Alaana Fitzpatrick continues our recent series of women
behind the wheel, with the latest offering from Volvo, presenting a new focus
on design. (We’d have used the term ‘roving reporter’ if we weren’t so afraid
of really bad puns.)
We’re all familiar with Volvo’s very limited stereotype – the safe, boxy cars of years gone by – but research, and a great deal of
investment in design, have seen the emergence of Volvo’s new line of vehicles that breaks free from the shackles of the predictable.
These new models retain the safety criteria that are core to
Volvo’s values, yet they harness its Scandinavian heritage with, as they put
it, “interior and exterior design that blends art with technology”.
I was recently given the
privilege of test-driving two of the new coupe C30s – each car for almost a
week at a time. Instantly the sporty styling was appealing to my inner design
But the features kept the love
affair alive. Both had Bluetooth equipped audio systems, bold styling and
head-turning colours, along with every mod-con you could imagine. As Volvo puts
it, “Smooth lines, radical thinking and innovative
design all come together in sculptured exciting shapes and features.”
My favourite – I must confess –
was the T5. Perhaps not the most fuel efficient of the range (at 8.7L per
100km, while the 1.6D DRIVe with start/stop technology offers fuel consumption
of just 3.8L per 100km) however it was powerful, agile, and absolutely
exhilarating to drive in the city and on more open roads.
The other C30 I took on a road
trip down the south coast from Sydney to Mollymook – the 1.6D DRIVe with a
smaller engine, amazingly didn’t need filling up all week despite the journey.
Its innovative start/stop technology shuts off the engine when stopped in
traffic once the clutch is released, and is restarted as the clutch is depressed.
The body also had special aerodynamic elements to ensure less drag and better
For fear of not doing the
design features of this car enough justice, I’ll leave you with the words of
Eedde Talsma, Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo Cars. "By integrating
greater depth into the design language, the front has become more dramatic and
expressive. The angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps drawn
offset and up, all reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness.”
continues, “The enhancement of the visual volume and self-confidence is
entirely in line with Volvo Cars’ design strategy. At the same time, the C30
has a distinctive, one of a kind expression.”
For more information, visit volvocars.com/au