VOLVO ON A ROLL
2012 Volvo C70 Polestar Inscription
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Published on Sat, Aug 4, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
It’s “I roll” in Latin, but in the USA, it’s the Swedish car company. Never mind that it’s owned by the Chinese (Geely), and the Americans before that (Ford). The Volvo Polestar line (a name astronomers give to prominent stars aligned with the earth’s rotation) is the name of Volvo’s most prominent performers. Polestar Performance is to Volvo what AMG Hammer is to Mercedes-Benz. One of the cars given the Polestar treatment is the topless Volvo C70 T5. Harvey Schwartz reports. By Harvey Schwartz The 2012 C70 T5 Polestar Inscription hardtop convertible model pushes the brand to higher levels of performance and luxury at the touch of a button. Besides a long list of standard safety systems, this top-of-the-line Inscription model leaves nothing behind when competing against other European, American and Asian performance hardtop convertibles. The C70 T5 Polestar Inscription model offers the ultimate in sporting reflexes, luxury and weather-tight security of a turbocharged coupe coupled with the wide-open exhilaration and fresh-air freedom of a convertible. The new Inscription model that I tested is the ultimate expression of Volvo’s hardtop convertible lineup. This limited production model, only 2,000 units, sets it apart from the standard C70 by increasing horsepower to 250 at 5,500 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 1,500-3,000 rpm. Provided by Polestar, a Swedish racing and performance products company that has partnered with Volvo Cars. The 2.5 liter five-cylinder, DOHC, continuous variable valve timing with variable intake, alloy engine features Polestar tuning that optimizes engine output in a variety of ways. More air and fuel are funneled into the combustion chambers and spark timing is advanced, creating the 23 hp and 37 lb.ft. of toque bump up. Seamless power is routed to the front wheels through a smooth shifting 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with sequential shifting. This Volvo reaches 60 mph from a standstill in just 7.4 seconds.
Outside, the C70 Inscription includes a number of head-turning design features. A unique gloss-black grille slots beautifully between active dual Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. Chrome surrounds the headlights and grille, giving the car a truly distinctive face. Stunning 18X8 inch black ‘Midir’ wheels incorporate polished rims and spokes. These unique wheels are wrapped with 235/40VR18 inch high-performance all-season radial tires for a smooth, quiet ride with excellent grip. The silhouette features steeply racked windshield pillars and deep side extensions to lower the center of gravity. The wide dual exhaust pipes warn drivers that they are behind a high-performance machine. Beautiful Scandinavian design has been a hallmark of the C70’s interior since it was launched in 2006. The C70 Inscription follows this tradition while adding a host of luxurious appointments. Driver and passengers will immediately notice the gorgeous Sovereign Hide upholstery. Volvo’s legendary seats are now more comfortable than ever. The dashboard is covered in leather and features contrasting stitching. Unique Inscription floor mats, handbrake lever, sport steering wheel with aluminum inserts, aluminum sport foot pedals, leather covered center armrest with accent stitching and Inscription embroidered front headrests further distinguish the C70 Inscription from the C70. The C70 test car also came with the Premier and Premier Plus options that included keyless drive, rear park assist, Homelink, compass, heated front seats, humidity sensor, rain sensing wipers, and an interior air quality system. All C70 Volvo’s come standard with a High Performance Audio System featuring 4X40-Watt amplifier with 8-speakers, in-dash single CD with WMA & MP3 capability, HD radio and USB and AUX inputs, illuminated steering wheel controls, SIRIUS satellite radio, power windows/door locks, a one-touch power retractable hardtop that takes just 25 seconds to raise or lower, aluminum inlays and an ultra-slim center control panel, driver and front passenger eight-way power seats with three-person memory, seatback pockets, leather-wrapped/tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, trip computer, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth hands free telephone interface, heated/power remote outside mirrors, covered storage in all four seats, rear center pass-thru, dual cupholders up front and in the rear, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors and thick cut-pile carpeting.
This loaded Volvo C70 can compete with any other hardtop convertible and the base price is just $40,450.00 and $47,775.00 including destination charges, for the totally loaded model that I tested. That is a long list of standard equipment but under the skin the C70 also shines. The fully independent suspension features sport-tuned MacPherson struts, coil springs over gas-charged shocks, and a 23mm stabilizer up front, with a multi-link setup in the rear featuring sport-tuned coil springs, gas-charged shocks and a 22mm stabilizer bar. In the engine bay is a hidden strut bar that enhances rigidity for excellent handling. I noticed very little understeer or oversteer during my seven-day test drive plus no ‘cowl-shake’ when traveling over poorly paved roads. You guide the C70 through its paces utilizing Volvo’s power-assisted rack and pinion steering system that gives you an excellent feel for the road with razor sharp response to your inputs. The braking power and control are also excellent with power-assisted steel disc brakes all-around. Up front are 12.6 inch vented discs clamped with dual piston calipers, while 11 inch solid discs are clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard braking features include ABS, EBD and Electronic Brake Assistance. Also working in conjunction with these systems is the Dynamic Stability Traction Control system to keep you on track. Volvo claims that this 3,837 pound car can stop from 60 mph to zero in just 123 ft. They also claim a top speed of 149 mph. Known throughout the industry for its leadership in safety systems, the new C70 model that I tested came standard with four 3-point safety belts with pretensioners technology and force limiters, unibody high strength steel passenger safety cage, rollover protection (ROPS), extra high-strength steel, hydro-formed A-pillars, inflatable curtain side impact head protection,driver and front passenger side impact protection dual chamber side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger dual stage airbags, Volvo Whiplash protection system in driver and front passenger seats with 4-padded head restraints, LATCH system for child seats, safe approach & home safe perimeter lighting system, security system with separate battery for siren, anti-theft system immobilizer, tire pressure monitor and automatic hazard warning system.
The new 2012 Volvo C70 T5 Polestar Inscription has it all to satisfy and consumer looking to drive a true performance coupe with an automatic retractable top, the latest luxury and convenience features including Volvo’s legendary safety systems that are unmatched in the segment. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT An Olympic medal for the Swedish-Chinese connection For more information about Volvo products, go to www.volvo.com SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2012 Volvo C70 T5 Polestar Inscription Price: $40,450.00 base $47,775.00 as tested, including destination EPA fuel economy ratings: 18mpg/city, 28mpg/highway Engine: 2.5 liter, turbocharged/intercooled 5-cylinder, all aluminum DOHC with VVT and VI
Horsepower: 250 at 5,500rpm Torque: 275lb.ft. at 1,500-3,000rpm Transmission: Five-speed Geartronic micro-processor controlled auto with auto stick function Suspension: Front- independent-MacPherson struts, coil over springs, 23mm stabilizer bar, hidden strut tower brace Rear: independent-multi-links, coil springs, gas-charged shocks, 22mm stabilizer bar Tires/wheels: 18X8 inch ‘Midir’ with polished spokes, gloss black finish, 235/40VR18 inch Brakes: Front: 12.6 inch vented discs with dual-piston calipers Rear: 11.0 solid discs with single-piston calipers, ABS, EBD, EBA Dimensions Total length: 181.7in. Total width: 72.3in. Total height: 55.1in.