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Tony O'Kane | Jul 21, 2008

If there's one thing Volvo's current line-up lacks, it's a hot hatch. The Swedish manufacturer's sporting offerings have typically been turbocharged variants of its FWD sedans, with the odd AWD model thrown in. However, there's the faintest glimmer of hope on the horizon for Volvo fanatics seeking bootless thrills, and it comes in the form of the C30 R prototype.

The C30 R takes the engine block from the potent Ford Focus RS's inline-five, turns up the wick with more boost and stronger internals and couples it with Volvo's AWD system. Whereas the Focus RS has only 224kW, the C30 R's turbocharged mill produces 16.5 per cent more, endowing the C30 R with a very handy 261kW - almost 100kW more than the current range-topping C30 T5. Meanwhile, the AWD system helps eliminate the troublesome torque steer that plagues Volvo's turbocharged FWD offerings.

Those are some good numbers and a European answer to Subaru's WRX would undoubtedly be welcome, but unfortunately Volvo says there's no intention to put the C30 R into production due to concerns over its ability to meet increasingly tighter emissions and fuel economy standards. Dang.

Thanks for the tip Wheelnut!

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