The introduction this week of the Polestar 1 coupe has no doubt gotten many champing at the bit to own a sporty Volvo two-door. Don’t worry though, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has got you, fam. This C70 looks a lot like the 1, but is it priced to be the one?
There was a lot to like about yesterday’s 2000 Porsche Boxster. After all it had a 300-horsepower 3.4-litre six in its belly, and that’s a substantial upgrade over the factory-installed 2.7.
Less likable perhaps was its pedigree as presented in the ad. At $12,900, the seller should have detailed the build, and whether or not the infamous IMS issue had been addressed. Until then, many of us would considering a grenade with the pin pulled, and that was reflected in the car’s 58 percent Crack Pipe loss.
I like it when disparate brands use the same name but in different dialects languages or spellings. That’s the case with Volvo’s performance arm, Polestar. The name references the multi-star system in the constellation Ursa Minor, anchored by the star Alpha Ursae Minoris. That burning gas ball is more commonly known as the “North Star” or “Polaris”owing to its proximity to the celestial north pole.
Now, as we all know, Polaris is also the name of the Minnesota-based maker of snow mobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, and the three-wheel Slingshot bringer of death.
Polestar/Polaris, po-tay-toe/pa-tah-tow, it’s all good. Even better is the Polestar 1, the amazing 600-horse plug-in hybrid that the company dropped on us earlier this week. That’s based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but with a ton of variation to fully differentiate the car from its S90/V90 cousins. Visually, the Polestar 1 exudes its heritage, featuring Thor’s hammer headlights, a wide stance, and a greenhouse that recalls Volvos C70 coupes of the late nineties and early aughts. Considering the expected cost of the all-singing/all-dancing Polestar 1—which is expected to be a lot—why not just buy a C70 and play let’s pretend?
Here’s a seemingly good opportunity to do just that. This 1999 Volvo C70 comes not with future-speak construction or Terminator-level technologies of the Polestar 1, but it does sport a turbo five pot and an engaging five-cog manual transmission to make the most of that engine’s output.
Based on the FWD platform of the 850, and co-developed by Britain’s Tom Walkinshaw Racing, the C70 eschewed its progenitor’s boxy design tropes for some sexier curves and an available open-roofed model. This one’s a coupe which benefits from a far more solid chassis than the drop top, as well as a much closer lineage in looks to today’s pugnacious Polestar 1.
The 2.3-litre DOHC five cylinder under hood here was factory rated at 190 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. That’s pumped through the front wheels through Volvo’s home-grown M56 five speed stick. In a car weighing in at around 3,200 pounds, that makes for adequate if not scintillating performance.
According to the ad, this one “runs and drive good,” and offers tires with about 90% tread and brakes that are “good.”
The silver paint looks modestly serviceable and free of any major issues, while the handsome five-spoke alloys underpinning the car seem likewise clean and undamaged.
Inside things turn a little south. The driver’s seat shows signs of wear, as they almost all do in Volvos of this age. Similarly, there’s evidence of plastic trim going places it shouldn’t. Over all the styling in here has held up well, even if the execution hasn’t. There’s 119,000 miles on the clock—not too little and not too much—and of course it offers power everything.
Coupes haven’t really been a thing for a while now in America, and Volvo only managed to move about four or five thousand of these cars a year here over the course of its model run. 1999 was the model’s biggest year with 6,503 cars sold, but most of those were automatic models. This one being a stick makes it more rare, more fun, and a closer cousin in concept to the hot Polestar 1. All that comes with an asking price of $2,950.
What’s your take on this C70 and that $2,950 price? Does this C seem worth all those C-notes? Or, is this a Volvo coupe that’s not going to take the pole?
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