To our eyes, the new Volvo C70 is much more successfully styled than some recent coupé-convertibles, with none of the dumpiness around the rear three-quarter that afflicts the Peugeot 307 CC, say.

Volvo claims that it first designed the C70 as a coupé, only setting out to make it a hard-roofed convertible later. And it shows. If there’s a downside to this approach, it’s that the C70’s boot space is limited when the roof is stowed.

The C70 offers more space inside than many of its rivals

Although it has a fairly large load area of 404 litres with the hood up, lower the roof and maximum space falls to just 200 litres. Worse still, access to that space is through a narrow gap beneath the C70’s loadbay divider. This must be locked into position to separate the boot into two spaces; one for luggage, one for the roof mechanism. Lowering the roof turns a spacious, wide and deep boot into something suitable only for a couple of squashy bags.

The roof mechanism has been, as with so many coupé-convertible models, developed in conjunction with Italian design house Pininfarina. In the C70’s case, it’s a three-piece item – one comprising the rear window and surrounds, with the two other pieces making up the lengthy roof. To raise or lower the roof you just have to press a button on the centre console: one for up, one for down. The operation takes about 30 seconds either way.

The C70 is a full four-seater, so the roof is longer than that of a 2+2 coupé-cabriolet. With so much of the structure unable to boost structural strength with the roof down, it is an enormous challenge to retain rigidity in the bodyshell.


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