To fully appreciate the science behind the new marine engines, it is best to look back at the innovators in the industry. One company that is synonymous with the latest advancements in marine vehicle engines is Volvo Penta. Volvo Penta has been in the forefront of it all since the birth of vehicle engine systems. The company was founded in 1907, and it is responsible for developing the first ever marine engine.
Birth of Penta
The world’s first ever engine design was called the B1. When it was finished, it was called Penta in honor of the five men present during the engine’s design presentation. The first engines manufactured had speeds that topped 800 RPMs. They were divided into two, thee and four cylinder classes. Although marine engine manufacturing proceeded during that time, the demand was not high because it was right after World War I. Some 3,268 engines were initially sold to owners.
Volvo Taps Penta
During the 1920’s, the company received an order to manufacture engines for an upstart automobile company called AB Volvo. The first batch of Volvo cars were running on Penta engines. The company began to produce engines almost exclusively for Volvo cars. The production of marine engines was summarily sidelined. As demand for Volvo cars soared, the pressure to build engines to keep up with the ever increasing demand intensified. The company finally folded in 1935, and Volvo acquired Pentaverken. Since then, Pentaverken has been a part of the Volvo Group of Companies.
Penta Returns to Its Marine Roots
AB Pentaverken continued to focus on producing Volvo engines to use in cars, buses and trucks. A breakthrough was made in 1946 when the company developed the first six-cylinder diesel engine. Compared to previous models, the six-cylinder engine had smoother operations and was exponentially quieter. This development paved the way for rapid growth anchored in the development of products. Pentaverken established an international clientele and ever expanding product portfolio. The first air-cooled marine engine was developed in 1956. After some developments, the company was responsible for creating the world’s smallest direct-injection reverse gear engine. Around this time, the demand for engine propelled boats was at an all-time high. With much fanfare and enthusiasm, the company unveiled the Aquamatic. This was the most advanced marine engine system during the time.
Birth of Volvo Penta Motors
During the sixties, the company was repackaged as AB Volvo Penta. It quickly gained recognition as the top engine manufacturing company in the world. The success continued on as Volvo Penta Motors maintained a dominant market share in the 1970’s. Apart from marine engines, they also received orders for industrial engines. In 1974, Volvo Penta Motors set up shop in North America. Their factory in Chesapeake, VA, modified V8 engines for marine use. Volvo Penta has long been involved in producing industrial and marine engines. During the late 1980’s, the company made another breakthrough in marine engine production. It developed the most advanced transmission in the world. It was called the Duoprop. The 90’s brought a new wave of engine designs that outperformed older models.