The 400D-series engine is built in 10 versions and offers a power band from 13.7hp to 66hp using naturally aspirated and turbocharged two, three and four-cylinder blocks.

The intention is for the new engine to capture a larger slice of the ever growing demand for compact engines.

A new sump design and attention to such details as exhaust routing and improved cooling systems requiring slower fan speeds has resulted in a reduction in running noise from 104dB(A) to 101dB(A). This means that noise levels have been effectively halved, says Perkins.

Assembled in the UK at Perkins’ Peterborough site and in a recently opened plant at Griffin, North America, the market for water-cooled sub-70hp engines has risen from 400,000 in 2001 to 575,000 in 2005 and is expected to continue to increase.

The agricultural industry takes over 90,000 units each year.

For Perkins Shibaura, sales have increased from 26,000 to 96,000 during the same period and are expected to exceed 120,000 units this year.

The new engines have the same physical proportions as the 300-series engines they will replace and, as such, should not pose problems for manufacturers of vehicles and machinery in the engine bay department.

This, however, may not be the case when it comes to introducing engines that need to comply with even more stringent emission exhaust regulations.

Engineers are now generally of the opinion that they have reached the end of the line when designing engines for emission reduction.

Any further developments will have to be focused on the treatment of the exhaust itself, they warn, and this could mean bulkier engines overall.

fwmachinery@rbi.co.uk