More powerful D4 and D6 engines, a new duoprop sterndrive leg and easier installation of joystick control are among the highlights in Volvo Penta's latest product update

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Volvo Penta has revamped its entire range of D4 and D6 diesel engines to deliver more power, increased reliability, improved efficiency and lower running costs. The most powerful D6 now delivers 480hp while the D4 range now tops out at 320hp.

It has also taken the opportunity to launch a brand new Duoprop sterndrive leg called DPI, suitable for both D4 and D6 engines up to the new 440hp D6 (the 480hp version is only available for shaftdrive or IPS650 installations).

The most notable advantages of the new DPI leg are a new hydraulic clutch, offering much smoother gear engagement and low speed trolling, and electronic fly-by-wire steering as standard (previously it was a cost option).

This not only removes the need for hydraulic cables running to and from the helm but also makes it easier and cheaper to fit the optional joystick control for simplified point-and-go berthing manoeuvres.

Other new features include new warning alarms for water ingress into the rubber bellows and/or gear oil. The engines also have an electronic oil level gauge obviating the need for daily dip stick tests.

Along with improvements such as fitted-for-life prop shaft seals, a crankshaft gas separator and a new formulation of harder steel alloys for the pistons and props, they are claimed to increase engine longevity and reduce servicing costs over the life of the engine.

Additions to the joystick functions include a holding station feature on sterndrive applications (previously only on IPS) and the ability to steer the boat at speed using the joystick instead of the wheel and adjust the autopilot’s heading in 5 degree increments by twisting it to port or starboard.

For more details on the full list of improvements and changes, including sea trial impressions of the new engines and DPI, read the forthcoming August issue of Motor Boat & Yachting, on sale 4 July.