The Volvo C30 is to be axed following a lifespan of just seven years, and the last ever car is bound for Britain Volvo announced earlier this week.
First glimpsed as the SCC Concept at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show and initially slated for production in 2002, it was finally revealed in production spec at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.
The C30 was an interesting alternative to mainstream hatchbacks and coupés, and instantly hailed as the spiritual successor to the decidedly left-field 480 coupé. Volvo positioned it perfectly as a niche, upmarket product that drivers wanted to be seen in - even if it failed to be as practical and user-friendly as it should have been.
With the more recent launches of sporting coupé hatches including the Vauxhall Astra GTC, Renault Mégane coupé and Volkswagen Scirocco, not even its looks - little changed from the SCC Concept - could fully compensate for a lack of dynamic sparkle.
It went on to sport a huge range of engines, including frugal diesel and petrol units. The T5’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine found service in the Mk2 Ford Focus ST.
In 2010 the C30 had a mid-life facelift, as Volvo passed from Ford ownership to Chinese car maker Geely for £1.17billion. The refresh brought the car into a new styling direction, with Volvo’s boxy geometry being replaced with a more modern, smoother face. A host of new technologies also featured on the facelifted C30, including SMS messaging technology and stop-start engines.
Perhaps the most alluring model in the line-up was Volvo’s striking Polestar C30. The C30 Polestar Concept of 2010 was a hot variant, boasting 400bhp from an upgraded 2.5-litre T5 engine and a posted a blistering 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds. It was instantly recognisable from its aggressive aerodynamic styling and electric blue paintwork.
Reaching production in 2012, albeit with a less potent 250bhp, the C30 Polestar was critically acclaimed; many saying that using Volvo’s Polestar racing arm could have been the adrenaline boost Volvo needed to make the brand more appealing. It fielded cars in the World Touring Car Championship, and took the team and driver's titles in 2009 and 2010 in the Swedish series.
Low sales figures prompted Volvo to swing the axe on the C30, and it is still not known as to whether the C30 will be directly replaced, with Volvo choosing to focus on its more conventional models to strengthen the company's foothold on the premium market.
Volvo is offering fans the chance to win the last ever C30 built. Visit lasteverc30.co.uk for more details.