The Volvo C30 hatchback never caught on in the U.S. like the newer S60 compact sports sedan, but a new special-edition model may spark a bit more interest for the 2013 model year. The $32,445 Volvo C30 Polestar edition will be limited to 250 units in the U.S., and arrives in dealerships in November.
Volvo is introducing a higher-powered variant of the C30 hatch with as many units produced as it will have horsepower: 250. The car will roll into showrooms in November and carry a base price of $32,445.
As you'd expect from a Polestar-edition Volvo, the special C30 hatch has 250 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, improvements of 23 hp and 37 lb-ft, thanks to increased airflow in the combustion chambers and advancing spark timing.
When we tested our long-term 2008 Volvo C30 with the stock turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 engine and a five-speed automatic, the car completed the 0-60 mph sprint in 7.1 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 94 mph. Volvo says the C30 Polestar edition maintains the standard EPA fuel economy estimates of 21/29 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual and 21/30 mpg with the five-speed automatic. Like the C30 R-Design model, the Polestar cars have sportier tuning with 30-percent more spring stiffness and a 10-percent-quicker steering ratio.
To distinguish the Polestar-edition model from the regular 2013 Volvo C30 -- which has a $26,395 base price -- you'll find new 17-inch wheels with a matte-black finish and a new-for-2013 Rebel Blue exterior color. Inside, the leather seats are available in off-black or a two-tone off-black and Calcite combination. Just like the 2013 C30 T5 R-Design's Premier Plus trim, the C30 Polestar edition gets a sunroof, HID headlights, power driver's seat with memory, a power passenger's seat, LED daytime running lights, and Volvo's Keyless Drive. A 650-watt 10-speaker sound system is available, as is a navigation system and heated front seats. Compared to a 2013 Volvo C30 R-Design with the Premier Plus trim, the C30 Polestar carries a $1000 premium.
Especially in Rebel Blue, the 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar edition hatch looks attractive, though we do wish the car included 18-inch wheels. Through the first eight months of 2012, the Volvo C30 is the automaker's lowest-volume car, with 1967 sales through the end of August representing a 12.8-percent decrease compared to the same period in 2011. Until Volvo officially confirms production of the range-topping S60 Polestar sedan, Polestar fans in the U.S. will have to be satisfied with special editions of models like the C30 and XC60.
Price includes $895 destination charge.