Over the last decade or so, Volvo has been a little like an ADHD transfer student, changing schools and trying out different curricula with varying degrees of success, though never really nailing it. In its long and stellar career as an extraordinarily safe and reliable Swedish workhorse, Volvo has recently come through a series of ownership changes remarkably unscathed. Since hunkering down under Ford’s Premium group umbrella in 1999 and then, in 2010, coming into Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s possession, this Swedish stalwart is now finally settling down and looking to seriously reestablish itself in the performance arena.
Back in 1995, Volvo hooked up with Porsche and served up the game-changing T-5R, a turbo-charged version of the 850 which was good for sprints from 0-60mph in 6 seconds flat and topped out at an electronically limited 155 mph. This marked Volvo’s first attempt at targeting the enthusiast segment and was a solid first pass. During the next two years that same vehicle was offered as the 850 R and gave tremendous support to Volvo’s efforts to add a bit of hutzpah to their boxes on wheels.