Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Volvo C30 and ramblings on 3 vs 5 doors

In the title there is a link to a UK article on the upcoming Volvo C30. The 3 door sibling to the S40/V50 compacts built on the Ford corporate C1 platform, that underpins the Mazda3 and Euro Ford Focus. The C30 will come with Volvo's 2.5 liter I-5 Turbo putting out 250 hp. Each company differentiates it's version of the base chassis and they aren't just badge engineering, as Joel had pointed out a few weeks ago. But this will be as close as you can get to the Euro Ford Focus ST here in the US. You see, the Ford ST uses the same I5 turbo in Europe. I wonder why Ford isn't using the Mazdaspeed 3's Turbo I4? It also puts out 250 hp, and in the Mazdaspeed 6 it makes 284 hp.
And this raised another question in my mind. Why is Ford the only one to offer both a 3 and 5 door? Volvo's C30 will be 3 door and the Mazda 3 only has a 5 door hatch. And of all of the siblings, the Euro Focus comes in the most variations, from basic economy car to tarmac burning hot hatch, with a range of Diesel and Petrol engines as well as Flex Fuel versions in Europe.
Now I had always preferred 3 doors over 5 doors from an asthetic point of view. But after buying my Mazda 3 (Axela) and taking a couple of rides in my friend's new GTI, I can see the light. My old ass doesn't want to crawl into a 3 door, and I guess I don't want to force friends to do the same.

And I don't care what anyone says, of the siblings, the Focus is the best looking version. I like my 3, but the Focus has smoother lines. And while I don't love the tail lights up the roof pilar, they're better on this new version than in past. I'd love a C1 5 door with the 2.0 TDI Diesel, 6 speed manual and the suspension and brakes from the ST in the light blue of the 3 door pictured above.

When will Ford learn and bring the C1 platform to the US? That would be a "Bold Move."

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