2010 Volvo C30 R-Design - Click above for high-res image gallery
There was a time when putting the words 'Volvo' and 'Design' in the same sentence was the punchline to a bad joke, but the Swedish automaker has come a long way since then. The C30 may be the best evidence to date that Volvo can make an attractive, sporty looking hatchback, and the little four-seater is about to get more interesting at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.
Volvo has already released pics of the upgraded C30, complete with a more expressive front end and cleaner rear fascia, and the Swedish automaker is planning an R-Design variant of its funky little hatch that features R badges and a body kit treatment with front and rear spoilers. The C30 R-Design will also sport 17-inch Cratus aluminum wheels (18s optional) and chrome-plated sports tailpipes. On the inside, Volvo continues its tradition of going big on the R badging with R-Design emblems on the front seats, center stack, steering wheel and panel inserts. The gear level is now trimmed in aluminum and leather and the sports pedals get the aluminum treatment as well.
In the recent past, Volvo has veered away from providing more powerful powertrains for its R-badged vehicles, and the C30 is no different. The C30 does, however come with an upgraded steering and chassis package that Volvo says was tested on the twisty roads of England and the high-speed highways of the German Autobahn. Volvo engineers added stiffer bushings and quickened the steering ratio to provide 10% quicker responses. The R-Design C30 will also have 30% stiffer springs to give the Volvo hatch sportier driving characteristics. Hit the jump to read over the Volvo presser, and click on the gallery below to get a closer look at the Volvo C30 R-Design.