After an interior and exterior update for the 2011 model year, the Volvo C70 returns for 2012 with minor changes. Its core mission continues; the C70 offers top-down motoring to convertible-lovers while remaining a stylish and civilized coupe when the retractable hardtop in place. Starting this month, Volvo is offering a limited-edition C70 Inscription version with exclusive design treatments including unique wheels and upgraded interior finishes.

The C70 Inscription shares some new bright work with the standard 2012 C70, such as chrome surrounding the LED daytime running lights. But the Inscription's styling departs from there with a painted grille and exclusive 18-inch "Midir" rims. The Inscription-specific wheels are painted black, with polished spokes and lip.

Three exterior colors are offered on the C70 Inscription - Black Stone, Black Sapphire (metallic), and Ice White. Volvo is now offering a contrasting silver roof, but those who choose that look will only find it on the standard C70. Inscription models are exclusively offered with single-tone applications of the above colors.

Upgrades inside the Inscription include aluminum details and extensive leather trim with contrasting stitching. The C70 Inscription receives aluminum inlays in the steering wheel, gear shift knob and sport pedals. Volvo's signature slim center stack can be brightened up with either more aluminum, or a black or light oak option. The dashboard is leather-wrapped, and Sovereign Hide upholstery comes in Off Black or Calcite colors with contrasting stitching to match the exclusive dash, handbrake lever and carpets.

The C70 Inscription's turbocharged, 230-horsepower five-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission nicely balance performance and fuel economy.

Doug Speck, Volvo's Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service, says the C70 Inscription is for the convertible driver who wants a vehicle that is special not only for the way it looks, but also for the way it works.

"The C70 is a true icon in our model range. The Inscription is based on our human-centric Designed Around You philosophy, offering those who love convertibles and coupes a beautifully detailed version with a lot of curb appeal," says Speck.

Volvo has certainly shown the C70 to be a comfortable and well-built convertible boulevard cruiser. While the Inscription's exterior differences may not be noticeable enough to draw the attention of gawkers, the limited-edition's luxurious interior will always pamper the driver with its rich upholstery and upscale finishes. Convertibles are usually best enjoyed from the interior anyway, preferably with the scenery streaming by.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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