An embarassing web 'oopsy' or a controlled leak... Take your pick, either way Volvo's long awaited and much rumoured 30-series hatchback has broken cover. Expected to be unveiled in concept form at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit on January 8, the new small Volvo was unveiled on the web on Boxing Day (Decemeber 26).
According to reports, shots of the production-ready three-door appeared on a European Volvo affiliate's website. Expected to be called C30, the car is based on the same Ford/Mazda/Volvo platform as its bigger S40/V50 stablemates, but styling is unique, recalling, in part, the marque's classic early-1970s 1800ES shooting break (pictured also).
Running gear is likely to be sourced from the S40/V50 family although smaller four-cylinder powerplants will likely be offered -- both in Europe and Down Under. The range-topper could use the V50R's impressive five-cylinder turbocharged all-wheel-drive underpinnings to take on the likes of the VW GTI, BMW 130i and Audi's hi-po A3s.
Series production of the new Volvo hatch is expected late in 2006, with the car expected to make its Australian debut at October 2006's Sydney Motor Show. First local deliveries are penned for the first quarter of 2007.