The first car for the new six-cylinder engine, dubbed the ‘SI6’, will be Volvo’s S80 flagship saloon and facelifted XC90 SUV.
The compact SI6 engines are assembled on the Bridgend line which already produces V8s.
Annual volumes of the all-alloy, 24-valve 3.2-litre SI6 at full capacity will be 209,000. This is in addition to Bridgend's 78,100 annual V8 output on the same line.
Employment levels at the plant are rising to meet the increasing demand for its latest six- and eight-cylinder units and its four-cylinder volume engines. Ford Bridgend employs 1,629 skilled production and support employees, with a further 250 recruits required in the next two years.
The first SI6 off the line marks the completion of a £245 million two-year investment programme at the plant.