850 AWD DIY
It’s a thing.
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.
The brand new Volvo 850 GLT had its world premiere in the Stockholm Globe Arena on June 11 in 1991. The model was the result of one of Sweden’s largest industrial investments and differed fundamentally from previous Volvo designs. It had front-wheel drive, a five-cylinder transverse engine and offered a whole new level of driving pleasure.
The new car was launched under the banner “A dynamic car with four world-firsts”. These new features were the transverse 5-cylinder engine, the Delta-link rear axle designed in-house, the integrated side-impact protection system, SIPS, and the self-adjusting front seat belt.
Even though the design was reminiscent of the 700 series, the 850 was a completely new car. The work on developing the model began back in 1978. At a meeting held that year, it was decided that it was now time to think freely and aim for the stars. That’s why the project was christened Galaxy.
Project Galaxy resulted in two model series – one Swedish and one Dutch. The underlying technology was developed jointly, after this the teams split up. The Dutch company Volvo Car B.V went on to develop what would become the 400 series, while Volvo Cars in Sweden developed the 850 series.
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