This can be traced back to the P1800, which I’ve always rather liked, especially in shooting brake form. The pop-up headlight 480 of the late 80s was no rocketship dynamically but the futuristic looks were always rather nice I thought. And the C30 picked up where those cars left off and, though no longer in production, remains a handsome car and an appealingly alternative choice to stuff like the Audi TT, BMW 1 Series or Volkswagen Scirocco.
Because, yes, in T5 tune the C30 was respectably fast. The Focus ST with which it shared a platform and engine was a cracking car, that warbly five-cylinder turbo both charismatic and usefully more muscular than the four-cylinder motors in most rivals. That Focus’s performance and attitude wrapped in cool Scandi-design? You’ll hopefully share my curiosity.
As stock the T5 has 230ps [227bhp], which is a good start. The R-Design package looks great too, the understated bodykit and tasteful alloys giving the C30 a discreetly sporting image. Late, low mileage ones just about hit £10K it seems but you can find examples like this post-facelift, 2011 car for much less - £7,495 with 70,000 miles on the clock in this instance. You can pay nearly double that for front-wheel drive Audi TT of comparable age and mileage, this having less power and a more ‘ordinary’ four-cylinder motor. The TT is a nice car of course. But I rather like the Volvo’s more left-field approach, I think it’s better looking, it’s got four usable seats and those Focus underpinnings sound a little more inspiring from a handling perspective.