Ten years after the introduction of IPS, Volvo Penta has unveiled its latest marine innovation in the form of the Forward Drive propulsion system

Volvo Penta has launched its latest marine innovation, which is called Forward Drive, or FWD for short.

The new propulsion system, which was unveiled yesterday (12 February) at the Miami Boat Show, features forward-facing dual counter-rotating propellers with an adjustable trim drive.

Forward Drive was designed to pull the boat through the water rather than pushing and allows water to reach the propeller undisturbed by the skeg.

Volvo Penta claims that the new system will increase responsiveness, acceleration and fuel economy. Other advantages include lower levels of noise, fumes and vibration.

Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas, said: “This exciting new technology will make it easier for families to have more fun on the water and will attract more people into boating and water sports.”

IPS vs Forward DriveVolvo Penta Forward Drive

The launch of Forward Drive (pictured right) has been timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of IPS, which was recognised as the world’s first forward-facing propulsion system when it was introduced in 2005.

The main difference from IPS is the positioning, as Forward Drive is mounted to the transom rather than three-quarters of the way along the hull.

IPS has proved popular among larger motoryachts like the Pearl 65 and the Sunseeker Predator 57. Forward Drive is likely to be fitted to smaller sportsboats.

Some of the first models to be fitted with Volvo Penta Forward Drive include the Regal 2100 Surf, Regal 22 Fasdeck FSX and Four Winns TS222.

To find out more about Forward Drive, click on the video above, or to read what our community of boatowners makes of the new Volvo Penta propulsion system, head over to the YBW.com forum.