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2013 Volvo C30 R-Design Polestar Limited Edition Last Hurrah Comes and Goes In A Hurry

07:29AM - 28.02.'13

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It isn't very often that we drive a new car that's already out of production, but that's exactly what has happened with this 2013 Volvo C30. After just five years on the North American market, the last C30 quietly rolled off the assembly line back in December. But before that happened, Volvo decided to send its compact hatchback out on a high note with a little added performance and exclusivity courtesy of this R-Design Polestar Limited Edition model.

The term "hot hatch" is admittedly tossed around a lot these days, but the combination of an R-Design styling package coupled with a good number of extra ponies under the hood should be more than enough to put the C30 in the mix with the likes of the Volkswagen GTI and its not-too-distant cousin, the Mazdaspeed3. The chief problem with the Polestar Limited Edition, though, is that it's priced against sportier all-wheel-drive compacts like the Golf R and Subaru WRX STI, so we decided to spend a week with the Polestar to see if its exclusivity and performance are enough to make up for its higher price tag.  Love it or hate it, the C30 definitely stands out from the crowd thanks in large part to that all-glass hatch inspired by the classic Volvo P1800, but the Polestar Limited Edition goes a step further by coloring the car in a Smurftastic shade dubbed Rebel Blue, while tossing on a gorgeous set of matte-black 17-inch wheels. The only other visual cue indicating that this is a limited edition model is a serialized plaque mounted in between the center vents (color matched to the exterior color) showing exactly which of the 250-unit production run your derrière is planted in. Our tester? No. 172. Everything else on the car is part of the $2,350 R-Design styling package, including its silver mirror caps, lower rear fascia with dual 3.5-inch pipes poking through, a liftgate spoiler and color-matched aero bits on the front fascia and rocker panels.

Unlike most hot hatches that start life as budget-minded compacts, the C30 has an upscale interior even in base form. The R-Design package brings with it some much-needed performance-minded enhancement to the cabin, including a thick-rimmed steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift lever, both with aluminum inlays. Additional R-Design styling upgrades include the blue-accented instrument gauges, two-tone seats, sport pedals and metallic trim on the center stack and center console with a wave epicenter effect machined into the surface. Rather than sacrificing driving comfort with heavily bolstered sport buckets, Volvo has elected to stick with the stock seats, which is both good and bad depending on what you want out of this car.

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