The sensational pictures in this week's Auto Express reveal the new model in all its glory ahead of the official unveiling at September's Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on a mixture of mechanical parts from the S40 and S60 saloons, the cabrio will take on BMW's forthcoming 3-Series CC (see Page 25 in this week's mag) with a combination of style and versatility.
Our exclusive images show the sleek profile of the new Swedish model, with the manufacturer's familiar light clusters at the rear. The unique body shares only the bonnet with the S40, and is wider and longer than its sibling.
In our main picture, the two-door model has its massive bootlid up. That gives the game away on what bosses hope will be the C70's strongest selling point: its folding metal hard-top.
The rear deck obviously drops down flush with the waistline, but also flips up the other way thanks to hinges at the back. At the touch of a button, the roof and rear screen will appear, with the help of electric motors, to create a coupé. It's a change from the original C70, which was available as both a hard-top two-door and a fabric-roofed cabrio.
Aiming to better rivals for rear seat space, the newcomer's cabin will offer plenty of room for four adults, whether the top is up or down. The dash is lifted straight out of the S40, with buyers benefiting from the sensible ergonomic layout and neat 'floating' centre console that have made the saloon a hit in the compact executive market.
Engines will also be shared with the four-door, but bosses have decided not to offer a diesel. Volvo will concentrate on ensuring the C70 delivers the optimum in refinement, with entry-level models expected to be powered by 1.8-litre four-cylinder motors and top-of-the-range cars getting five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged units. The new model will replace the original C70, which has remained surprisingly popular despite its dated underpinnings.
On a twisty road, the car showed its age with a lack of structural rigidity - but its replacement promises a driving experience barely distinguishable from the firm's saloons. Engineers have already completed a comprehensive development programme to find the perfect chassis set-up - although comfort is likely to be more of a priority than excitement. Prices will be announced closer to the C70's arrival here in February, but base models are expected to come in at about £25,000. Flagship performance variants will cost around £31,000.