• Five-cylinder engines were highly favoured in the early 2000s.
• Wheels24 reader Rubby Dhunpath sends us thoughts on his previously owned Volvo C70 T5.
• The C70 also featured the five-cylinder engine found in the Ford Focus ST.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.
Earlier in January, Wheels24 contributor Robin Classen wrote an article about some of the best five-cylinder engines from the early 2000s.
Wheels24 reader Rubby Dhunpath then wrote to us and shared his thoughts:
"A five-cylinder engine was also used to power the Volvo C70 T5. I believe it was the same engine that powered the acclaimed Ford Focus ST.
"I received the Volvo as a fiftieth birthday gift from my wife and children. One day, they quipped that at the age of fifty, I ought to be having a mid-life crisis and driving something younger and topless, rather than the 10-year-old Honda Prelude, to which I was incurably attached.
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"The next day I went into the office and placed a "call-a-car" notice on the internet, indicating my preference for a convertible. Within 10 minutes I had a call from a dealer offering me a 2002 Volvo C70 T5 convertible for R165 000. He later brought the car to me, indicating that he had just received it as a trade-in, with scratches and all. And, because the car was in an unadorned, honest condition, I immediately decided to buy it. Of course, it was later polished and detailed by the dealer - and looked as good as new when I collected it. I subjected the car to an AA test, and the dealer attended to all my quibbles.
"The one feature of the Volvo C70 that inspires confidence is its five-cylinder, high-pressure turbo engine, which is truly amazing. With 180kW and 330Nm torque, the Cabrio is something of a pocket rocket, making zero to 100km in 6.9 seconds. It was a sheer delight on the Durban to Johannesburg run, consuming around 7.0-litres to 100km, although it was considerably thirstier on suburban roads. The willowy suspension did the drivetrain no favours, though, especially its considerable torque steer, requiring driver skill when negotiating winding roads.
"After some time, it was relegated to 'second car' status, and used over weekends, and long trips. The equally impressive Prelude re-claimed its position as my daily drive.
"We then relocated back to Durban, where the car appeared to be something of a curiosity, attracting lots of attention because of its rarity here. It consistently received praise for its timeless, if not modern looks. While it continued to be a weekend-special, it performed duty at least five times as a wedding car.
"Regrettably, a few weeks ago, I reluctantly conceded the need to get an SUV, which offers a better lateral vision. One thing that confounds is that the earlier Volvo products suffer from extremely poor resale values.
"However, because the C70 is still in pristine condition after 19 years, I received a reasonable offer by market standards. Sadly, the dealer who bought the Volvo was unable to enjoy the car as he was a victim of Covid-19.
"So, I now own a Subaru XV. While I do enjoy the Subaru, I definitely miss the exhilarating acceleration of the C70.
"As a matter of interest: the photo of the Volvo with the top down (GP registration) was taken twelve years ago when we lived in Johannesburg. The other pics bearing the ND registration were taken only a few weeks ago."