By Charles Plueddeman
Volvo Penta to Offer 431-Horsepower Gasoline V8 Engine
A new 6.0-liter Volvo Penta V8-430 with variable valve timing matches 8.2-liter power but weighs 300 pounds less than a big-block sterndrive.
Volvo Penta recently revealed a new 431-hp 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine it will offer as an alternative to the big-block, 8.1/8.2-liter engines that have dominated the top of the gasoline horsepower range for decades. Based on the Volvo Penta V8-380 model introduced last year, the new V8-430 features Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technology, which it says optimizes torque at low RPM while maximizing performance at high RPM – essentially spreading out the powerband. Both Volvo Penta models are based on engines manufactured by GM Powertrain.
“The new generation of V8 engines from Volvo Penta is the result of intense development work and represents a real technological leap forward in the field of gasoline sterndrive engines for marine use,” said Ron Huibers, President, Volvo Penta of the Americas. “The V8-430 is based on the same base engine as the V8-380, but includes a number of modifications inside the engine which enables increased power output.”
Key differences between the V8-380 and the V8-430 include high-flow aluminum cylinder heads with CNC machined intake and exhaust ports that provide significantly improved flow through the combustion chamber. The camshaft profiles have more lift and duration. The intake valves have hollow stems to reduce their mass and thus load on the valve train. And finally, there are new valve springs to match the lift/duration of the camshaft. Like the V8-380, the V8-430 has cast aluminum exhaust manifolds which are cooled by engine coolant as part of the standard closed cooling system. The engine is equipped with exhaust catalysts and exceeds EPA emissions regulations.
The Volvo Penta V8-430 will butt heads with the MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO , which displaces 8.2 liters. To match its power, the Volvo engine needs to run up to 5800 rpm, compared to 5000 rpm for the big-block MerCruiser. I’m not sure how engine rpm would compare at the same cruising speed. The Merc makes power through displacement, and is not equipped with variable valve timing, a technology that’s quite common on auto engines and even many outboard motors these days. Volvo specs say the V8-430 with a Duoprop drive and its props weighs 1,115 pounds. MerCruiser literature specs the 8.2 MAG HO at 1,414 pounds with a Bravo Three drive. That’s a 299-pound bonus for the Volvo, which is not insignificant. Volvo claims its engine is also 20 percent more fuel efficient than a big block, but I can’t verify that claim. The V8-430 comes with the Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) platform, which includes digital throttle and shift control, trip computer, cruise control and Power Trim Assistant.
For more information:, visit Volvo Penta.
- Charles Plueddeman is Boats.com's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.