Orange Crush

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  • Orange Crush Orange Crush
  • Youthful and Sporty
    Youthful and Sporty
  • The Front
    The Front
  • The Back
    The Back
  • Interior

Sportier, sexier and attracting more looks in the city… Time to fall in love with Volvo’s new C30 all over again
The first thing that hits you about the new Volvo C30 is the colour – they call it “Orange Flame Metallic”. Volvo’s Cecilia Stark Berglund, who mixed the new C30’s launch colour, says: “We wanted something vivid and sporty to match the car’s character. This orange is fresh and modern – orange is coming back.”
LIV asks if Cecilia’s own home is a riot of colour? She laughs: “No, I wear a lot of black and live in a very white flat – I take my work home with me!” But when she’s at work she likes a bold palette. “The really cool thing,” Cecilia continues, “is that you can have another colour on the lower part of the car as an option. We’ve chosen orange with blackcurrant trim and white wheels. It’s more fashion design than car design, isn’t it?”
It is. But you can also get a new C30 in more muted shades. Still, Volvo’s Fedde Talsma, the car’s exterior chief designer, thinks that the addition of body-coloured paint (or even a fashionable clashing colour) on the lower portion of the new C30 is a major improvement: “By increasing the amount of painted surface on the new C30’s sides it makes the car look visually lower on the road.”
The new C30’s exterior designer, Håkan Malmgren, agrees: “It’s got a road-hugging feel to it. At the back we put the split line below the bumper beam and changed the shape of the licence plate area so it mirrors the tailgate. The original bumper reflectors were quite big – we’ve made them lower and wider.”
The new styling reinforces the new C30’s reputation as Volvo’s sportiest, best-handling car so far. Touches like the new grille with its 3D honeycomb design appear more influenced by 1970s Le Mans race cars than contemporary Scandinavian design ethos. “It’s a big step,” says Fedde. “We wanted to be more daring than the original, to give it even more of a youthful character.” Håkan Malmgren is one of Volvo’s longest serving designers. “I started at Volvo in 1970 working on the 240 series – there’s a little bit of me in most Volvos you see on the road today.” But even an old trouper like Håkan is excited by Volvo’s new-look C30. “It looks fantastic,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed it the most of any I’ve worked on at Volvo.”
Håkan began work on the new C30 in late 2006. “I wanted to give the C30 its own identity, to change the proportions so you can tell it’s a C30 even from a distance. With the introduction of the XC60, that was a new form we wanted to build on.” The new C30 now feels more in line with its big brother the XC60. And like the XC60, its grille has grown larger, and its whole face has grown more expressive with new headlight clusters that stream around the side of the front wings. “We pulled them back and up to separate the car from other Volvos,” says Håkan. “This also shortens the impression of the front overhang so from the side the new C30 looks more sporty.”
“Volvo’s modern Scandinavian design is about honesty and simplicity,” says Fedde Talsma. “That’s the functional part. But there’s also the non-rational attraction and emotion our new cars provoke. I think the C30 has balance – it’s a big step in modernity, but the new features should not fight with the car’s original design.”
Håkan agrees: “There are proportions we’ve kept, even in the 40 years I’ve been at Volvo. The V-shaped hood, the big side profile. Just like when you’re driving, you have to occasionally look back in the mirror to move forward.”