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Volvo has teased a model that could become a sporting rival for the Volkswagen Golf

Volvo has confirmed the long-rumoured C30 – a small coupé aimed at the Audi A3 and high-end Volkswagen Golfs – for production in late 2006.

A sneak preview of the car, the spiritual successor to the 480 coupé of the mid-’80s, was flashed up for a few seconds on a huge screen at the Detroit show last week.

The images showed a handsome and sportily proportioned two-door bodystyle with upright rear styling, a look inspired by two of its concept cars – the SCC and 3CC. In fact, the C30 will essentially meld the bluff front end of the 3CC with the squared-off rear of the SCC.

The C30's main styling characteristics will be a high belt-line that rises the length of the bodywork along a pronounced shoulder, together with a narrowing glasshouse.

Neat detailing such as high-set tail lamps which illuminate to form a ring-like graphic will further increase the appeal of the C30.

Volvo describes the C30 as a two-door because the rear hatch is a frameless glazed screen, a nod to the 480. Based on the S40’s underpinnings, the C30 will also get engines drawn from the S40/V50 family, suggesting three petrols (1.8-litre 125bhp, 2.4 170bhp and 2.4 T5 220bhp) and 1.6 110bhp and 2.0 136bhp diesels.

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