Video: Volvo Penta 240-C inboard review

By: Tim van Duyl, Photography by: Graeme Neander, Video by: Anna Pastukhova

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  • Trade-A-Boat

The 240HP Volvo Penta 240C is a 4300cc V6 petrol inboard engine mainly for sterndrive applications.

The 240 HP Volvo Penta 240C can also be used with shaft and vee-drives. The Volvo 240C sits between the 200 horse power and 280 horse power versions of the same engine, the major differences being their computer control and intake and exhausts.


Volvo Penta 240C

Volvo Penta 240C inboard boat engine

The 240C is mated to the famous and exceptional Volvo Duoprop system. In the market for a number of years, the-counter rotating marine engine system has proven its worth plenty of times and this set up, running Stainless Steel FH-4, three-blade propellers delivered the grip and acceleration we have grown to love.

The Volvo Penta 240C, like its lower and higher horsepower sisters, features the latest in car-tech in direct injection and variable valve control. Fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber at extreme pressures (up to 2250psi) which atomises the fuel allowing for better combustion which reduces emissions and fuel use. Variable valve control changes the exhaust and inlet valve timing to maximise exhaust escape and air intake. This leads to better torque, lower fuel consumption and cleaner burning of fuel.

The review boat was a Whittley SL Sea Legend 22, a fibreglass fishing boat designed or for offshore use and family boating. A hull weighs around 1100kg is 6.5m LOA and has a beam of 2.26m. It has a sharp deadrise at 23 degrees and a fine entry angle.



Volvo Penta 240C boat engine interior

Whittley chose the Volvo 240C for its weight advantage, being an all-aluminium block plus for the benefit of access to the marvellous Duoprop leg. Obviously environmental awareness and efficiency were major draw cards too.

Complete with Duoprop leg and the fitted FH-4 stainless steel props, weight is around 404kg for the combination. This is heavier than outboard motors of the same horse power, by almost a factor of two, but is on par with other comparable inboards like the MerCruiser V6 marien engine.

The combo in the Whittley SL22 offers exceptional holeshot. This is mainly down to the Duopro system offering unrivalled grip off the mark but also thanks to the engines variable valve timing holding exhaust and intake valves open longer to allow more gases in and out plus the cleaner, stronger burn of the direct injection. We haven’t seen better in its category.

Optimal cruise was found at 4000rpm which returned 26 knots at 34 litres per hour giving us an effective range, with 10% in reserve, of 145 Nm.


Fuel economy

Volvo Penta -duo-prop with FH stainless steel propellers

At optimal cruise, the fuel burn rate of 0.74Nm or 1.37km per litre is fairly good. We have seen some outboards achieve numbers this good and it is in line with competitor’s engines. Flat out at wide open throttle, we saw 0.51Nm per litre at 74 litres per hour, which is less fuel burn than most outboards, a decent result. At a trolling speed of seven knots, the engine was ticking over at 1750rpm burning 7.8 litres per hour or 0.9Nm per litre giving a range, with 10% reserve of 170Nm or 314km.

The V6 Volvo 240 inboard’s best comes when the engine is working above 2500rpm. Though it’s not noisy below this, it is smooth at higher revs and feels eager to show you. Moving in and out of gear is the only let down in the combination with Volvo in need to design a softer shifting system like its competitors have in market now.

Volvo paints engines to match the fuel they use with the petrol 240C being green. It looks smart and with modern cowlings keeping hands away from dangerous parts, looks smart and modern.

Volvo prides itself on low-emissions and this latest engine is top of the charts with a maximum 5-star emission rating complying with all major standards such as CARB, EU and US EPC standards. With through leg exhaust, we never noticed any smoke or fumes.


Electronic Vessel Control

Electronic Vessel Control unit for Volvo Penta

Volvo sets the benchmark with its electronic throttle through its Electronic Vessel Control (EVC); it is something the marine market needs to adapt to across all engines. The throttle is silky smooth and trimming is easy and progressive. Combined with most mainstream electronics through NMEA2000 or Volvo’s own Volvo Glass Cockpit, data is shown by way of electronic display. We are big fans of these systems as they allow users to choose what they see and often work in tandem with sounders and radars to show more data than just gauges alone can.

The 240C needs its first service at 30hours, or three months, then every 100 hours or annually thereafter. This is on par with most marine engines. Service points are at the front of the engine and are clearly labelled.


The verdict

Whittley Sea Legend SL22 at boat ramp

The wow-factor with the 240C Volvo has to be its EVC system and interface by way of NMEA2000. The engine is quiet, good on fuel and clean running but the way the throttle engages and data is displayed on either your sounder or Volvo Glass makes for a user experience like no other in its class.

Vovlo has nailed the 240C with a clean burning, fuel efficient and easy to use engine that when combined with the Duo-prop, offer all the on-water performance you need. 


Volvo Penta 240C inboard sea trials

240HP Volvo Penta 240C running Duo-prop sterndrive and FH stainless steel propellers on a Whittley SL22 with two persons on board and 180L fuel.





























3500 (planing)








4200 (WOT)




* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.


More information

Whittley Marine

99 Freight Drive, Somerton, Victoria, 3062

PHONE +61 (3) 8339 1800




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