The first roll-out - off to the Green hell!

So, this time Daniel reports from the cockpit of the Ring-C30.

On March 25th it finally happened. Charleen and a good friend of ours had screwed properly in the meantime, in order to get all chassis parts into the car in time for the first free driving. Over the last months a whole bunch of parts had accumulated, among others the BILSTEIN B14 coil-over suspension, a set of lower struts from Ultra Racing, the torque support from AS Autospecialists and the (new) used Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 (which also look great, the anthracite really bangs with the Royal Blue). There was a lot of spitting in the hands! We left the new winter tyres on the rims, new Continental WinterContact TS 860 at the front and new Goodyear UltraGrip 8 at the rear. We're driving Volvo!

Apart from the unsurprising traffic jam on the A7, the journey was relatively unspectacular. The noise of the lower struts is intense in everyday life, but you get used to it. In the end it fits into the overall concept, because racecar and so on. The driving ability on the quite long journey, which is more often in store for us this year, is very good. On summer tyres, the ride comfort is even better. The chassis is already having a clearly positive effect on the motorway. In contrast to the standard dampers, which have come completely out of the working window due to the much too strong lowering of the Eibach springs and therefore bob for a long time even with small excitations, the C is now firm but pleasant. The body calms down much faster after suggestions, especially at higher speeds, so that the overall driving behaviour has become much more balanced and calculable. Clear recommendation, as I also know it from my C30 for about seven years.

Sunday itself starts rather mixed. At the start in Hennef the thermometer shows just below 0°C. And for the Eifel the weather god has some very special jokes in store! This can be fun. But advantage of the Volvo: After a few minutes the T5 has warmed everything up and the journey takes place in a meticulously heated car. There must be so much comfort.

And we can hardly believe it, but the closer we get to the Nordschleife, the more colleague Sonnenschein takes on the role of the heater. The venerable Eifel roller coaster welcomes us with fantastic late winter/spring weather and at least at the beginning a manageable number of courageous full speed disciples. We're in for a little excitement. Everything's so nice and gassy here! And no do-gooders in sight, for drivers somewhere between Kim Jong-un and a medium-sized boil. Breathe deeply and enjoy: wonderful!

Then it goes somehow very fast: four tickets bought in the app, threaded into the queue, and then the barrier to the start-finish straight for our very first round Nordschleife rises! But Charleen remains casually relaxed behind the wheel and routinely tears through the gears. Adrenaline's up, you're focused right now. The 20,832km fly past us, a clear rookie lap record, what else! The fact that 98% of the other cars feel like overtaking us must be due to the fact that we accidentally got into a horde of professional drivers...

Good, enough mood created! What can the car do, or what are the effects of the newly installed parts? Even if the effects of the individual components cannot be clearly filtered out individually due to the simultaneous installation of the parts and the lack of comparison with the original condition, I will try to disintegrate it.

The torque support has a clearly noticeable effect on shifting comfort and response after load changes, and this has an all round positive effect. The previously (and also in my C30) noticeable load changes up to the gearshift lever, especially during fast shifting, which are caused by the tilting torque of the unit consisting of engine and gearbox, are clearly less noticeable to almost completely gone. The M66 is a great transmission ex works, precise, short distances, yet comfortable. But with the torque support, the gearshift seems to be unleashed again. For the price an absolute must!

With the Bilstein chassis, the C30 lies comfortably taut, as described above. Thank God not bretthart, that would neither fit the requirements of travel comfort nor the requirement profile of the Nordschleife.

The lower struts of the dome show their permanent presence acoustically, but they also deliver properly. In combination with the lighter rims the steering is a different world than in my C30, very direct for a Volvo, but not nervous. This feeling from the standard condition, that there is always such an extra long, slightly wishy-washy Swedish cord stretched between the steering impulse and the reaction of the vehicle, is largely gone. He steers precisely, one could almost say.
The combination B5254T7 - M66 - Quaife lock is a dreamlike combination on the track. The full and early applied torque, the great shiftability of the gearbox and the very good traction even under load e.g. in the Ex mill area are a force and especially for us rookies a blessing. The combination always allows at least the third gear, and even if you forget to shift down, the T5 doesn't itch much, it presses much better than it rotates. Awesome all around.
Very important: The standard brake also survives the four laps without any complaints. Of course it has not really been demanded yet, but it is worth mentioning, because the Nordschleife is a challenge for this assembly.

Otherwise there is not much more to report. Working through the first contact, getting along with the tourist traffic, the whole great atmosphere of the green hell generate more feelings than concrete individual memories. Most importantly, the C30 is ideally equipped for the first approach. We are looking forward to the first GLP!


By the way! Ten years ago the Ring-C30 had its debut on the Nordschleife. At that time it was tested against the VW Scirocco.
The article including the story about the 8m 44s lap time on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife can be found here.

And something nice at the end. Not only we "test" diligently in the green hell. Volvo itself is obviously not afraid to travel from Sweden to put the finishing touches to the new XC40. 😊


Pictures by Daniel Schumann