Volvo B20 Engine: One of the Most Reliable Engines Ever

Volvo B20 Engine

Owning a car with this engine is like owning a turtle that will live longer than you, this engine is super reliable, that’s why Volvo used the B20 engine in cars such as the 240 series that made millions of sales over the globe.

Engine VariantHorsepowerYears Produced
B20A82 hp1969-1970
B20B90 hp1969-1970
B20D82 hp1969-1970
B20E118 hp1971-1973
B20F118 hp1971-1973
B20 Engine Performance Table

Volvo B20 engine, crafted by Volvo, stood as a pillar within their lineup from 1969 to 1981. This inline-four powerplant garnered acclaim for its smooth performance and reliability, finding its place in numerous Volvo models during that era. Boasting technical innovations such as overhead camshafts, aluminum cylinder heads, and a sophisticated fuel injection system, the B20 engine played a pivotal role in Volvo’s lineup, offering a blend of power, efficiency, and durability, thereby solidifying the brand’s reputation for engineering high-quality vehicles.

Volvo B20 Engine

Cars with B20 Engine

B20 engine was prominently featured in several Volvo models during its production period. Some of the cars equipped with the B20 engine include: Volvo 120 and Volvo P1800

  1. Volvo 120
  2. Volvo P1800
  3. Volvo 140
  4. Volvo C202 (military use)
  5. Volvo 240

B20 Engine Tuning

Tuning the Volvo B20 engine has been a popular choice among automotive enthusiasts seeking enhanced performance. An array of aftermarket modifications and tuning options are available to elevate the engine’s power, responsiveness, and overall capabilities.

Common tuning approaches for the Volvo B20 engine include:

Performance Chips or Engine Control Unit (ECU) Tuning: Upgrading the ECU or installing performance chips to optimize fuel and ignition settings for increased power output.

Intake and Exhaust Upgrades: Upgrading the intake system (such as cold air intakes) and installing high-performance exhaust systems to enhance airflow, thereby boosting horsepower and torque.

Forced Induction: Adding turbochargers or superchargers to increase air intake, allowing the engine to produce significantly higher power outputs.

Upgraded Camshafts: Installing aftermarket camshafts to improve valve timing, resulting in better airflow and increased performance across the RPM range.

Upgraded Fuel Systems: Upgrading fuel injectors, fuel pumps, or installing higher-flow systems to accommodate increased power demands.

Performance Tuning Software: Using specialized software to fine-tune engine parameters for optimal performance gains while ensuring reliability and drivability.

Suspension and Handling Modifications: Enhancing the suspension setup and upgrading handling components to complement the increased power for a balanced driving experience.

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Volvo B20 Engine


  1. What vehicles were equipped with the Volvo B20 engine? The Volvo B20 engine was featured in various models, including the Volvo 140 series, Volvo 240 series, and Volvo P1800ES.
  2. What are the common performance specs of the B20 engine variants? The B20 engine typically produced around 82 to 118 horsepower, depending on the specific model and configuration.
  3. Are there popular tuning options available for the Volvo B20 engine? Yes, enthusiasts often opt for performance enhancements such as ECU tuning, intake and exhaust upgrades, forced induction, and upgraded camshafts to boost the engine’s power and responsiveness.
  4. Can the Volvo B20 engine be modified for increased performance? Absolutely! With aftermarket modifications like performance chips, intake upgrades, forced induction, and other enhancements, the B20 engine can be tuned to deliver higher horsepower and torque.
  5. What precautions should be taken when tuning the Volvo B20 engine? Tuning should be conducted by experienced professionals to ensure reliability and adherence to local regulations. It’s crucial to balance performance gains with maintaining the engine’s durability and drivability.
  6. How can I ensure the reliability of a tuned Volvo B20 engine? Regular maintenance, following manufacturer guidelines, and using quality components during modifications are essential to maintaining the reliability of a tuned B20 engine.

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