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Making My Volvo Faster

Volvo 240 Turbo Anders Olofsson 19850706 1 -
Volvo 240 Turbo, Anders Olofsson
Photo credit: Lothar Spurzem / CC BY-SA 2.0 DE (

How do I go about making my Volvo faster?

If you’re like many Volvo owners, you love your car, but you wouldn’t complain if it had better performance. Unfortunately, there’s not a lively community focused on tuning and modifying Volvo’s for improved acceleration and speed.

We all know that Volvo has long been focused on safety, along with sensibility and reliability. The design aesthetics of Scandanavia led, of course, to a long history of boxy automobiles that some have described as dowdy. Volvo fans are some of the most loyal to their car brand as anyone anywhere, but modern Volvos have increased the focus on design and performance.

“Is there anything worth doing performance-wise or should I save my money and look into a turbo model?”

This is a perennial question on MVS Forums. Generally, the answer is “sell it and get a turbo car.”

But MVS member tjts1 may have uncovered a three-step process to making way more power from a NA (normally aspirated) Volvo:
1. Install an early 960 throttle plate
2. Fix the airbox thermostat
3. Install a non-restricting air intake

“A naturally aspirated 850 5-speed with minimal intake modifications can be as quick as a stock automatic 850 turbo with much better fuel economy and probably more reliable in the long term.”

850 (non-turbo) 1997 – Making It Faster

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