealing with an electric power system, the concept of passenger and first responder (fire/police/EMT) protection is the same, but the execution is different. The challenge is, and will continue to be, to protect people in an accident regardless of what kind of engine we use.
I’ll post some video when I can figure out how to stuff a 20 meg file into a 2 meg hole.
DanPosted in C30, crash test, Detroit Auto Show, Environment, news, safety, Technology | 5 Comments »
Stumbling into work the other day, this C30 begged to be photographed. Tracking it down, Andrew Gallagher, one of our product guys, asked what I thought of the interior.
Some years back, probably around 1982 when we all had to wear suits, Bob Deutsch put together an “Ugly Tie Day” event for employees. I won more times than most. As Bob pointed out to me: ”As I recall, most of the time you won ugly tie day without realizing it was ugly tie day”, thanks Bob. I truly had ugly ties. But they were different, bold colors, strange patterns, just weird. So asking me an opinion on interiors is, well, a stretch. I do love this C30.
I offered Andrew this forum to see what others might think. I know there are a couple thousand out there reading this … simple yes/no and/or comments would be great.
What you are looking at is actually a seat that is currently offered only in Europe. The orange material is a fine interwoven cloth, the black surrounding it is made out of T-Tec. T-Tec is the same material that is used in surfing attire, kind of like my 5/4/3 wetsuit, only much nicer. There is an ongoing investigation for offering an Orange Flame metallic paint exterior with this two toned orange/black seat interior.
If Volvo was to offer a special edition C30 with only Orange Flame metallic paint, orange cloth/T-Tec seat, Sirius Satellite, high performance sound (not Premium Sound previously branded as Dynaudio) a 17″ new rim, what are your thoughts?
Would you need an available automatic trans, climate package, or bi-xenons?
Don’t expect a surprise package of pickled herring for answering, just our appreciation for your taking time to comment.
ps: I think around 1978 we launched one of rarest cars ever (second only to the P1900 that we made 58 of): a 244 California car. White trim, white paint, white grill, white interior. All it needed was ‘made by Amana’ on it. Now, not wanting to repeat ourselves, here’s your chance to chime in or we just might do this again
Just found this review from 5th Gear out of the UK: (the engine she is testing is not our T5 with 227 HP and 236 lb.ft. of torque)Posted in C30, contest, design | 70 Comments »
It will come as no surprise to most that author Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series isn’t written for or marketed toward those with a Y chromosome. As I posses this bit of human DNA, I haven’t made a tremendous effort to read these enormously successful novels. Aside from skimming the jacket covers, my knowledge of these stories mostly revolved around the fact that one of the main characters, a pale and brooding teen named Edward, drove himself around town in a Volvo.
I have to admit I love the irony Ms. Meyer wrote into Edward. Here’s a kid that’s immortal yet chooses to tool around in the safest car made. In the books, Ed drives an S60 R. So the kid is safe but also has a wild side. That’s interesting. He’s also not into pre-marital sex. As the father of a young girl who will some day be a doe-eyed Ed lover, I can respect this kid.
So I’m sure you’re wondering how I know Edward isn’t into pre-marital wrestling if I haven’t read the books. That’s because last week I attended the world premiere of Eclipse, the third movie installment in the series. I was on-hand with my colleague, Kate Rehill, to host the winner of a Volvo sweepstakes contest. Sandy Deuel-Weiks, 57, of Howard City, Mich., and her sister, Sharon Ary of Rockford, Mich., were the lucky winners of a trip to Los Angeles, a couple of nights at a swanky Beverly Hills hotel, two tickets to the premiere and a parking spot along the black carpet (it was a vampire thing, I suppose).
Sandy was interviewed by her hometown TV station – WZZM-TV out of Grand Rapids, Michigan – who was there to cover the phenomenon. Check out the link below.
To be honest, I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope for a great night. What do I care about smoldering teen passions, computer generated werewolves and 2,000 screaming “Twi-hards?” I was curious, however, to see Ed racing around in an XC60 – the S60 R was out of production by the time filming began of the first movie so the brooder was relegated to a C30, then the XC60 for the second and third movies.
I’d like to say I remained cool and aloof, even brooding. But I fell victim to the hysteria of the evening. You just can’t help but get swept up in it all when the stars begin pouring out of their Escalades and limousines. The fans, erupting into high-pitched wails a Valkyrie would be envious to emulate, nearly broke down the barriers when the brooder effortlessly slithered from the dark confines of his hearse-like ride. Ed was generous with his time, stopping every few feet to sign something or kiss a hand or cause some poor girl to all but faint.
It was about this time I heard a man screaming. He sounded a lot like a teenaged girl, but with an unsettling baritone voice.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! It’s….it’s….it’s Ron Artest!”
It was then that I realized I was the unsettling sounding man. But can you blame me? Not more than five feet away stood an NBA champion.
I stood there pointing at Ron, my mouth agape. I stumbled over the velvet rope and nearly accosted the poor man. “Can I get a picture? Can I get a picture? Please, Mr. Artest. Just one!” The pleading in my voice sounded pathetic. But I couldn’t stop myself. Fortunately, Ron was cool. He shook my hand and put his arm on my shoulder and I stood there acting like a fool. He thanked me for being a fan and moved on down the line of reporters.
At that moment I became a huge Twilight fan.
An hour later I was sitting in row ZZZ of the cavernous Nokia Theater with 9,000 other folks who were somehow involved in Eclipse. Ed brooded and sulked and was always a gentleman to Bella as he zipped around Forks in his XC60. I have to say, the Volvo looked pretty damn hot.
JamesPosted in C30, contest, Twilight, XC60 | Comments Off
Working here, there is an underlying feeling that what we do helps people. We support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (https://www.alexslemonade.org/), and have since almost day one. Many of our dealerships support local organizations helping to spread the Volvo feeling into other parts of people’s lives.
Teachers are special people. I think they chose their career because it is their way of helping people, they certainly didn’t chose teaching to get rich. We all have one special teacher that changed something in us, turned on a switch into something wonderful, and hopefully helped us in our life journey.
Congratulations to Volvo of Charleston for recognizing just such a person. Here is her story:
Volvo of Charleston is maximizing a way to acknowledge outstanding citizens in its community – and is doing so in a manner consistent with Volvo’s commitment to caring, conscience and character.
For nine years, Volvo of Charleston has donated a one-year lease to the Charleston County School District Teacher of the Year. For 2010, a C30 will be driven to school each day by Maisha Rounds, a teacher who also happened to grow up in the school district.
Rounds was inspired to teach after her high school Teacher Cadet class visited students with profound mental disabilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in community counseling from Winthrop College. Her classroom lessons are arts-infused and multi-sensory. She is often found engaging her students by playing her keyboard to teach new skills and concepts while her students dance and create art. She has coauthored several books, addressing issues that come with special needs, abuse and illiteracy, and she strives to improve the teaching profession by serving as a mentor and professional development trainer for teachers and administrators in the district.
“We got involved several years ago as a way to serve our community and reward our teachers for all that they do,” said Sheila Sines Thomasson, who oversees marketing and business development at Volvo of Charleston. “We also host a get-together for the finalists each year at Volvo of Charleston and we attend the awards banquet.”
It’s evident that Volvo of Charleston understands how civic involvement can have long-term rewards for its community and its business.