As we’ve said before, a few select marques and cars get a pass when it comes to these pages, and one of my favorite exceptions is Volvo wagons. The Sultans of Square went a bit bonkers with turbocharging over a few generations; the 240, 740, 850, and V70 all had relatively high-performance turbocharged versions of their sibling sedans that were both practical and pulse-quickening. But when it comes to the top of the heap, the 850 T5-R and its replacement, the 850R, must certainly be in contention.
Launched around the same time Volvo was curb-hopping its Estate version of the 850 in the BTCC (replete with inflatable dog in the cargo area), the T5-R took a page from the Audi RS2 and E500 book and turned to Porsche to up the ante. Fiddling with the engine tuning resulted in 243 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, and was met with a stiff suspension, 17″ wheels, and interior and exterior tweaks. Like the RS2 with its famous (and often mistakenly called Nogaro) RS Blue, the T5-R’s signature shade was T5-R Yellow. These were quick in period and are still pretty respectable today, though the quite limited production numbers mean you might need to look to other markets to find one:
The authors of German Cars for Sale Blog are always throwing around ideas for new features and I thought it might be neat to occasionally feature an interesting, non-German vehicle that would appeal to German car enthusiasts. Here is one such vehicle: the rare, one year only Volvo T5-R.
Launched in 1992, the Volvo 850 was quite a leap forward for Volvo in terms of engineering and was the first Volvo with front wheel drive to be sold in the United States. In 1995, the T5-R arrived in sedan and estate forms. After a respectable showing with an 850 Estate in the British Touring Car series, Volvo teamed with Porsche to produce the T5-R sedan and wagon. Equipped with tuned suspension and a special ECU along with added turbo boost, the inline 5 cylinder engine cranked out 240 horsepower, making the estate version the fastest family hauler at the time.
The car is for sale at a Volvo dealer in Edison, New Jersey. It amazes me how little the dealer seems enthused about having such a classic in their inventory. Not even a description was written for it. At $13,999, this car is priced high for an obscure (to some) Swedish performance car. T5-Rs don’t come up for sale too often; the ones I have seen lately have had well over 100,000 miles and have looked as if they have been run hard and put up wet. NADA is listing shy of $6,000 for examples with similar mileage to this particular car. I could see maybe spending up to $8,000 for an example like this.
This car combines durability in a package that will give you your speed fix and surprise a few folks at a stoplight or two.