The Volvo 850 was introduced in Europe in June 1991, as a 1992 model year car. It was launched with the slogan “A dynamic car with four unique innovations” which referred to the newly developed five cylinder transverse engine, the Delta-link rear axle, the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), and the self-adjusting seatbelt reel for the front seats.Initially, only the saloon was available, badged as 850 GLT, and came with a choice of 2.5L or 2.0L 20V engines.
In 1992, the 850 was brought to the United States as a 1993 model, becoming Volvo’s first front-wheel drive (FWD) car on the U.S. market.A wide variety of Volvo 850 models were sold, with the first-generation models produced between 1993 and 1994. These included a CNG-powered Bi-Fuel model and a diesel engined 850 badged as 850 TDI. The 850 was available in both saloon and estate versions, with manual 5-speed or automatic 4-speed transmissions