Sizing It Up
The Volvo Penta 5.7L V8 measures 36.8” (93.5 cm) long x 28.6” (72.6 cm) wide x 32.1” (81.5 cm) high and weighs roughly 1070 lbs (485.3 kg). The 5.7Gi is rated for a max top end speed at 5000 rpm, and the GXi at 5200 rpm. Both have a compression ratio of 9.4:1.
The Cost Factor
The first thing we’re really going to consider is cost. Say you were to purchase a Regal 2200 with a Volvo Penta 5.0 Gxi. Faced with the upgrade choice, you’d add $1,997 to your purchase price for the 5.7 GXi.
Let’s move over to Glastron for another example. The DX 235DB offers an upgrade from the catalyzed 270-hp 5.0 GXiC to the 300-hp GiC for $1,523 more, so we’re still in the same ballpark.
Let’s do one more. The Four Winns H210 offers the same upgrade from catalyzed 270-hp 5.0 GXiC to the 300-hp GiC for $1,407 more, so we’re still in line with the others.
What Performance Can I Expect?
To determine if this engine is going to be right for your boat, let’s take a short look at two versions of the 5.7 and see how they perform in different boats. We’ll use the 5.7Gi and the 5.7 GXi, and now we know we are going from regular 300-hp to 320-hp, both engines fuel injected. Let’s see what we have for numbers.
Performance figures for various boats tested with the 300 and 320-hp versions of the 5.7 engine.
We can see that the results are not surprising, with the added horsepower delivering speeds from the high 40’s to the low 50’s for a bit more fuel consumption in boats with an average of about 200lbs (90.7kg) separation in weight. Cruise speeds are another story, and a significant one as this is where most of us spend our time.
We are seeing that the average cruise speeds are nearly identical, with the larger engine having an easier time pushing the boats, and the resulting fuel usage is nearly a gallon an hour less.
Let's see, one gallon (4 L) times 100 hours a year, times $3.50 per gallon is $350 per year in fuel savings. Times five years of ownership equals $1,750 in savings. And how about our friends in Europe?
But it isn’t all about speed when upgrading to a larger engine. You’re not likely to spend an average of $1600 to save a gallon an hour, but you will spend that to get better performance with a boat load of friends and one of them likely hanging onto a towline.
Now the $1600 starts to make real sense, both for the initial purchase, and the recovered investment in resale value. Your used boat with the 5.7 should be easily work more than the $1600 added cost over the 5.0. And if you keep the boat for five years you probably made up the difference in fuel savings alone.
We would be remiss in this article if we didn’t discuss the benefits of EVC, and after testing the systems functions, we can honestly declare that it’s the greatest technological leap forward since they started slicing bread, and it’s a feature that is directly felt and experienced by the operator.
The acronym stands for Electronic Vessel Control and it’s the latest development in engine control and instrumentation, and you can take it from someone who has tested EVC personally: Once you’ve experienced it, you never want to go back.
Because this isn’t a full blown EVC article, the short version is that EVC allows for plug and play installation between the motor, and both the engine controls and helm gauges, that allows you to not only control the flow of data to the helm but electronically control the engines, and therefore the output and synchronization with effortless authority.
That means that all those mechanical connections between the helm and the engine are long gone, and adding a remote location for your engine controls, say at the stern or for wing controls, is as easy as adding another wiring run. And the digital controls are opening up a whole new breed of capability. Cruise modes, tow modes, trim assist, single lever modes… all are available at the push of a button.
During our tests, we experienced easy starts, crisp acceleration, and smooth idling. Between the boost in performance for an engine of the same size as its smaller sibling, the environmentally friendly electronic emissions, ease of maintenance, and time tested reliability of Volvo Penta, it’s easy to see that the benefits of the 5.7L series of engines are worth the additional investment in your purchase.
See our Volvo Penta EVC video and report.