The hatchback is an all?new three-door vehicle in the size of a VW Golf and will be built on Ford's C1 global small-car platform, which is also used for the Ford Focus, Volvo S40 and V50 wagon.

Volvo’s first hatchback

Ford-owned Volvo had a concept car of the upcoming new C30 on display at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year, and we have now snapped the production model undergoing cold-weather testing on a lonely road very near to the Arctic Circle.

The hatchback is an all new three-door vehicle in the size of a VW Golf and will be built on Ford’s C1 global small-car platform, which is also used for the Ford Focus, Volvo S40 and V50 wagon. However, the C30 will be some 25 centimetres shorter than Volvo’s current S40 sedan and will be the Swedes’ first step into the compact hatch market.

The C30’s power is said to come from a twin-cam four-cylinder engine, although Volvo is also looking for hybrid powertrains.

When launched in spring 2007, the C30 will become a competitor against cars like Audi A3, BMW 1-series or VW Golf, though the futuristic layout of the original concept seems to get largely toned down for the real machine.

Production should begin at Ford’s Gent plant in Belgium late next summer.

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