|Visiting Volvo Penta|
Last summer, Volvo Penta invited about a dozen American journalists and me to Gothenburg for the unveiling of its new D-275, the D-3, the D-4, and D-6 diesel engines. Upon arrival, we were treated to a welcome dinner at a quaint restaurant on the harbor just outside of the city center. Gothenburg is Sweden’s chief port and its second-largest city, behind Stockholm.
The next morning we were ferried to Volvo Penta’s nearby marine test center where we listened to presentations about the company’s past, present, and future. Later we joined up with more journalists from around the world for lunch and a tour of the Volvo museum, which featured not only its marine history, but its automobile history as well. Generous hosts that it is, Volvo Penta finished off the day with a dinner cruise complete with a humorous Swedish entertainer and toasts of aquavit, a drink I don’t recommend for those with weak stomachs.
On our last morning, we got down to the business at hand: testing the new engines. We returned to Volvo Penta’s Marine Test Center to find out firsthand if these new engines achieved what the company had been striving for, namely low emissions, improved fuel economy, better low-end torque, a compact size, and reduced sound levels. The company provided nine powerboats and two sailboats equipped with the new engines for testing. Although we didn’t have the proper tools to test all of their claims, I observed virtually no smoke, could barely hear the engines, and was impressed by their acceleration.
Volvo Penta is a company with an impressive history and, as I’m sure the other journalists would agree, a strong future, too—especially if it continues to introduce the kind of advanced diesels it did in Gothenburg. —Eileen Mansfield
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.