The T5-R is based on the 850. The 850 was the first FWD Volvo sold in North America. Like the RWD cars before it, it was roomy, comfortable and safe. It was the last boxy Volvo. (Although its edges were softer than the 200 Series it replaced.)
Like Volvo did with the 200 and 700 series car, they decided to create a performance version of the 850. In the past Volvo would simply bolt a high(er) pressure turbo to the engine, tweak the suspension a bit and throw on some cool wheels and slightly different trim. With the T5-R, the went wild (by Volvo standards).
Volvo brought in Porsche to help create the T5-R. The 5 cylinder engine produces 244 horsepower. Volvo added a front air-dam, a spoiler, and some side skirts to the 850 body, to give it a CD of .29. The T5-R has upgraded wheels, brakes and suspension. It came with Pirelli P-Zero tires. It hits 60 MPH in 6 seconds, has a limited top speed of 155 and a lateral grip of 0.88 g. The T5-R has an upgraded interior and was the first car sold in the US with side airbags. It is a Volvo that can hold its own with a similar era M3. (To the best of my knowledge, all T5-Rs came with automatic transmissions, giving the M3 a bit of a "fun to drive" advantage.)
This T5-R has been upgraded, but smartly upgraded. It would not be a chore to drive daily. The seller claims to have used all OEM parts and parts from well respected Volvo aftermarket supplier, IPD.
The seller says it leaks a bit of oil and the PCV valve needs replacing (common on an 850). He is including the replacement parts with the car. The body is good, but not perfect, with some fading clear coat and a small rust spot.
Less than 1000 T5-Rs were sent to the United States in 1995 (the only year of the T5-R). Of those, just 185 were painted the cream yellow color. (Which, somehow works on this car, but would look awful on just about any other car.)
The 850 / T5-R cars are not as reliable as the old 200 and 700 cars (few cars are), but with proper maintenance, will last a long time. The automatic transmission, without proper care, can be particularly troublesome. (As a mechanic who specializes in German and Swedish cars once told me, think of the 850 / T5-R as an Audi, not a Honda in terms of maintenance and reliability.)
The seller is not giving this car away, but his price isn't outrageous, given the work done to it. Located in Wrentham, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.