a few folks have stayed away from convertibles because they considered them unsafe. Volvo,
long known for safe cars, proves that theory wrong with
an intelligent and attractive solution. The Volvo C70
is 15 percent stiffer than its predecessor, and has
a 30-second cycle retractable hardtop. In effect, you
get two cars in one: A sporty coupe and a sexy convertible.
you get advanced side impact and rollover protection
as well as door-mounted inflatable curtains with pretensioners
in all seats. Running all the way down the body sills,
the side A-pillars are hydro-formed in extra high strength
steel. The Rollover Protection System (ROPS) is activated
with the aid of a pyrotechnic charge and comes up behind
the rear passenger seats. Meanwhile, the front structure
provides controlled deformation, while the rear is designed
for shock absorption. As if this was not enough, Volvo’s
leading Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) is there
to avoid neck injuries. The car also has an additional
array of preventive safety mechanisms, including a rigid
body, broad track and long wheel base chassis, DSTC,
ABS and EBA.
distribution of interior space makes it a true four
passenger car. The Scandinavian-influenced interior
design has a Bang & Olufsen-like center console,
and everything is functional and intuitive. Trunk space
has been increased by a marvel of engineering, but we’ll
let the dealer demonstrate that one.
climate package delivers rain-sensing wipers, heated
front seats and headlamp washers for $675, a good value.
systems come in a standard 8-speaker configuration,
or for $1,550 more you can boost it to a 12-Dynaudio
speaker system with 910 watts, two killer subwoofers
and Dolby ProLogic II Surround Sound—enough auto-adjusting
decibels to counter wind friction.
were lucky enough to test this charmer on the notorious
Hana Highway in Maui,
with 600 turns in 35 miles. This turned out to be outstanding
proving ground for a convertible, with pockets of rain
frequently interspersed with sunshine. Despite driving
the front-wheel drive automobile aggressively on often
muddy and gravelly surfaces, we always stayed on course
with no sliding. Some might think 218 horsepower is
meager in this day and age of über engines, but
we never felt short-changed on the winding road or while
ascending the 10,000-feet high Haleakala volcano. With
the standard manual stick you’ll have a sportier
ride with less lags. The 5-speed automatic transmission
is a $1,250 option.
way or another, this new and exciting model is sure
to set a few dates in showrooms.
Learn more about Volvo