Pininfarina has struck a deal with Volvo to build its next convertible. The Italians will design and build the new car at Volvo’s plant in Uddevalla, Sweden, which currently handles the C70.
Due in early ’06, the replacement for the C70 Convertible will, Volvo sources say, be ‘more similar in dimensions than you might imagine’ to the current soft-top, despite today’s C70 being based on the V70 estate.
The new car uses the C1 platform from the next S40, Ford Focus and Mazda 3. Volvo is expected to badge the car C50, following its trend of naming saloons with even numbers (S40, S60 and S80) and other models with odd (V70, XC90).
Neither partner will reveal whether the new car will boast a folding metal roof, or stick with Volvo’s traditional rag-top. However, Pininfarina’s link with German company Webasto in a joint venture called Open Air Systems hints at a folding hard-top, as depicted in our artist’s impression (above).
Volvo has switched partners from the now-defunct TWR, which helped develop the C70, to set up a joint venture with the legendary Italian design house. The new company will be called Pininfarina Sverige AB, with the Italians holding a 60 per cent stake and Volvo the remaining 40.
Pininfarina designed, and now builds, the StreetKa for Volvo parent company Ford, a car that went from design concept to production in 24 months.