Volvo Penta Power Punch

Volvo Penta pairs their new D11 diesel engine with IPS950 pod drives for a perfect combination.

Green and clean may have a fuddy-duddy reputation to some people—good for the environment but some say not much fun—however, Volvo Penta is changing that with its new D11 725-hp diesel engine. When paired with the company’s new IPS950 pod drives, the robust powerplant is more fuel efficient and pollutes less.

The D11 engine’s innovative technology creates an optimized air and fuel pressure ratio, which increases combustion efficiency. After-cooling provides more engine power, and on the exhaust end it simply emits less particulate pollution. That’s because the new D11 engine must comply with the world’s most stringent environmental legislation, U.S. EPA Tier 3, which comes into force this year. The particulate emissions requirements are 40 percent lower when compared with the old Tier 2 levels.

“The IPS800 and 950 are matched with the new 625- and 725-horsepower D11 diesel engines, providing a perfect combination of torque, speed and maneuverability for 40- to 60-foot flybridge yachts and sports cruisers,” says Marcia Kull, Vice President, Marine Sales North America, Volvo Penta of the Americas. “The result is two new and reliable drive packages both with a unique high torque.”

At the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last fall, the Tiara 50 Coupe was equipped with the D11-IPS950 package. In fact, the boat builder designed the 50 Coupe specifically to utilize the new engine. “Tiara has enjoyed a very successful engineering and working relationship with Volvo Penta from the beginning of the IPS system in 2005 in North America,” says David Glenn, marketing director for Tiara Yachts. Tiara was one of the first manufacturers to incorporate that entire IPS system in a boat, which was the 40 Sovereign at that time. “With the Tiara 50 we took the same approach,” Glenn continues. “We designed the hull around the D11 engine to take advantage of the higher fuel efficiency and the EPA ratings. The IPS950 drive line gives you less drag, and we positioned the engines and drives accordingly to take advantage of the CG (center of gravity) and loads. It runs well and is very nimble around the docks.” On the all-new Tiara 50, the technologically advanced D11-IPS950 power package in a twin application is matched to a successful ocean proven hull. This delivers a solid ride whether enjoying a calm day cruise or pushing the vessel to island getaways far offshore.

Cruisers Yachts is developing new 50- to 58-foot coupe and bridge models for 2015 utilizing the D11 engines and IPS950 drives. “We are closely tied with Volvo Penta on this project,” offers Jon Viestenz, Cruisers’ regional sales and product development manager. “It’s exciting and the engines and drives offer a wide range of performance options.”

Offered in three power classes—625, 670 and 725 horsepower—the D11 engines also provide more powerful torque, improved drivability and reduced noise levels compared to other engines in these horsepower classes. “The new D11 series is based on the latest technology within the Volvo Group, and has been optimized for marine use,” Kull adds. “The result is a compact, powerful engine series with new and improved basic design. In addition to a wider range of power classes, the in-line, six-cylinder diesel engines are enhanced with a large number of technical upgrades.”

The engines use the latest generation of the Volvo Penta electronic platform, the Electronic Vessel Control (EVC). The latest generation of EVC enables an additional number of features for increased security and control, and improved functionality.

“We have further enhanced our twin-entry turbo where each exhaust pulse maximizes charging pressure,” explains Thomas Lantz, Chief Product Manager at Volvo Penta. “This gives an extremely powerful torque already at low RPM. The engine responds instantly to operator commands and provides improved drivability with stronger acceleration.”

Pairing the D11 engine with the new IPS800 and 950 drive packages provides higher torque, better drivability and significantly less noise. With steerable drive units and double forward-facing propellers, the Volvo Penta IPS system provides about 30 percent lower fuel consumption and 20 percent higher top speed compared with traditional shaft installations.

Inside the IPS unit the mechanical compressor increases the charging pressure directly from low RPMs and creates an even more powerful low-speed torque. Together with the double forward-facing and counter-rotating propellers the boat operator enjoys an extremely good grip in the water. “The drive packages are more responsive to commands and together with the joystick control, the result is significantly improved maneuverability,” Lantz adds.

The D11 series and the new IPS models are based on the same installation dimensions as before, which could help reduce costs for boat builders. All fuel and oil filters, oil dipstick and oil filler are gathered in the back of the engine where they are easily accessible for servicing, which allows for easier maintenance. The IPS installation is delivered in a complete package from Volvo Penta. In comparison to a setup with shaft drives, the installation time is reduced by more than 50 percent.

By Don Minikus, Southern Boating February 2014