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How to Drive Gen 1 FWD Volvos Fast

Ready to go fast with Gen 1 FWD Volvos?

97 850R

MVS Forum Member ArchieBrown is taking his 1997 850 R manual on a long, fun twisty-road tour and need some advice on keeping it on the road.

There is some anecdotal evidence about understeer and needing to keep the revs high in the 850 to make full use of the power. In my WRX I used to heel-toe downshift and employed a fair smattering of left foot braking to keep it all nice and balanced – which I think may be useful here, but I’m keen on gathering any tips, tricks, hacks or insider information from people who have much more experience than me in getting an 850 moving quickly (and safely) through the bends.

97 850R – Driving Winding Roads – Suggestions Please covers how to drive Gen 1 FWD Volvos fast, specifically a completely stock (save for some relatively fresh 225 rubber all round) 1997 850 R. Forum members chime in with their suggestions and experience, both on technique and on performance upgrades. Example:

You just need to work and stab the throttle the right way to keep the turbo spooled where you want it without going wide. Torque steer was a bit nasty for me, but once you are out of 1st year (auto) its fine. Keep the revs above 3500-3600, you’ll feel it run out of puff when its time to change up again.

97 850R – Driving Winding Roads – Suggestions Please

1997 Volvo 850 R, 2010 Golf R and a Renault Clio Cup
1997 Volvo 850 R, 2010 Golf R and a Renault Clio Cup

[edit: Archie uploaded this photo after the event. His update and analysis are in the topic.]

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