The origins of the PRV V6 -engine lay in the contract of April 1966 where Peugeot and Renault agreed for a partnership in manufacture of common mechanical parts.
In 1969, their first joint subsidiary, La Francaise de Mecanique, was created.
The location of factory, and hence also the future place for the PRV V6 production, was chosen to be Douvrin, a satellite town of Lens in the very North of France.
It was in 1971 that Peugeot and Renault decided to join their forces with Volvo to design and produce V-engines. They created the PRV company, a PLC in which each patner had a one-third share. The original plan was to create a V8-engine.
Reasons why the PRV Engine became a V6 instead of a V8 are many. The energy crisis had extended the market for six-cylinder engines. The French taxation policies of the early 1970s resulted as clearly lower retail prices for cars with engine capacity less than 2.8 liters.
But perhaps most importantly, Renault needed a V6 to be installed into its new model, the 30 TS. The V6 matter was somewhat less important for Peugeot or Volvo, since their fresh models could easily fit a V8 as well.
But why a 90 degrees V6 ? There was no obstacle for using those angle instead of a completely new design, since only few years earlier the Citroen had successfully commenced Maserati to produce a cut V8 engine
(resulting in a 90 degrees V6) for its sporty SM model.
It is highly evident that, the decision to produce a V6 instead of a V8 exactly earned the PRV Engine its importance, and hence the extensive application both in the automotive industry and in the motorsports.
The Douvrin PRV V6 was an engine that had two generations. All the original PRV V6 applications had the feature of different ignition timing for each cylinder bank. This was necessary due to the 90 degrees specification, in order to make the engine smooth-running. Second generation was introduced in 1986 with the Peugeot 505 V6. In practise the engines had 30 degrees offset crankpins to give the even firing intervals of a 60 degrees V6.
The Production History
The first Machinery aimed for building the PRV (or "Z") Engines arrived to the FM Location in Douvrin in the beginning of June, 1973.
The 'Z' factory buildings for the PRV V6 Production were completed on January, 1974.
The Introduction of the Douvrin PRV V6 Engine officially took place on 3rd of October, 1974. The First Car Model that received the new Engine was the Volvo 264, shortly followed by the Peugeot 504 Coupé & 504 Cabriolet. In March 1975, the PRV V6 was introduced in two Further Models, Peugeot 604 and Renault 30 TS.
On October 1976, the Renault Douvrin V6 was introduced in the Renault Alpine A310 sportscar. In 1977, the Meyrignac Coupe with the Renault Douvrin V6, was introduced at the Geneva Motorshow.
In 1980, a new version of the Peugeot Douvrin V6 was introduced in the Talbot Tagora. In 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 received the PRV V6.
In February 1982, the Z154-4 type was introduced in the Volvo 760 GLE. Year 1984 brought the new Renault 25 model, also available with the ZMJ-Z7V type PRV V6 Engine. Also the very first Turbocharging of the engine in a production road car appeared, being the Z7U variant for the Renault 25 V6 Turbo. Later same year, the Douvrin PRV V6 Engine was introduced in the Renault Alpine V6 GT / GTA and in the Lancia Thema 6V.
In 1985, the PRV V6 appeared in the new Volvo 780 Coupe.
July 1986 was a very significant moment for the Douvrin V6 Engine: the Second Generation of the Engine was introduced with the ZN3J type of the Peugeot 505 V6. The new engine had 30 degrees offset crankpins to give the even firing intervals of a 60 degrees V6.
Also a Turbocharged version of the Renault Douvrin V6 appeared with the MVS Venturi sportscar
In 1988, the American Eagle Premier got a PRV V6. In 1989, Citroen's new XM got the Peugeot Douvrin V6 of the ZPJ type. Peugeot 605 followed next year. In 1991 was the turn of the Renault Alpine A610 to make use of the PRV V6. After that, the PRV V6 was still applied in the Renault Safrane & the 1st generation Laguna V6.
One of the very last cars that used PRV V6 in their production was the Helem V6 Coupe sportscar.
The Production of the Douvrin PRV V6 Engine was stopped on 15th of June 1998, after total of 970315 Engines Completed.