NEW FOR 2008:

– Horsepower rises from 218 to 227 hp
– New optional Blind Spot Information System and keyless drive

For 2008, the Volvo C70 convertible undergoes minor changes: an increase of nine horsepower, and two new available options. The Blind Spot Information System uses digital cameras mounted in the side mirrors to determine if an obstacle is in the vehicle’s blind spots, and warns the driver with a light if so.

A joint venture between Volvo and Italian designer and builder Pininfarina, the C70 uses a three-piece roof which folds automatically at the touch of a button in thirty seconds, and contains a normal-sized heated glass rear window. It comes in a single trim line and uses a turbocharged 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder engine, mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic with manual shift mode.

Features include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, door-mounted curtain airbag, driver information system, speed-sensitive electro-hydraulic steering, front and rear fog lights, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, leather-insert seats with driver’s power adjustment and memory, three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, aluminum interior inlays, power-operated easy entry to rear seats, cruise control, auto up/down on all windows, intermittent wipers, and six-CD stereo.

Available options include bi-Xenon headlamps, heated seats, rain-sensing wipers and navigation system.

Originally designed as a coupe to achieve its overall shape, and then adapted as a convertible, the C70 is a beautiful vehicle. The roof adds rigidity, but the car is surprisingly solid even with the top down, and it’s quite a show, as the panels fold and store in the trunk. Trunk space is naturally limited by the roof, but there’s still enough room for a weekend’s worth of luggage, and a clever mechanism lifts the folded roof slightly so that small items can be removed from under it without having to raise it completely. Covered storage compartments in each of the four armrests lock automatically when the glove-box is locked.

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