Initially, the Volvo 850 was available in a GLT version, equipped with a naturally aspirated powerplant with 20 valves and 170 horsepower. The propellant was set to cause aural pleasure – even today, it remains one of the most melodious engines ever created.
In 1993 debuted the Volvo 850 station wagon, which has a characteristic design with a vertical rear window, and because of that it was awarded the Japanese “1994 Good Design Grand Prize” and the Italian award “Most beautiful estate”. The boot volume is downright huge, and access to it is favored by the big door, made this way because of the vertical tail lamps.
The Volvo 850 received new powertrain options, including turbo-aspirated units, the pinnacle being the 850 T-5R model, developed together with Porsche. This model debuted at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show in bright yellow color and a turbo-aspirated engine of 240 hp and 330 Nm of torque, which was more than enough for going from 0 to 100 km / h in just 7 seconds (6.9 seconds for sedan) and a top speed of 245 km / h!
Initially, the Swedes planned to produce a limited edition of 2,500 copies for this dynamic model 850 T-5R, but is was being sold like hot cakes because the public loved it and another 2,500 copies painted black and another 2,500 copies painted dark green were made.
Appearing in 1996, the Volvo 850 AWD was the Swedish manufacturer’s first model with four-wheel drive. Under normal circumstances the AWD traction transmits more torque to the front wheels, and during accelerations, when cornering, or when grip is lost, a higher ratio torque is transferred to the rear wheels. So, the torque varies not only between the axles, but also between the wheels. Virtually only one wheel with the best grip, receives the torque necessary to remove the bogged down car.
It had an increased ground clearance and a version of the turbo-aspirated 5-cylinder engine that developed 193 hp and 270 Nm of torque, which allowed it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 220 km / h. The 850 AWD version was the predecessor for the station wagons with enhanced capabilities of passage called “Cross Country”, but also for the current XC60 and XC90 models.
Production of the 850 was completed in 1996, and since 1997, after a major facelift, it was renamed the S70 (sedan) and V70 (station wagons). A total of 1,360,522 copies Volvo 850 have been produced.