|Number of Cylinders||8 Cylinders|
|Full Throttle RPM||6000|
|Engine Control System||Electronic|
The mission of Volvo Penta’s new V8-430 is to serve as a logical next step in the evolution of state of the art 6.0L gasoline engines. Additionally, this engine takes advantage of several advances in technology that allow it to run smoother and cleaner while burning less fuel than the predecessor 8.1 block. Other attributes give it better hole shot times and better load carrying abilities than previously possible with the big block V8s.
Differences Between the V8-430 and the V8-380
The noteworthy differences between the V8-380 and the V8-430 start with the high-flow aluminum cylinder heads with machined intake and exhaust ports that provide significantly improved flow through the combustion chamber, according to Volvo Penta. 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.
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 the standard closed cooling system. The engine and drive system of the V8-430 weighs just 39 lbs. (17.7 kgs.) more than the V8-380.
This new V8-430 engine has been targeted for boats in the range of 24’ (7.3 m) to 31’ (9.5 m) or roughly 3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg) to 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg) with a single engine installation. Twin engine installations will range from 33’ (10 m) to 40’ (12 m) or between 13,000 lbs. (5,897 kg) and 20,000 lbs. (9,072 kg).
We tested the V8-430 on a Cobalt A-28 with a LOA of 28’ 6” (8.69 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 5,460 lbs. (2,477 kg), 30 gal. (114 L) of fuel and 2 people onboard, we had a test weight of 6,060 lbs. (2749 kg). Here’s what we recorded...
Top speed was reached at 6000 rpm, instead of the typical 4800 rpm of the average big block. At that speed we were running at 53.1 mph while burning 34 gph of fuel. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 28 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 9.35 gph -- or 2.99 mpg which is better than what we are used to seeing from competitive 380 hp and 430-hp big blocks.
The biggest difference with the V8-430 is in the handling characteristics, mainly acceleration. Thanks to the engine's high torque there was a noticeable difference in the feel of the boat upon hitting the throttle. The time to plane of 3.7 seconds during our test of the A28 was measurably quicker than what we’re used to seeing with big block V8s. Our times to 20 and 30 mph were also faster.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the Volvo Penta V8-430 provided a much better midrange response. It was noticeable as soon as the throttle was advanced from cruise speed. Acceleration was quick and crisp.
Throttle Power Assist
The V8-430 also has a feature called Power Assist that will maintain rpm regardless of any maneuvers that the boat makes. If we put the boat into hard over turn it bled off speed-over-ground but not rpm. This also means that once we rolled out of the turn the boat returned to its original speed much quicker, and without the driver having to adjust the throttle in any way.
Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
The new Variable Valve Timing feature adds torque and power with a smaller block that exceeds the performance of old tech big blocks, according to a Volvo Penta spokesman. Historically, the timing of valves was static having the crankshaft and camshaft linked together with a chain. Now, with variable valve timing, the chain is still there, but the sprocket uses a hydraulic phaser controlled by the engine ECU to advance or retard the cam timing. Traditional big block engines were running at 4800 rpm, but this new engine is designed to run at 6000 rpm thanks to that variable valve timing. The combination of variable timing and increased RPMs results in more power, more speed, and more torque.
A flatter torque curve reduces time to plane, improves midrange response and makes the WOT range less load sensitive. When combined with the enhanced DPS drives offered with ratios of 1.95 or 2.14, the spread in performance between the traditional big block power plants and this new V8-430 gets further and further apart the more the boats are loaded.
The freshwater cooling is designed to maintain the engine, as well as the oil, at a constant temperature which serves to increase longevity. In this "next generation" engine, the freshwater cooling even extends to the exhaust manifold. The expansion tank is put in easy reach for the daily engine checks, but for boaters who are not the hands-on type, a low-level sensor is installed for redundant overheat protection.
User-Friendly Engine Checks
In fact, because our tests are showing an increase in the number of boats that are providing limited access to engine compartments, the V8-430 shines by having all regularly serviceable items mounted to the front of the engine including the oil fill, dipstick, fuse box, expansion tank, oil filter, sea water pump and engine flush.
With the entire package of engine, transmission, and outdrive weighing only 1,115 lbs. (506 kg) the new V8-430 is an important new option in the repowering considerations that boaters face. The V8-430’s attractive power-to-weight ratio provides spritely performance and improved fuel efficiency. Some of the ingredients that go into this reduction in weight are an aluminum exhaust manifold, cast aluminum structural oil pan and a high flow aluminum cylinder head. And because the new engine is only 6.0 L it has a smaller overall envelope than the big block V8s.
Naturally this new V8-430 will provide plug-and-play connectivity with Volvo Penta's line of EVC components, and on previous models EVC was offered as an option. With this V8-430, EVC is now standard. That means it comes complete with multi-function engine controls offering optional add-on features including tow mode, cruise control, power trim assist, single lever, engine synchronization, and sterndrive joystick.
V8-430 SpecificationsPropeller shaft power, kW (hp).............................. 292 (397)
At first glance it appears that this next generation engine has a lot to offer to boaters across a broad spectrum of applications. Most of the benefits, which are never seen by the end-user, are said by Volvo Penta to be lower maintenance and increased engine longevity.
The benefits that will directly affect boaters day-to-day are the ease of access to the daily checks, faster times to plane which should please skiers and wakeboarders, less weight sensitivity when the boat is loaded with friends, better fuel economy at best cruise and the connectivity to the next generation of EVC components.
Based on our test cited above, the V8-430’s light weight, high power-to-weight ratio, variable timing and other new technology appear to make this 6.0 L engine an attractive option to traditional big block V8s.
|Cobalt A28 (2014-)|