Volvo Penta IPS turns ten

It is a matter of fact that Volvo Penta IPS transmissions brought a revolution into pleasure boating market. Innovation that continues after ten years.

The official presentation was back in 2005 at London Boat Show, and many of us didn’t understand that we werer witnessing a revolution in pleasure motor boating. The Volvo Penta IPS, for Inboard Performance System, had just come to the market.

Volvo Penta IPS, not only a joystick

In 2005 the joystick had yet to be introduced, so the main feature of Volvo Penta IPS was the front-facing propellers. Counter-rotating blades, which pulled the craft rather than pushing it. The push (and the wake) is parallel to the bottom of the hull, so all the power is delivered to move the boat. More, the propellers work in the best condition as they don’t suffer the turbulence created by shafts or sterndrives.

The new system was an instant success, and very soon it was installed on over 100 models. In 2006, a new feature was added: the chance to manage rudder and docking with a joystick. Then it was the turn of larger units, and of the dynamic positioning system DPS. By the end of 2009 there were already 10,000 IPS systems in the water, and the count to date says 17,000 sold and 1,100 models mounting them.


In several sea trials, IPS proved to be 20% faster than a traditional shaft drive, with a 30% fuel saving and a 15% faster acceleration. The noise and vibration reduction can be reckoned in terms of 50%.

Initially developed for pleasure navigation, Volvo Penta IPS has come to the attention of the working vessel market, where it has gradually replaced shaft drives on certain sizes.

A complete offer

Today the system is available in ten different models, from IPS350 to IPS1200, coupled to three different pod sizes and fit for double, triple or quadruple installation.

The output range is wide:

260  mph for IPS350

300 mhp for IPS400

330 mhp for IPS450

370 mhp for IPS500

435 mhp for IPS600

626 mhp for IPS800

725 mhp for IPS950

800 mhp for IPS1050

900 mhp for IPS1200

Power is measured in metric horse power at the crankshaft.

Volvo Penta IPS is suitable to any kind of boat: fast cruisers, with fly-bridge, yachts, sport-fisherman, with a length between 9 and 30 meters (30 to 100 feet). Far from being just an engine, Volvo Penta IPS means to be a complete solution, fully integrated from rudder wheel to joystick, commands, instruments, power unit, front-faced propellers.

Among the available options, EVC includes autopilot, cruise-control and DPS. Last but not least, the simple and linear Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit gives an improved whole vision and a better control of engine and navigation.

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