Happy 25th Birthday To The Volvo 850!

When we design a boxy-yet-oddly-sleek Volvo 850, customarily a wagon, it’s easy to forget only how radical it was 25 years ago. Volvo was indeed utterly specific about how radical it was during a time, observant it was, and we quote, “A energetic automobile with 4 universe firsts.” So there we go: it was quadra-radical.

Here’s what those 4 firsts were:

The cross five-cylinder engine, a Delta-link behind spindle designed in-house, a integrated side-impact insurance system, SIPS, and a self-adjusting front chair belt.

A cross inline-five is positively bonkers, no question. The side-impact insurance complement was unequivocally important, sure, though that chair belt is flattering boring.


Instead of that, I’d rather remind everybody that a 850 was Volvo’s initial FWD American-market automobile (in Europe a DAF-based Volvos brought FWD to a association earlier) and I’d like everybody to design a 850 wagon’s large skyscraper-tall taillights.

The growth of a 850 started in 1978 with a plan code-named “Galaxy”—that same plan also grown a smaller FWD Volvos, a 440 and 460, in box we were curious.


The 850 started with a important 170 horsepower on tap, and in 1994 a T-5R model, grown with submit from Porsche, was denounced during a Geneva Motor Show, creation a no-joke 240 HP. Volvo done 2500 of these rapid bricks in yellow, afterwards 2500 some-more in black, and finally 2500 some-more in dim green.

Since they had such a quick automobile now, Volvo got behind into racing in 1994 entering a British Touring Car Championship with one of a T-5R wagons. Seeing a boxy Volvo automobile using with those BMWs and Audis and Alfas is easily entertaining.


In 1996, a 850 got all circle drive, Volvo’s first, and in that approach arrange of became a proto-crossover, apropos a template for a arrange of automobile that would eventually reinstate it. In 1997 a 850 was facelifted into a S70 (sedan) and V70 (wagon), and in that guise stranded around until a S and V70 changed to a new height in 2000.

That’s a flattering conspicuous run for what was unequivocally a final of a old-school, boxy Volvos, and it’s a automobile positively value holding a impulse to wish happy birthday to.

Hey, now that a 850 is 25, it can lease a automobile of the own! I’m certain it contingency be ill of pushing everywhere by itself.

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