Volvo celebrate 25th birthday of iconic 850

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The Volvo 850 is celebrating its 25th birthday and a life that includes many historic events and appearances.

First revealed in 1991, the 850 GLT was launched under the banner of "a dynamic car with four world firsts". These were its transverse five-cylinder engine, new rear axle, integrated side-impact protection and a self-adjusting seat belt. As usual, Volvo was at the fore in terms of both passenger and pedestrian safety.

In 1993, an estate version of the 850 was revealed – and instantly became a design classic. A large load capacity put it ahead of rivals, and it received the Italian award for "Most Beautiful Estate."

In 1994, Volvo returned to motorsport with a pair of 850S cars. Fans were surprised when two estate version cars appeared in the British Touring Car Championship, although a change of rules in 1995 meant that the Swedish manufacturer had to switch to saloon models.

Volvo celebrate 25th birthday of iconic 850

Volvo celebrate 25th birthday of iconic 850


Finally, a four-wheel-drive version of the 850 was launched in 1996. This featured four wheels that were constantly powered, monitored by a anti-spin system which could distribute the power between all four wheels.

That year marked the final year of production for the 850. After an impressive and long standing production run, a total of 1,360,522 cars had rolled off the production line including models originating from the 850 series.