Volvo C70 First generation
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door cabriolet
2.0L T3 turbo 166 kW 230 PS I5
2.4L 125 kW 170 PS I5
2.4L turbo 145 kW 200 PS I5
2.3L T5 turbo 180 kW 240 PS I5
|Wheelbase||1998-99 Coupe: 104.7 in (2,659 mm)
1998-2002 Convertible & 2000-02 Coupe: 2660 mm (104.9 in)
2003-05: 105.0 in (2,667 mm)
|Length||1997-2002: 4720 mm (185.7 in)
2003-05: 186.0 in (4,724 mm)
|Width||1,820 mm (71.7 in)|
|Height||1998-99 Coupe: 55.7 in (1,415 mm)
1430 mm (56.3 in)
|Curb weight||1,450 kg (3,200 lb)-1,650 kg (3,640 lb)|
Volvo introduced the first generation C70 at the 1996 Paris Motor Show, following a European introduction as a 1997 model, and later as a 1998 model in North America — with 2.0 (sold mostly in Italy), a low-pressure turbo (2.4L) and a high-pressure turbo (2.0L and 2.3L), 5-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engines and manual and automatic transmissions. Peter Horbury designed the exterior and Mexican designer Jose Diaz de la Vega led the interior design team.
The C70 broke Volvo's decades-long styling tradition of boxy, rectilinear designs. According to Peter Horbury, Volvo's design chief from 1991 to 2002, with the C70, Volvo threw away the box, but "kept the toy inside!""Our vision was to design a convertible that would meet the needs of a family of four looking for comfortable blue-sky motoring in a vehicle also providing stylish looks, performance and faultless driving and road-holding."
In a development program of 30 months and working with a Volvo 850-derived platform, Britain’s TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) co-designed the car's basic design and suspension tuning with Volvo. Manufacture of the C70 was a joint venture until the two companies experienced disputes that threatened to interrupt production; TWR did not contribute to the second generation C70.
Volvo's first modern convertible, the C70 was manufactured in Uddevalla, Sweden on a separate assembly line from the 70-series sedan and station wagon. The four-seater convertible featured an electrically heated glass rear window, automatic (pop-up) rollover hoops, seat belt pre-tensioners, boron steel reinforced A-pillars, front and side airbags, and a safety cage — a horseshoe-like structure around the passenger compartment.
The cloth convertible top, initially available in four colors, was fully automatic, operated by a single, dashboard-mounted button. The top stored automatically under an integral rigid tonneau cover in a system pioneered in modern convertibles with the fourth generation Mercedes SL.
The C70 convertible exhibited two negative traits endemic to convertibles: poor rear visibility and pronounced scuttle shake, a characteristic whereby the structural design of the bulkhead between engine and passenger compartment of a convertible suffers sufficiently poor rigidity to negatively impact ride and handling, allowing noticeable vibration, shudder or chassis-flexing into the passenger compartment.
Early special editions featured two-tone leather interior with wood trim and a SC-901 (1998) Dolby Pro Logic I stereo with 3-disc integrated changer unit (via a cartridge) 400 watts of power and 11 high end Dynaudio speakers.
The C70 was introduced to the press in a signature color (saffron pearl metallic) and for the debut marketing, the 1997 movie The Saint featured a C70 — recalling the notable connection of the Volvo P1800 and the TV series from the early 1960s, The Saint with Roger Moore as Simon Templar.
There was no 2005 model C70 in North America, the 2004 left over models were sold into 2005 there.72,000 first generation C70s were produced in the seven years up to 2006, fewer than 50,000 were convertibles.