FLIBS 2018: Cox Powertrain unveils 300-hp diesel outboard

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After two years of updates about its development, the the Cox 300 diesel outboard was officially unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this week.

“Three years ago, I reached out to Joel [Reid] and said, ‘If you’re going to bring these motors across the pond, we are your guys,” said Ken Clayton, president of Intrepid Powerboats, which had a pair of the 300-hp outboards on its new 34-foot center console.

The engines arrived just in time to be hung on the back of the new boat, so performance numbers were unavailable. Cox Powertrain estimates torque output at 480 foot pounds, which the company says is 50 percent more than a Yamaha F350. Cox also estimates that the diesel outboard is 25 percent more fuel-efficient than a comparable gas engine.

The Cox 300 has a prop shaft that can accommodate the full range of Mercury propellers. The engine is offered in two gear ratios: 1.46-to-1 for commercial use and 1.27-to-1 for recreational applications. The Intrepid at the show had 14.6-by-19-inch four-blade Mercury stainless props.

The outboard is equipped with SeaStar’s Optimus EPS steering and has digital throttle and shift.

Reid said that during the past three years more than $100 million has been invested in developing the company and the diesel outboard. Cox Powertrain said it will to sell the engine through some 30 global distributors that have a few hundred dealers. He expects that 80 to 90 percent of initial sales will be OEM deals and that repowers will follow.

In addition to the official launch, Reid announced that Cox Powertrain is planning to open a production facility in South Florida. Components would be shipped from the U.K. headquarters to the United States, where the engines will be assembled. Although Reid said the current tariffs aren’t a problem, he acknowledges that they could become an issue with the U.S. production facility.