Volvo C304 and C306 6x6
The Volvo C303, C304 and C306 are a family of light off-road vehicles, designed for army use. Terrängbil is the name used inside the Swedish army, in short Tgb. These vehicles are sometimes called the Laplander, a name which was also used for its predecessor (the L3314). The 6x6 versions of the range are the C304 and C306. This vehicle range was in production between 1974 and 1984.
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Volvo did design these vehicles as a modular family of 4x4, 6x6 vehicles. One prototype 8x8 version of the C304 was built and tested, but it never made it into production. Its higher production cost could not be justified by its performance. The same store goes for an amphibious version.
The C304 does have 5 door closed body or a chassis cab with a special body, alternative type designations are Tgb 13 and C03 6x6-1-V. The chassis cab version of the C304 is in use with different bodies, these include ambulance and communication vehicles.
Due to the fact, the Engine is mounted behind the front axle, the rear seats in the C303 (4x4) and C304 (6x6) are mounted further backwards than in a normal SUV. This is the reason there is a panel in between the front and rear doors. Two rear facing rear seats can mounted at each side of the engine. Combined with the 3-seat bench at the back, it gives a 7 seats in the C303 and C304 hardtop.
The C306 is chassis cab version with a canvas top body, it is also known as Tgb 20 and C03 6x6-5-V. This vehicle does have a larger wheelbase and is longer compared to the the C304. The cargo body is wider as-well.
Frame and portal axles
Its frame is a classic ladder frame. It is lower in between the axles, like many light off-road vehicles. The portal axles have leaf springs. Both rear axles share 2 leaf springs to provide a weight distribution.
Power comes from a 3 litre 6-cylinder petrol engine. This engine is based on the one used by Volvo cars in the Volvo 164 (different camshaft). It sends power through a 5-speed manual transmission to the transfer case, which drives the axles via 3 prop shafts. Both rear axles are permanently driven, the front axle is driven during off-road usage.
Vehicles in use by the Swedish army often have lower payload ratings labelled on the driver’s door, than the one found in the specification. This can indicate the Swedish army does specify a payload rating which does not include the weight of the soldiers and fuel. The vehicle can still carry its maximum of fuel and passengers, when it is loaded to its maximum payload.
In general, these vehicles do have a reputation for being very capable off-road. The use of a petrol engine results in a high fuel consumption during off-road driving.
8718 vehicles have been build (C303, C304 and C306 combined), about 25% of these vehicles have been sold to civilian customers.
- engine: Volvo B30A, 3L 6-cylinder petrol 86 kW at 4000 rpm / 206 Nm at 2500 rpm (some source give a power rating of 93 kW. It is possible Volvo did update the engine during its life cycle)
- gearbox: 5 speed manual + 2 speed transfer case
- fuel tank: 85 litres / 22.45 gal (US)
- drum brakes on all wheels
- tyres: 8.90”×16” or 9.00”×16”
- top speed: a little over 80 km/h (around 50 miles per hour)
- GVM: 4700 kg / 10362 lbs
- curb weight: 2,820 kg / 6,217 lbs
- length: 5350 mm / 210.6 in
- wheelbase: 2300 mm / 90.6 in + 1 metre / 39.4 in
- with: 1930 mm / 76 in
- height: 2170 mm / 85,4 in
- GMV 5700 kg / 12566 lbs
- curb weight: 3390 kg / 12566 lbs
- length: 6050 mm / 238.2 in
- wheelbase: 2700 mm / 106.3 in + 1000 mm / 39.4 in
- width: 2140 mm / 84.3 in
- height: 2800 mm (110.2 in)
Volvo C304, photo by Lukasz Katlewa (wikimedia commons license)
Volvo C 306
8x8 prototype compared to a Mercedes Unimog
Testdrive by German journalists