Volvo Penta introduces next generation D4 & D6

Some of the marketing material for the uprated engines Some of the marketing material for the uprated engines
Industry Database

With over 100,000 units produced, the Volvo Penta D4 and D6 marine propulsion packages are getting a comprehensive helm-to-prop update.

According to Volvo Penta the changes will allow the units to deliver more power and reliability, while operating costs will be cut by a third. The updates include newly designed engines, a completely new aquamatic sterndrive, updated IPS drive and an upgraded Electronic Vessel Control System.

From the outside the changes might not be that obvious, but almost every aspect of the fully integrated system has been upgraded, from helm-to-prop.

The enhancements include re-engineering of the engines, delivering more power and torque and ensuring the highest levels of reliability. They are perfectly matched with an upgraded IPS pod and the new DPI Aquamatic sterndrive, which bring increased comfort and manoeuvrability, as well as more straightforward servicing and maintenance.

The D4/D6 is the company’s most technically advanced package. Designed exclusively for marine applications, the 3.7 litre D4 and 5.5 litre D6 deliver Volvo Penta’s unique marine torque, ensuring maximum power is transferred to the propellers and into the water, across the whole speed range. The changes are more than a facelift, with the majority of components reengineered. The D4 and D6 deliver performance outputs of between 150 to 480hp. In top specification the D4 now has a maximum output of 320hp, while the D6 in top spec boasts 480hp. Not only 10% more power across the range, these engines are more fuel efficient – between 0.5% to 7.0% (in E5 cycle).

The list of upgrades is long, including a new engine management system, new fuel injection system, new turbo charger and a new supercharger. The cylinder head, pistons and valves are new, to cope with the increased performance, and the crankshaft is also now stronger to handle the bigger loads.

These engines will also cost less to maintain, with longer service intervals and fewer service items. All this adds up to annual savings in fuel, parts and servicing.

While the IPS driveline has had improvements in durability and reliability, it is the DPI drive that comes in for the biggest changes. The hydraulic clutch, together with steer-by-wire – which is now standard for DPI – gives an improved joystick docking function. The DPI driveline now also comes with Dynamic Positioning System.

By Jake Frith

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