Volvo 850 T-5R (1995): the brick flying that changed the image of Volvo for ever

Until the 90s of the last century, it was associated to Volvo at those huge family, aerodynamic as a brick and very secure. Hire reliable and hard, but without dynamic aspirations of any kind. They all seemed to have forgotten the fantastic P1800 of the 60’s. Volvo undertook at the beginning of the 90’s, the largest industrial project of its history, which would materialise in the family Volvo 850. This development was born the fantastic Volvo 850 T-5R, the car that would change the image of Volvo for ever.

Until the 90s the image of Volvo was associated with family are safe and reliable, but slow and little dynamic.

Volvo 850 premiered a new front wheel drive platform, which would be the first for their sedans and traditional family. Although the 400 series used a similar arrangement, was not available in all markets and there were cars of both volume. The 850 came also accompanied by a new generation of engines five-cylinder in-line. This provision accompanies Volvo until today, even though they are already being replaced by the family modular Drive-E four-cylinder.

volvo-850-t-5r-1These thrusters, 20-valve, 2.5-liter developed up to 170 HP in versions atmospheric B5252FS. The range also received a diesel five-cylinder engine source Volkswagen-Audi and a version petrol with less power and two valves per cylinder. With the security flag, Volvo 850 received series of the acclaimed system-WHIPS of protection to side impacts, using a braced section of the chassis and side airbags. It has been shown that were car-reliable and very robust with the passage of the years.

In spite of its aspect graph, the 850 had a good aerodynamic coefficient.

however, Volvo was anchored in the image of the past. The Volvo 850 had an aspect graph, but not much more than a BMW 3 Series or a Mercedes C-Class of the time. Dynamically, they were machines, very superior to all of the Volvo of yesteryear, and its participation in championships of passenger cars during the 90’s I wanted to break that image of the past. The successful Volvo 850 in the BTCC is an image that hardly erases from the retinas of the fans. The Volvo 850 T-5R wanted to show the same thing on the streets.


850 T-5R: the brick flying

In 1995, Volvo introduced the 850 T-5R. I’m sure that more than a journalist spat the coffee he was drinking when he received the press release. A Volvo of clear yellow colour, with wheels, dark 17-inch, suspension lowered and 243 HP) power. What had become crazy to the world? For nothing: Volvo wanted to demonstrate to the world that they also knew how to make machines to the height of the Audi S4 or the Mercedes C 36 AMG. To do this, an ally of luxury: o part of its development was carried out by Porsche!

Between 1995 and 1996, we sold 5,000 units of the 850 T-5R at the global level. Only 137 units arrived to Spain.

Specifically, they helped to develop an evolution of the engine B5234T3, a turbo 2.3 litre that had already been released with 225 HP version T5 Volvo 850. By using a new ECU, Bosch and a set point, from Zuffenhausen brought their power to 243 HP at 5.600 rpm, accompanied by a hefty torque of 300 Nm between 2,000 rpm and 5600 rpm. Its power and torque peaks are only offered during 30 seconds, with the function of overboost is activated and the accelerator pedal to the background.


Shoes with Pirelli PZero tires and Titan 17-inch, was able to do the 0 to 100 km/h in 6,9 seconds. Supported to 0.88 g of lateral acceleration. Not bad for a sedan of front-wheel drive, no limited slip. Was available with an automatic gearbox 4-relationships and a manual 5-relationships, the most widely sold. They were also commissioned by Porsche. In the interior of the car, the germans also contributed a few seats sports, wrapped in Alcantara and a steering wheel look more aggressive.

Only offered in black color, light yellow or emerald green. The yellow is your color most iconic.

With a price tag of nearly six million pesetas of the time, these 850-so-radical showed that they were not afraid of the curves, with a sport-tuned suspension series, 40 mm lower than the other 850. Your tip of 250 km/h allowed them to maintain the type with the best of Germany. The block B5234T3 was easily potenciable, and many owners chose to update them with the injectors and the turbo from the 850 R. due To the enormous success, were launched in 1996 and were not limited in production – or colors – as the 850 T-5R.


850 R: higher, but less exclusive

What is certain is that his successor – whose production was not limited, but it was not much greater – was a top car in all aspects. Its manual gearbox M59 was specific to this version, and was more enhanced than that of the 850 T-5R. I also had injectors for greater flow and a turbo new: called TD04HL-16T, it is an update that is common to the T-5R, to be fully compatible. But without doubt, the key was a limited-slip differential Torsen, that was dynamic to another level.

Its power output was 250 HP, and its torque is already reached at 350 Nm. Interestingly, these sport versions never came to offer with all-wheel drive, despite being available with both bodies, sedan and SW family. Volvo has not given up since then to the high-performance, creating a successful series of sports sedans, which previously were R and now called Polestar. The last Volvo high performance are the fantastic S60 and V60 Polestar, whose power is 350 HP, nothing less.