Front-engined V10 cars are some of the rarest out there, as few automakers have ventured into this eccentric realm. Examples include the Dodge Viper and its Ram SRT-10 pickup truck cousin, the E60 BMW M5, some Ford and Ram heavy-duty trucks, and not much else. And now that we’re keeping track, let’s cross into aftermarket land and add this Lamborghini V10-swapped Volvo 245 (aka Volvoghini) wagon to the list, shall we?
Despite this Swedish lineage kicking off with the 140 series of the late 1960s, the car most people picture when thinking of an old Volvo wagon is the one we have here. After all, if we count the entire 200 series (i.e. also the sedan and coupe), Volvo sold almost 2.9 million of them between 1974 and 1994.
Built by a Swede named Peter Bjorck, the Volvoghini has been a few years in the making, as the 245 used to pack 2JZ power—some parts from the wagon’s Toyota days are still left in place (I’d mention the radiator, but this is in for a replacement).
And, just in case any old-school Lamborghini fan wonders how much Bjorck knows about the Italian brand and building cars in general, I’ll tell you the man once bought a Gallardo Superleggera—he turbocharged it—while he runs an aftermarket company (BJP Race).
The engine bay of this 1975 Volvo 245 wagon now accommodates a 5.0L V10 from a Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 race car, which makes around 500 hp and is mated to a BMW six-speed manual gearbox for maximum thrills.
For the record, in the late 1980s, Volvo itself played with the Lamborghini idea when running a series of ads for its upmarket 740 Turbo wagon (check out the last image in the gallery).
The Lamborghini V10 fitted to this Volvo 245 wagon used to have a crack in the block
This wasn’t exactly a plug-and-play swap. For one, the two-piece driveshaft includes a front piece from a Renault van, which a friend built for the owner. In fact, this fabrication is the best part of the build if you ask me. For one, it allows the enthusiast to overcome the challenges a normal Lamborghini driver would have to deal with, such as paying $1,149 for an oil tank gasket—when this was required to fix the dry sump oiling system of the cast-alloy 90-degree V10, Bjorck made one.
In fact, the enthusiasts’ Lamborghini work includes fixing a crack in the V10 block, with the engine holding out just fine up to this point.
At times, putting together the car involves a fair bit of trial and error. For instance, he recently replaced the titanium exhaust with a steel one that added equal-length pipes, an X-pipe, and a cutout valve. Because a Lamborghini swap is no good without the trademark soundtrack of that V10!
And when you think that the Lamborghini V10-swapped Volvo 745 wagon left the factory with a 2.1L N/A four-cylinder making around 120 hp, things get even better.
The Volvoghini is no show car, either. Packing extra sound insulation and four electric windows, this is heavier than the stock vehicle even before we get to the new engine—a factory Volvo 245 tips the scales at around 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg).
And I wonder if it would be fair to think of this Cummins Diesel-swapped Lamborghini Gallardo as the opposite of the Volvoghini…
Yes, the Volvoghini can tow and the caravan seems to help with the burnouts
Bjorck uses his Lamborghini V10-swapped Volvo 245 for road trips, even though the character of the car means doing burnouts while towing a caravan comes naturally. He also attends drag racing events in Sweden, with the Volvoghini going down the quarter-mile being a common sight this year.
Pop the hood of this Volvo 245 and the carbon fiber ignition covers on the Lamborghini V10 will scream in your face. However, the cabin still looks like the inside of a car enthusiast’s garage and adds to the character of the car. For one, the man drives around with a laptop in the machine and tweaks various parameters as he goes around Sweden.
Oh, and there’s still no rev counter in the instrument cluster. And I can’t think of many things that would put a larger smile on my face than the factory 124 mph (200 km/h) speedometer of the Volvoghini, even though this carbon kevlar-bodied Volvo 745 drift car is a mighty competitor in that battle.