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This year Honda Yuasa Racing brought a station wagon back to the ranks of competitors in the British Touring Car Championship (its drivers currently sit in third and fifth place in the Championship). In 1994, however, Volvo was the first team to run an estate in the series that's one of the best for delivering close racing.
Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers drove the duo of 850 Estates prepped by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, lining up at Thruxton and proving that the rumors of a wagon in the series weren't a joke. The team used that year for development, getting the 2.0-liter, 290-horsepower, naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine ready for the next year's proper assault. The team's best finish over the 21 races was a fifth place, and they took 14th overall.
Rules changes led Volvo to switch to the 850 sedan the following year, but all the right noises had been made with the wagon. Rydell drive on to a third-place overall finish in 1995, three years later he claimed the Championship title. You'll find details and reminiscing from Rydell in the press release below, as well as the full video with scenes from the glory days.
Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force represents the twist that can liquefy one's tires or haul one's horse trailer. Good stuff.
It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there's a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck's turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it's kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.
As with the horsepower list, we've given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we've got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we've also to omitted some '14 cars that won't be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.
The most important new Volvo in quite some time has made its first auto show appearance, with the second-generation XC90 debuting at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
As we discussed in both our original post and Deep Dive feature, the new XC90 remains a three-row crossover for 2015, although it ditches the first-gen model's top-end, turbocharged six-cylinder in favor of a single twin-charged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. By pairing that with a plug-in-electric powertrain, the king of the XC90 range, the T8 TwinEngine, will offer up 400 horsepower. So yeah, performance should be brisk.
Also appearing on 2015 XC90 will be an entirely new, Apple CarPlay-compatible infotainment system with a big, vertical touchscreen display at its heart. Based on the videos we've seen, the new system looks responsive, feature-laden and quite attractive.