The ultra-chic 2011 Volvo C70 convertible comes onto the market with fresh new styling but maintains its sophisticated folding hard-top, providing owners with a coupe body and all the benefits that come with it when the top’s up and the joys of the sun and the wind in their hair once it’s lowered. At MotorAuthority, we give the car a solid 8 for its style and performance plus a very reasonable pricetag.
The roof takes just 30 seconds to subside so owners won’t have to wait long before unleashing the car’s turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine on an unsuspecting stretch of highway. Peak output comes in at 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet, numbers that aren’t going to blow away the competition, but that torque figure peaks at just 1,500 rpm and is maintained all the way to 5,000 revs.
The end result is powerful acceleration in most gears, with the 0-60 mph run taking around 7.5 seconds and top speed limited to 150 mph. Not bad when you consider the C70 is a chunky four-seat convertible, which thanks to its folding metal roof tips the scales at 3,840 pounds.
Despite the decent performance, fuel economy is reasonable and has actually been improved in 2011. The EPA estimated averages are 19/28 mpg city/highway, or a combined figure of 23 mpg.
Performance buffs will be saddened that a conventional manual transmission is no longer offered. However, the standard five-speed automatic offers smooth shifts and works well with the potent five-banger under the hood.
Another detail hurting the C70 in performance circles is front-wheel drive, however, the configuration aids grip in slippery conditions and isn’t all that noticeable around corners unless you’re really pushing it. It’s then that understeer rears its ugly head though a proficient suspension setup--MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup in the rear--helps keep things in order.
Inside, the instrument panel has been redesigned, giving it a wider, sleeker look and the surface of the panel has a new texture that enhances the feeling of quality.
Interestingly, the C70 comes with electric power steering but there’s plenty of feedback ensuring the experience isn’t too numb. The steering isn’t the only thing that you’ll feel in the C70. A short drive on rough or irregular surfaces generates shakes in the front and rear of the car--it's far from the most rigid convertible we've driven.
With a base price of $39,950, this stylish convertible is hard to ignore. Just note that this pricetag can, and most likely will, creep up five grand or so once the options list is rolled out.
For a complete look at the 2011 Volvo C70, check out the full review at TheCarConnection