Volvo unveiled an entirely new model series in June 1991, the Volvo 850 GLT. The Volvo 850 GLT was launched under the banner of "A dynamic car with four world-beating breakthroughs".
The four new features were: transverse 5-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, Delta-link rear axle which combined the dynamics and ride comfort of independent suspension with the security of a live rear axle, the SIPS integrated side-impact protection system, and the self-adjusting front seat belt mechanism.
The exterior design of the 850 bore a strong Volvo identity, and its 740 and 940 heritage was immediately apparent.
Volvo 850 GLT received a tumultuous welcome; seldom has a new car reaped so many awards as the 850.
Over the intervening years, the 850 series has been expanded with additional variants, among them turbocharged gas versions and a direct-injection turbo-diesel.
The Volvo 850 was also the first car in the world to offer side-impact airbags, which were introduced in autumn 1994.
In model year 1997, the S70 replaced the 850 Sedan.