Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 2 years ago 43

Can A Diesel Volvo V90 Beat An 850 T5 In A Straight Line?

Volvo's performance estate of the 1990s goes up against a V90 D5 in this old vs new drag race

Remind me later

The D5 version of Volvo’s V90 estate doesn’t have any performance car aspirations, but thanks to the the relentlessness of automotive progress, it has a similar output to the mighty 850 T5.

Just 10bhp separates the two, with the D5 being slightly more powerful, and also having the benefit of Volvo’s clever, lag-killing ‘Power Pulse’ system that pre-spools the turbocharger with a shot of compressed air. So what happens when you line the two cars up side-by-side, and have a drag race?

In the end it’s a win apiece for the cars, with the V90 taking the win on the standing start race, and the 850 victorious following a rolling start. The five-pot 850 is the overall winner in terms of engine noise, though…