Perkins heritage products - a proud history

Perkins heritage products - a proud history

At Perkins, we’re proud of all our products. Every one of the more than 20 million engines that has left our various manufacturing facilities over the years has been designed, developed and built to the highest standards. We’re committed to consistent quality.

And in a history of more than 85 years, there are some engines that stand out as iconic – engines that have made huge steps forward in technology, or had a particular influence on the development of diesel power.

Throughout the history of the diesel engine, Perkins has been one of the most influential companies in terms of design and development. Since the very first 4 cylinder Wolf was fitted in 1933, our engineers have had the vision to see what might be possible, and the skill to make it happen.

These are some of the Perkins heritage products that have been milestones along that journey.

1933: The Wolf

The engine that started it all. Developed from an earlier model, the Vixen, the Wolf was offered as an alternative to the petrol engine in Humber’s Commer vehicles in 1933, making Humber our first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Proud history
Perkins Wolf engine
1937: P4/P6 Series

The P4 and P6 engines, designed by Charles Chapman, the company’s original technical director, were launched at the 1937 Commercial Motor Show. They were compact and lightweight engines that established Perkins as a major supplier. The P6, producing 63 kW (85 hp) at 2600 rpm, and advertised as “The world’s lightest diesel engine” was an immediate sensation. The P4 and P6 were the platforms for many future award-winning engines.

1960: 6354

The 6354, the straight-six, 5.7 litre successor to the P6, became the best-known diesel engine of its day and led to a rapid growth in sales for the company. Marine versions were popular for offshore racing. A P6354 painted in gold was exhibited in 1962 as our millionth export engine.

1964: 4.236

The first 4.236 came off the production line in August 1964 – the start of a 30 year domination of the agricultural and tractor market. It went on to power 4.5 million machines throughout the world. Click here to read more about the 4.236.

1965: V8.510

The 8.36 litre V8.510 took Perkins products into a new performance range, producing 127 kW (170 hp) at 2800 rpm. It provided power for a variety of trucks, coaches and heavy vehicles.

Perkins has an impressive track record that goes back more than 85 years. These iconic engines are the evidence of our lasting commitment to quality
Annette Ward, corporate and marketing communications manager

1999: 1000 Series

The 1000 Series of industrial and agricultural engines was the Perkins response to a new era of emissions standards. The 4 and 6 cylinder engines covered a range from 67-134 kW (90-180 hp). A newly designed combustion chamber produced better emission control, lower noise levels and improved fuel consumption.

Click here to read more about the 1006.

2001: 400 Series

Emissions standards were now a vital consideration in engine design. The new 400 Series, designed to meet EU Stage II/U.S. EPA Tier 2, set new standards of quietness. It developed into a range of ultra-compact 2, 3 and 4 cylinder engines for a variety of applications in the agricultural, gardening, construction, electric power and materials handling sectors.

C2003: 1100D

The 1100 Series had been launched earlier, alongside the 400 Series – and the 1100D, produced in 2003, took noise reduction, emissions control and power to new levels. Sold as “the ultimate power solution”, it met Stage IIIA/Tier 3 emissions standards.

2012: 1200 Series

The tradition of innovation and excellence continued with the launch in 2013 of the 1200 Series, which was designed to meet the world’s most stringent emissions standards, Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim. Alongside its unprecedented capacity for emissions control, the 4 and 6 cylinder 1200 Series offers improved productivity levels and lower fuel consumption, combined with a power output up to 225 kW (300 hp).

2016: Perkins® Syncro

Perkins launched a new family of 4 cylinder, 2.8 and 3.6 litre diesel engines delivering 45-100 kW (60-134 hp) at Bauma 2016. The Perkins® Syncro range of common rail engines will meet multiple global emissions standards including EU Stage V and U.S EPA Tier 4 Final. Engineered to integrate perfectly into more than 80 different machine models, the new 2.8 and 3.6 litre engines deliver the performance, value and reliability our customers expect to help them access new markets and support their business growth. 

Click here to read more about the Perkins Syncro range.


Fast facts

Different Perkins engines have different features. But they all share four key characteristics:

  • Powerful performance
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Reliability
  • A cost-effective solution

A Square Deal All Round

Perkins history book

A detailed history of the company, A Square Deal All Round, by former Perkins chief engineer David Boulton, is available from your Perkins distributor. It charts the growth of the business from the humblest of beginnings to a position of global leadership in the supply of high-speed industrial power.

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About us

About the Perkins brand

With a history stretching back more than 85 years, Perkins is one of the world’s leading providers of diesel and gas engines. We aim to set standards of engineering excellence, providing the most comprehensive range of innovative and reliable power solutions.

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