NEW FOR 2009:

– lower price
– Heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio now standard
– New rear logo emblem
– Updated optional navigation system

For 2009, Volvo has announced that it is reducing the price of the C70 convertible by $4,700 while offering an additional $1,750 in standard equipment. New standard features include heated seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. The optional HDD Navigation System with Real Time Traffic, Remote Control and Map Care has been updated to offer more scrolling and viewing features. In Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and in Vancouver in late 2008, the system will be better able to avoid traffic by customizing the route around known obstructions that have been digitally transmitted to the system’s receiver.

A joint venture between Volvo and Italian designer and builder Pininfarina, the C70 features a three-piece roof which folds automatically 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.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, door-mounted inflatable curtain airbag, seat side airbags, front and rear fog lamps, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, three-spoke tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, aluminum interior inlays, heated power-adjustable seats with leather inserts, power-operated rear-seat easy-entry feature, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, locking covered storage, auto up/down on all windows, floor mats, trip computer, variable intermittent wipers, and six-CD stereo with Sirius Satellite Radio.

Three option packages are available: a Premium Package for $2,400 that includes leather seats, retractable mirrors with puddle lights, rain sensor, garage door opener, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and headlamp washers; a Sport Package for $4,450, which builds on the Premium Package with 18-inch alloy wheels, level sensor, mass movement sensor and dual Xenon headlamps; and a DynAudio Package for $2,250, which includes twelve DynAudio speakers, Alpine digital amplifier, subwoofers and Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound processing. Stand-alone options are 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and drive, and a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) which warns of vehicles alongside in the driver’s blind spot.

Originally designed as a coupe to achieve its shape and then adapted as a convertible, the C70 is a beautifully-styled vehicle; its short doors can make it look stubby on side view, but make it easier to access in tight parking spots. The raised roof adds rigidity, but the car is surprisingly solid even with the top down. It puts on quite a show when it goes up or down, with three panels that fold into the trunk; space there 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 just enough that small items can be accessed without having to raise it completely.

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