A stylish convertible introduced in 1997, the Volvo C70 was solid proof that the company doesn't just manufacture boxy, square contraptions. Featuring a sleek exterior and a plush interior, the first-gen C70 was released as a coupe from 1997 to 2002 and as a softtop convertible from 1999 to 2006. The second-generation C70 is a retractable hardtop that was manufactured from 2006 to 2013.
1997-2006: From boringly boxy to stylishly sleek
Before the C70, Volvo was known for its rectilinear designs characterized by a boring, boxy exterior. To change the company's reputation, designers Jose Diaz de la Vega and Peter Horbury led the design team and came up with a stylish vehicle that's all Volvo. For the basic design and suspension, Volvo collaborated with TWR or Tom Walkinshaw Racing. After 30 months of planning and development, the Volvo C70 was introduced.
A stylish, four-seater convertible, the C70 was equipped with seat belt pre-tensioners, automatic rollover hoops, A-pillars reinforced with boron steel, electrically heated rear windows, side and front airbags, and a horse shoe-like safety cage around the passenger compartment. The complement the stylishly sleek exterior, the soft top was made available in four colors. The fully automatic convertible top can be operated by a single button mounted on the dashboard and is stored beneath a rigid tonneau cover assembly.
Special editions were also made and featured a wood trim, a two-tone leather interior, a Dolby Pro Logic stereo system, and Dynaudio speakers.
2006-2013: Two cars in one
The second-gen Volvo C70 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005. The goal behind this version was to come up with a vehicle for buyers who want both a convertible and a regular car, hence the "two cars in one" campaign. In just 30 seconds, the retractable hardtop conveniently folds into position, presenting a new car with a solid roof.
Despite the dramatic changes to the model's design and structure, it continues to uphold the company's commitment to safety. As a matter of fact, the C70 was hailed by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) as a top safety pick. Among its safety features are an inflatable, door-mounted side impact protection and an ROPS or roll over protection structure, which includes roll hoops conveniently tucked behind the rear seats. When the car rolls over, these roll hoops are deployed to prevent or lessen injuries.
In 2010, the C70 was given a facelift, which included a new Flamenco Red Pearl color, a restyled front end, new LED rear lamps, and a restyled instrument panel. Although production stopped in 2013 with the last C70 rolled out in 2013, this Volvo convertible continues to attract buyers who want a stylish ride with uncompromised safety standards.