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Volvo may nab Saab fans

The newest C70 S and T5 convertibles are now arriving at Volvo dealers

With fellow Swedish brand Saab tettering on the edge locally, Volvo Car Australia managing director, Alan Desselss, reckons the Volvo name could lure them across to the new C70 convertible.  "There is a good opportunity for us to go after ex-Saab convertible owners," Desselss says.

"Clearly there is a market that is open."  Local Saab sales have tanked with only one car sold so far this year as the product pipeline from Europe froze.

Despite the company being saved from extinction by Dutch sportscar maker, Spyker, local dealers have watched buyers desert showrooms.  With the newest C70 S and T5 convertibles now arriving at Volvo dealers, Desselss is keen to snare sales from anywhere.

The opener starts at $59,950 S with the range topper turbo T5 at $69,950.  Both the normally aspirated and turbo C70's use Volvo's five-cylinder petrol engines in 2.4 and 2.5-litre capacities.  The S develops 125kW/230Nm and the T5 169kW/320Nm.

Although there are no plans for a four cylinder C70, Desselss says he would not rule it out in the future, saying such a model could help lower the entry price into the C70.  Volvo has already previewed a new-generation 149kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection four cylinder that will be rolled out in Europe in the S80, V70 and XC60.

The engine is also destined for the new S60, which arrives in local showrooms later this year.  With the Saab 9-3 convertible effectively out of the picture, the C70 counts as its direct Euro rivals the Volkswagen Eos, BMW 1 Series convertible and Audi A3 convertible.