Billed as "a dynamic car with four world firsts."

Volvo is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 850 by taking a look back at the model "that changed everything."

Originally unveiled at the Stockholm Globe Arena in 1991, the 850 was the result of nearly 13 years of research and development.  The 850 was "fundamentally" different from previous models and was billed as "a dynamic car with four world firsts." These included a Delta-link rear axle, a self-adjusting front seat belt, and an integrated side-impact protection system.  The fourth innovation was a transverse-mounted five-cylinder engine which produced 170 horsepower.

The sedan was an instant success and it was soon followed by a wagon which was introduced in early 1993.  The model was largely identical to the sedan but became the first Volvo to have vertical taillights that covered the entire D-pillar.

One year later, Volvo introduced the 850 T-5R at the Geneva Motor Show.  It featured sportier styling and a turbocharged engine which produced 240 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque.

Speaking of performance, 1994 saw the company's return to racing.  Two specially designed 850 wagons competed in the British Touring Car Championship before a rule change practically made estate cars illegal.

The 850 would go one to become the first mass-produced car with side-impact airbags and the first Volvo model to be offered with all-wheel drive.

Volvo ceased production of the 850 in 1996 and by the time the last car rolled off the assembly line 1,360,522 models had been built.

Source: Volvo

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