Volvo made their motorsport return in the 1994 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a unique approach, the iconic Volvo 850 Estate.
While the estate was aerodynamically more sound than the saloon version, and with a powerful engine pushed way back in the engine bay, unsurprisingly the 850 still wasn’t a great performer, Rydell and Lammers finishing 14th and 15th in the 1994 season. Its unusual shape also drew comments from the rest of the field, drivers citing lack of vision when following behind it due to the sheer size of the rear end of the car.
With new regulations set for the 1995 season, the 850 Estate’s fate was sealed, being replaced with the saloon version at the end of the 1994 season. The season was more of a trial year for Volvo, while other teams were looking to strengthen their sporting image, Volvo also used the season as a PR stunt driving an estate, “Our best finish was fifth place at Oulton Park, although there were more column inches written about us than about any other team!” says Rickard Rydell.