Ecclesiastics says that for everything there is a season, and for the Volvo C30 coupe, its season has run out. After 210,000 sold worldwide since its inception, Volvo’s sporty coupe will not be returning for the 2014 model year.
The Volvo C30 arrived in 2006 as something of an anomaly in the Volvo lineup, neither a sedan, wagon nor crossover. In fact, nothing had been in the Volvo line up, at least in the United States, since the Volvo 1800ES of 1974. (Those with international memories will recall the Volvo 480 of the early Eighties, which had been intended for the U.S. but currency fluctuations nixed it. However, that’s another story).
The more modern inspiration, however, was the Volvo SCC, or Safety Concept Car that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2001. The SCC introduced a number of safety features that have now become common, including blind spot monitor, lane departure warning and adaptive lighting, as well as a few that haven’t, such as the seats that would adjust seat height automatically, based on a scanning for the driver’s eyes.
More obvious was the sport wagon profile of the SCC when it appeared as the 2006 Volvo C30. Similar to the sport wagons that had preceded it, the C30 has a rear hatch that, although it has a steel structural ring, at least looks like it’s all glass. Of course, like its predecessors, the trunk’s contents are plainly visible to a following car or passerby unless the cargo cover is deliberately closed.
The Volvo C30 was based on the Ford P1 platform which was also used by the Volvo S40 sedan and V50 wagon beginning in 2004, neither of which ever proved popular in the U.S. and were eventually withdrawn. Sales of both models and the C30 have declined around the world and it makes little sense to keep models based on an aging platform in production.
Not that Volvo hasn’t given the C30 one heck of a swan song in the form of the C30 Polestar concept, a 405-hp, all-wheel-drive slingshot with Brembo brakes, racing seats and four-point belts, plus aerodynamics mods from the C30 Volvo raced by Polestar in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. A Polestar C30 Limited Edition brought to market doesn’t have the super speed stuff, but like other C30 models is available in Polestar’s engine-tuning package (available on all C30s for $1295).
Unlike many “special editions” that are little more than cosmetics, Polestar mods bump output of the 2.5-liter turbocharged five cylinder from 227 horsepower to 250, and 236 lb-ft of torque up to 273 lb-ft. The C30 Polestar also gets a body-color body kit, mono-tube dampers, 30-percent stiffer springs, and a steering ratio 10-percent quicker than the ordinary C30. The Volvo C30 Polestar also gets R-Design aluminum trim and pedals, sport steering wheel, instrument cluster and the ever necessary “Polestar” badge on the car’s rear.
If you want one, however, hurry to your local Volvo dealer. Only 250 were made for American consumption, and production of the 2013 Volvo C30 stopped several months ago.
Says Volvo spokesman Geno Effler, “Our new SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) platform will debut with the next-generation XC90, and will eventually be used in all future models.”
“Scalable” means that the platform can be sized to meet various car and crossver sizes, but Effler stopped short of saying whether it eventually would be used under a new compact sports model, only that “there will be no C30 in our model year 2014 lineup.”
Volvo has bigger fish to fry than a limited volume sportster, however. Says Effler, “Prior to the debut of SPA, we will begin introducing our four-cylinder engine family (VEA, for Volvo Engine Architecture). That engine family will debut in the United States early in 2014 on S60 and XC60.”
That’s not to say that the season of a new Volvo C30 will never arrive, but those longing for the fleeting warmth of the C30’s summer have little time left.