When you think about Volvo, an image of a safe, practical vehicle, perhaps driven by a tweed jacket-adorned college professor may come to mind. This was the stereotype that Volvo has been working hard to depart from, but two cars have stood out in its past as truly “cool cars.” The first was the wonderfully gorgeous P1800, and the second was the vehicle that kicked off Volvo’s makeover; the nimble C30. Unfortunately, it appears that the Swedish automaker will be moving on without the agressive little hatchback, and that is truly a bummer for performance enthusiasts.
The fact that the C30 was the most exciting Volvo since the P1800 was no accident. The C30 was actually inspired by the P1800ES (below, left), which was the shooting brake variant. This two-door hatchback was both fun-to-drive and functional, providing the perfect inspiration for the C30. The latter will surely be missed, as Volvo is finally finding its stride with popular performance sedans like the S60, and the platform-sharing, to lower production costs.
But Volvo is an automaker without a true passion-driven car. The C30 was Volvo’s connection to the tuner world. Sure, the S60 gets a tune here and there, but the C30 was a car that Volvo could be proud of running at SEMA. Now, with cars like the XC60, Volvo is making money on staid vehicles again, but we hope that one day, the Swedish automaker will come to its Swedish senses and bring back the C30 hatchback.