Volvo C70 is Saintly Sinner

Moscow is expecting the screening of the new version of "The Saint," starring Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue. The film premiered in Hollywood on April 14th, and last week was No. 3 on the U.S. Top Ten.

The movie was filmed in Moscow and London. Val Kilmer -- "The Saint" -- drives a strange pearl-yellow car which looks like a Volvo but for many people it isn't a Volvo they see on the streets every day. But it soon will be!

Shortly before the presentation of "The Saint" in Los Angeles, Volvo Cars International organized a preview test drive for journalists of the new Volvo C70 Coupe in Santa Barbara, California. This car is presented in the film and I'm ready to tell you more about it.

The Volvo C70 Coupe is an exciting exponent of Volvo's new design direction, which made its debut in 1995 with the S40/V40 models.

After many years of "classic car" production, Volvo created a four-seater coupe with the feel of a two-seater.

The Volvo C70 Coupe is built on the same platform as the Volvo S70 and V70. The driveline, wheel assembly and other main components have been optimized to suit the driving characteristics and other properties of the C70.

The car has a transverse 5-cylinder in-line all-aluminum engine with double overhead camshafts and 20 valves, and is available in two options: turbocharged with intercooler or the light-pressure turbo. These engines are characterized by outstanding performance, a broad and powerful torque range and immediate response.

The cars which were shown to journalists in Santa Barbara have both manual and automatic transmissions; I had the good fortune to drive both. Of course, the manual gearbox is designed for those who prefer the sporting way of driving. It gives you more power over the car. But the automatic also makes "aggressive" driving possible.

The braking system is very important for all coupes -- because they are designed for speed. Volvo has powerful four-wheel anti-locking disc brakes: the front discs are ventilated and all four are fitted with sliding calipers. The system also has EBD, which distributes the braking effect and ensures that the rear discs are always applied for optimum effect in any situation. We tried slowing the car down from a speed of more than 100 mph and the result was good even when braking hard.

The car is designed and constructed for maximum comfort, with a center armrest with built-in cupholder for the front seat, illuminated make-up mirrors on each side, and many practical storage compartments. The power windows and outside rearview mirrors can be supplemented with electrically adjustable front seats.

The sound system was very impressive. Ten speakers are standard, and are positioned for the best possible sound reproduction in order to do full justice to the radio, CD and cassette player with the help of powerful 60- or 100-watt amplifiers. The C70 Coupe can be factory-fitted with Dolby Surround, which transforms the car into a mobile concert hall. A speaker fitted in the middle of the instrument panel is the only visible sign of the installation. But the sound is evidence enough, with its highly sophisticated sense of "surround."

Back to The Saint -- Val Kilmer told a Volvo representative, "I only had to drive the C70 a few blocks, and I decided to buy it!"

The first presentation of the Volvo C70 Coupe in Moscow is expected during the Moscow International Motor Show at the end of August. The price through the official Volvo dealer is expected to be around $75,000.