Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, is celebrating 20 years of mechanical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) by putting some of its most capable cars through their paces on the frozen lakes around the Northern Swedish ski resort of Åre.
The Volvo 850 was the car that changed everything – a front-wheel drive Volvo with a 5-cylinder transverse engine. It was the result of the Galaxy project, which got its name because it was aiming for the stars. The 850 series achieved great success in the field of motorsport, and was the first car from Volvo available with AWD.
Few car companies can claim the same pedigree as Volvo Cars when it comes to the design and manufacture of family estates. That is why the news that Volvo will reveal its new V90 estate on February 18 in Stockholm is so widely-anticipated and significant.
It is now 20 years since Volvo marked its return to the racetrack – with an estate! The venture would lead to many successful years in the BTCC – including an overall victory in 1998. "When I signed up for Volvo and TWR around Christmas 1993, I didn't know about the estate plans," says Rickard Rydell. "If I'd known, I would probably have hesitated. It was lucky I didn't know!"
Five historic racing cars and one modern S60 Polestar track car will represent Volvo Cars´ motorsport history at the Techno-Classica expo in Essen, Germany when it opens its doors on 26 March. One of the cars is the PV544 which caught the whole world by surprise in 1965 by winning the Safari Rally with Joginder Singh, “The flying Sikh”, behind the wheel.
After presenting its first front-wheel drive Volvo model - the 480 - in 1985, Volvo Car Corporation continued its comprehensive product and production-technology transition with its next project, launched on June 11, 1991: the Volvo 850 GLT. The car with four world-firsts - one at the front, one at the rear and two in the middle.