The little Volvo is a true designer car
People looking for a solution to rush-hour traffic and jammed city streets won't buy a Volvo C30 for the same reasons they would buy a Toyota Yaris. The latter is a rational pick based on affordability and fuel efficiency.
On the other hand, emotion is what drives customers to purchase a C30, which is twice as expensive as its Japanese counterpart. They want a car that's not only a blast to drive but also great to be seen in. The MINI Cooper S and Audi A3 2.0T are other such examples.
Having said that, what's the point of giving the C30 a new personality with the R-Design Package? Well, you see, some consumers nowadays are only interested in designer products (be it a car, a clothing accessory or whatever) because they carry a certain prestige.
Return of the pendulum
There's something funny about that. In the 1980s, a Lincoln owner not only had to drive a Continental to stand out, but one with the signature of Bill Blass or Versace!
The marketing gurus at Volvo are banking on the return of this trend, which is why they subtly combined two of their 2008 packages (Sport and Sport Styling) into a single package for 2009 -- called R-Design. Volvo is not the only automaker to use that approach; think of Audi with the S Line.
"R-Design fits perfectly in our strategy to make our cars more extrovert," explains Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars Senior Vice President of Design. "R-Design gives buyers the opportunity to add even more spice to their sensational cars."
In Canada, R-Design packages are available with the 2009 C30, S40, V50 and XC90. Of course, added prestige comes at a price. In the case of the C30 T5, it represents a $4,200 premium.
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