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Volvo C30 R Debuts at Frankfurt

The nearest thing to a sports car in the model line?

by on Sep.14, 2009

Volvo C30 R-Design

In short, this is a classic collection of tuner tweaks, minus an engine upgrade.

Are their secret supplications in a Volvo owner’s heart to own a sports car? Well, maybe like the tweaks to the C30 that make it more responsive they are largely hidden from view.

What aren’t hidden in the latest Volvo that debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show are the monochrome body cladding, lowered ride height, 17 or 18-inch wheels, chrome exhaust tips, spoiler and the requisite R badges.

Volvo says the new chassis is considerably sharper, with stiffer spring rates, more responsive properties. While the car’s “in your face” body kit and design cues are easy to see, it is the chassis and the steering that have been the crux of development work.

In short, this is a classic collection of tuner tweaks, minus an engine upgrade.

Check Out "R" Design!

Check Out "R" Design!

“The new R-Design chassis builds further on the success of the sport chassis introduced in the Volvo S80 earlier in 2009. Although the actual properties differ between these two cars, we’ve had plenty of good experience on which to build further in the Volvo C30,” says Stefan Sällqvist, manager Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Cars.

"The driver should feel confident that the car will behave exactly as expected. "

"The driver should feel confident that the car will behave exactly as expected. "

The R-Design chassis has been modified in several areas. The steering is more precise owing to the installation of stiffer bushings. The steering ratio is lower numerically, giving a 10% faster response to a driver’s steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been upped by a potentially teeth rattling 30% in order to “increase the car’s poise in enthusiastic driving” the dampers are firmer mono-tube types that builds up pressure much more quickly. The roll stabilizers are also stiffer to reduce body roll when cornering.

“The driver should feel confident that the car will behave exactly as expected. That is an important part of our safety focus when we develop new chassis. This feeling of security also means the driver can fully enjoy the sporty driving characteristics,” says Sällqvist.

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