Less than two years after the introduction of the 850 GLT in 4-door sedan form, the 5-door wagon version was unveiled in February 1993.
The design of the 850 wagon showed a rear section with a typical Volvo profile, that is to say an almost vertical tailgate - a practical feature that maximizes interior space.
The Volvo 850 GLT received a tumultuous welcome; seldom has a new car reaped so many awards as the 850. The wagon version was awarded the prestigious Japanese "1994 Good Design Grand Prize" award.
Over the intervening years, the 850 series has expanded with more than just the wagon version. The range includes a wider selection of engines, including turbocharged gas units and a direct-injection turbo-diesel.
When Volvo decided to return to the racetracks in 1994, it did so under the banner of the BTCC, the British Touring Car Championships. The first Volvo to take on the competition was an eye-catching Volvo 850 wagon, a load-lugger and road-burner in one.
The Volvo 850 was the first car in the world to offer side-impact airbags, which were introduced into series production in autumn 1994.
A spectacular addition to the 850/V70 range was the first generation of AWD (All Wheel Drive) and XC (Cross-Country) models.
In model year 1997, the V70 replaced the 850 wagon.