Volvo Penta has added a new ‘Gen V' GM block sterndrive to its lineup, a 5.3L V8 (available in 300hp and 350hp versions). It also released a 280hp edition of its 'Gen V' 4.3L V6 (joining the 200hp and 240hp versions launched at the Miami International Boat Show earlier this year). The new ‘Gen V' 5.3L V8 will be publicly launched at IBEX in mid September.
Unveiled in front of a group of marine journalists at its testing facility in Suffolk, Virginia, the new aluminum engines gain a series of performance boosting technologies from the automotive industry such as direct fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing (VVT). They also feature freshwater cooling and part commonality to simplify repairs for dealer service departments.
"Volvo Penta has a rich history of innovation in marine propulsion, and with these next-generation V8s, we are establishing a new industry benchmark for acceleration, speed, weight-to-power ratio, fuel economy, emissions reduction and proven reliability,' says Ron Huibers, President of Volvo Penta of the Americas. "I believe competition is the best thing for our industry. It's what drives us and we're passionate about it.'
Volvo Penta's new ‘Gen V' V8 300hp is reportedly 21 percent quicker (0 to 30mph) than its current generation V8 300hp. It also delivered a 1.5mph faster top speed when tested on an equivalent boat.
The new ‘Gen V' 350hp version of the V8 edged out Volvo Penta's current generation V8 350hp, delivering a four percent quicker 0 to 30mph time, eight percent better fuel consumption in cruise speeds and a 0.3mph faster top speed.
Meanwhile, the newly added ‘Gen V' V6 4.3L 280hp is said to save eight percent more fuel than Volvo Penta's current generation V8 270hp.
Volvo Penta, builds its engines off of GM automotive engine blocks. More recently, the two companies have made greater efforts to promote their partnership to highlight the benefits of incorporating the latest GM automotive technologies into Volvo Penta marine engines. "Approximately 4,500 of these GM blocks are made every day, which equates to 1.3 million units per year,' Volvo Penta's Director of Marine Leisure Sales, Tony Kelleher. "This [block] was launched at the Detroit auto show in 2014, so by now we have a couple of million on the road. In terms of technology, this may be new to us in marine but it's certainly not new as far as engines out there in service right now. It's proven technology.'
Volvo Penta's new marine engines are based on General Motors' Gen V platform. The next-generation engines feature an impressive list of new technical features from the automotive industry, some of which Volvo Penta says have never before been offered in a marine V8 gas engine. Among the Gen V's new features:
• Direct fuel injection that contributes to better low-end torque and fuel efficiency
• 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. This provides a consistent internal engine temperature
• Wideband oxygen sensors optimizing the engine for varying fuel quality and also reducing carbon monoxide emissions by 95 percent
• Variable Valve Timing (VVT) which optimizes torque throughout the full acceleration range
• 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
"In addition to these innovations, we have incorporated our tried-and-true RPM-based speed control, which automatically maintains speed when the boat is in a tight turn,' added Huibers. "Volvo Penta was the first to pioneer RPM-based speed control back in 2008, and standardized it across our sterndrives in 2010.
"Volvo Penta was the first to introduce automotive-based gas and diesel sterndrive engines into the marine industry to give improved technology, performance, reliability and competitive cost. That strategy going back over 100 years has an undisputed proven track record. Simply, it enables us to offer the boating industry technology that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. As new-technology automotive engines continue to increase the power density, customers can get increased performance for less cost. With over 1.3 million Gen V engines in operation, customers are getting proven quality, reliability and long life. This gives unprecedented economy of scale and enables us to introduce new technologies that have never before been available in the marine industry at an affordable price.'
The new 5.3L V8s were developed with input from and further tested by select boatbuilders. Duane Kuck, President and CEO of Regal Marine, shared his thoughts on the new sterndrives. "You have really hit the mark with this! From our view, what you've invested in this advanced technology has more than paid off in performance. You've gone back to the drawing board and given us what we asked for – a leading edge power package that will enhance our product as a manufacturer and raise the consumer experience to a new level of exhilaration and fun out on the water.'
The new V8 engines will make their formal industry debut at IBEX 2015, joining Volvo Penta's lineup of 4.3L Gen V engines offered in the 200, 240 and 280 horsepower range. They are all backed by Volvo Penta's industry-leading warranty and customer support.
Volvo Penta has approximately 4,000 dealers in more than 130 countries. The company manufacturers engines for both leisure and commercial vessels, as well as industrial applications.