VIDEO: Mercury Marine debuts four new engines

Posted on Written by Chris Landry

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. — Mercury Marine introduced four new engines — 75-, 90- and 115-hp 4-strokes and a 4.5-liter 250-hp MerCruiser gasoline sterndrive.

“These engines are a result of a tremendous amount of consumer research and development activity by [our] team and we are proud to unveil them here and have you put them through their paces over the next couple of days,” Mercury president of global sales and marketing Kevin Grodzki told about 40 journalists Monday night at the opening-night dinner of a three-day press event at Mercury’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

Mercury says the new outboards boast a large displacement of 2.1 liters and a low weight of 359 pounds (20-inch shaft) for their horsepower. The new 4.5-liter, 250-hp sterndrive/inboard engine platform is the first recreational gasoline engine designed and built in-house by Mercury, the company said.

“With outboards we have always had the luxury of deciding what technology we wanted in our engines, and now we can do the same with our sterndrive engines,” Mercury vice president of product development, engineering and racing David Foulkes told me after dinner. “The direction of the auto engines was not fully serving our customers. We are now able to give them features that are built into the engine exclusively because they are marine engines.”

A good example of that is the position of the new MerCruiser’s throttle body, which faces aft instead of forward. “With the previous engines the throttle body was always facing the driver, and so was the noise that was being generated,” Foulkes said. “Now we can direct that noise aft and away from the driver.”

Mercury Marine said last year that it would develop its own engines, separating itself from the automotive market.

The 4-strokes are now available to dealers and builders. The sterndrive will hit the market in September.

What a month for outboards. Suzuki and Evinrude already have come out with new engines at press events, and now Mercury joins the fray. Next week, I will be attending a Honda Marine press event that also promises new product.

Marine media will get a chance today to run the new Mercury engines, which will be mounted on more than a dozen boats from about 18 to 31 feet. There also will be boats with other Mercury propulsion, including the powerful 520 racing engine and 300-hp Verados with a Glass Dash.

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Comments

5 comments on “VIDEO: Mercury Marine debuts four new engines

  1. Andrew G.

    In as much as I dislike the ethanol gas we are forced to use, unless you can find the alternative at some marinas, I wonder if the “New” engines will take this into account.

  2. BayBoater

    There will be a lot of “wondering” about these new non-automotive based engines. Personally, as a consumer, I wouldn’t touch one for at least three years. I won’t risk my money by being a guinea pig for Brunswick. In addition to the (presumed) higher initial purchase price, I don’t want to put up with the hassles of dealing with unforeseen issues, recalls, loss of time on the water, and not to mention the risk of being stuck with something that no one will buy when it comes time to sell. I’m sure that I am not alone feeling this way. It is a proven fact that most people won’t buy a new model vehicle the first year that it is produced for similar reasons. No one wants to be stuck with a lemon. The MFG would get their (guinea pig) sale (and money), but won’t have to suffer (other then the bad rep and warranty reimbursement costs) the loss when the consumer of said product wants (or has) to sell. All they have to do is revamp the model (for future buyers) by fixing the issues and finally (hopefully) getting it right (but unfortunately) at the cost of the initial purchasers. As a dealer, I would hold back (as much as possible) equipping my stock boats with this new engine and let the other dealers deal with pissed-off customers, lower CSI scores and the backlog of service demands. All of which, of course, would mean a lower profit and fewer future buyers due to their boating “experience”. Nope, I’ll do my best to avoid this (and the future initial) MFG produced engine(s) until the guinea pigs have suffered and paid (in more ways than one) to resolve the impending issues that (unfortunately) these days seem to be inevitable with a new product.

  3. twisted dealer

    BayBoater..the real question to ask is where will Volvo be when GM drops all of the small block engines…or didn’t you know that? Being a dealer and a certified tech I will continue to buy Mercury..I say Mercury Marine has done very well with their 8.2 liter it introduced in 2009 when GM dropped the 496…i’m very satisfied with Mercury Marine for their service to us when ever we need it.

  4. West Coast

    The article says “The new 4.5-liter, 250-hp sterndrive/inboard engine platform is the first recreational gasoline engine designed and built in-house by Mercury, the company said”. I thought the 470 (and all of it’s superseded models) was a Mercury built engine minus the cylinder head? I take it that Mercury forgot about that engine, or does not want to remember it.

  5. BayBoater

    I would imagine that most of the young talking’ heads at Mercury/Brunswick weren’t even born when the 470 was conceived and used on the water. They probably couldn’t even tell us what an OMC Stringer Mount or Cobra Drive were. Or who OMC was for that matter!

    Yep, I’d agree. They probably don’t want to remember it. Or better yet, they don’t want the consumers to remember!

    At this point, the only plus side I see to this new package is that the consumer can choose the Bravo drive to go with it. And hopefully, the Bravo III. After having owned three boats with the Bravo III, I’ll never go back to a stern drive boat that does not have a duo-prop drive on the transom. If this six cylinder can be put into smaller boats with the Bravo III, they should capitalize on that idea. Once this new engine has been proven on the water and all of the bugs get worked out, it should be welcomed by new boat buyers. Time will tell…

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