Considered by many enthusiasts to be the original super estate/wagon, the 1994 Volvo 850/855 T-5R turns 20 this year. Official tuning house Polestar decided to mark the occasion by sanctioning a special photoshoot of both the legendary T5-R next to its new spiritual successor, the Volvo V60 Polestar – which is not unlike our own series of new vs old galleries.

A lot has changed in 20 years, of course. Once seen as devilishly fast, the 855 T-5R’s performance figures – 240 hp and 330 Nm of torque from a 2.3 litre turbocharged inline-five engine, 0-100 km/h in 7.0 seconds and a 245 km/h top speed – may not appear all that impressive anymore; not least compared to what a modern super wagon can do.


The latest Volvo V60 Polestar has a 3.0 litre twin-scroll turbo inline-six pushing out 350 hp and 500 Nm of torque, and can get to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h, with a six-speed automatic gearbox handling the gearchanges as opposed to the 855’s archaic four-speeder. Power is sent to all four wheels too, not just to the fronts like on the T-5R.

Over the years, the super wagon class has exploded, and now includes hard-hitting German players such as the 510 PS/500 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Estate and the 450 hp/430 Nm Audi RS 4 Avant. Nothing quite matches the appeal of having sports car-beating performance while carrying a big haul of IKEA goods, right?