Volvo Penta takes gas engines to the next generation

Volvo Penta is changing the face of gas engine technology with its line of next-generation sterndrive marine gasoline engines. The new V6 and V8 engines demonstrate the company’s leadership in innovation by offering unparalleled performance, while significantly exceeding US and upcoming EU emissions standards. The new line is just one of several innovations Volvo Penta is promoting at the Cannes Boat Show, September 8 to 13.
Volvo Penta takes gas engines to the next generation
Volvo Penta has begun the roll-out of a complete line of next-generation V6 and V8 gasoline sterndrive engines, with new 4.3-liter catalyzed V6 engines (rated at 200 and 240 horsepower) already available. The new 5.3L V8 line, along with the V6 280, will be launched at IBEX 2015 in Kentucky later this month. The entire range will be released throughout 2015 and 2016 — seven engines in total with two more V8s to come in 2016.
Leveraging on General Motors’ highly acclaimed Gen V technology, the new engines — which expand on the revolutionary award-winning V8-380 introduced by Volvo Penta in 2012 — will supplement Volvo Penta’s current product line. They also represent Volvo Penta’s most environmentally advanced engines to date, which is up to four times cleaner than similar horsepower four stroke or direct injected outboard engines.

The new engines are the first on the market to combine the following key technologies as standard:


  • Industry-first direct fuel injection which contributes to better low-end torque and unmatched fuel efficiency
  • Variable valve timing, which optimizes torque throughout the full acceleration range
  • Lightweight all-aluminum block for unparalleled power-to-weight ratio
  • Standard closed cooling for more consistent internal temperature, longer life with no internal parts exposed to raw or salt water
  • Industry-first wideband oxygen sensors optimizing the engine for varying fuel quality and also reducing carbon monoxide emissions by 95 percent, through the use of catalysts
  • Standardization across full product line of marine gas engines with common parts and service points to reduce the number of parts dealers need to carry and simplify service and maintenance


Additionally, the new range incorporates Volvo Penta’s proven RPM-based speed control technology, which automatically maintains speed when the boat is in a tight turn.

“At Volvo Penta, innovation is in our DNA,” says Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “We’re very proud of our impressive record of industry firsts, such as sterndrive, Duoprop, joysticks, IPS and Glass Cockpit. Now we’re raising the bar once again. These next-generation gasoline engines are true thoroughbreds, incorporating innovations that yield dramatic improvements in torque, acceleration, fuel efficiency, emissions and durability at a competitive cost.”
“Volvo Penta already offers the widest range of engines and drive options in the marine industry, and these new-technology gasoline engines will provide even more choices for our customers,” he adds. “The new engines bring an element of fun to boating. They’re responsive and powerful, with high power density and better fuel efficiency so boaters can travel further and longer.”

Current and new engines are available with DPS, FWD, OceanX and SX drives as well as Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) options. The engines are also equipped with Speed Control, which maintains a target speeds regardless of load conditions — perfect for water sports.
“One of our core values at Volvo Penta is to be good stewards of the environment,” says Huibers. “These next-generation engines are designed to improve fuel efficiency and meet the world’s most rigorous emission standards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, as well as upcoming European Union requirements, by a wide margin. We’ve also reduced CO emissions at idle by 95 percent.”
The new engines are supported by Volvo Penta’s industry-leading 2+3 limited warranty and extended coverage programs. Dealers and boat owners will also benefit from the commonality of service parts across the full family of engines, as well as the extended service intervals enabled by the new technology.

Gas engines in Europe
While the gas engine is not a mainstream product in Europe, it still remains an important segment for Volvo Penta — one which represents around 10% to 15% of all powerboating activity on the Continent.

“Around the world sports such as wake surfing and waterskiing rely heavily on boats powered by a gas engine, and in Europe it’s no different,” says Pascal Jamet, Volvo Penta VP marine engine sales. “Outboard engines are cumbersome and obstruct the rear end of the boat — not ideal for surfers or skiers who need to embark or disembark the boat quickly and safely.”

However inboard gas engines offer the perfect solution and emit few emissions, which is a benefit in parts of Switzerland where emissions regulations on the Alpine lakes prohibit the use of diesel engines.

“Wake and ski clubs across Europe will welcome Volvo Penta’s next-generation V6 and V8 gasoline sterndrive engines,” adds Jamet. “They will add a new dimension to many popular water sports, thanks to their high power density, and offer industry-leading advancements in fuel efficiency, emissions reduction, acceleration and torque.”

Volvo Penta at Cannes
The Volvo Penta stand at the Cannes Boat Show (QML 234) will feature V6 and V8 gas engines, along with Volvo Penta’s newest innovation: the Forward Drive (FWD) propulsion system. A FWD-equipped Four Winns TS 222 boat, powered by a Volvo Penta V8 engine, and a Regal 2100 Surf Edition will also be available for test drive at QML 072.

Photo: 4.3-liter catalyzed Volvo V6 engine (rated at 200 and 240 horsepower) >>