CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mercury Marine formally introduced its second in-house-built sterndrive engine this morning — the MerCruiser 6.2L V8. The engine packs either 300 or 350 hp and is on the market.
“We are continuing to push the importance of a marine purpose-built engine, which is exactly what the new 6.2L is,” Mercury Marine VP of product development, engineering and racing David Foulkes told me at a press introduction in Charlotte.
“We’ve always had control of the engineering and manufacturing of outboards, which gives us the ability to improve the product and respond quickly to market demands. Now we are achieving the same benefits of outboard production with our sterndrive product.”
Mercury introduced its first in-house-built engine about a year ago — the 4.5L 250-hp MerCruiser. Previously Mercury used General Motors blocks to build its marine gasoline engines. Volvo Penta has stuck with GM motors (the Gen V engines were recently introduced). Volvo Penta came out with a Gen V 4.3L sterndrive engine earlier this year.
About 15 members of the marine media gathered at Lake Wylie in Clover, S.C., to test Mercury’s new engines. Mercury has powered 10 boats from 21 to 31 feet with its power packages. A majority of the boats are powered with the new 6.2L engine and three are powered with outboards, including a 29-foot racing catamaran with twin R400 4-strokes that I am told can exceed 100 mph. (I will see for myself when I take a spin on the boat this afternoon.)
Mercury also used the event to announce a new trim control technology that automatically adjusts trim based on the boat’s speed (tracked with an integrated GPS chip at the helm circuit board). Five of the boats are equipped with this new technology, called Active Trim Control.
The 380-cubic-inch 6.2L is packed with improvements that heighten performance, compared with the previous 6.2L engine (the 350 Mag and 370 Mag), Foulkes said. The new engine is more fuel-efficient, faster and quieter than its predecessor, he said.
It does a better job of capturing air with its redesigned air induction system with “long-runner scroll air intake technology,” Foulkes said.
Mercury has reduced engine friction with lighter pistons and rods and other internal material upgrades, he added.