MIAMI — Mercury Marine introduced at the Miami International Boat Show a version of its supercharged V-6 400-hp Verado outboard for production boats. Though the hand-built Mercury Racing Verado 400R is designed for maximum performance, the new version will be built on the production line and have more features targeted for pleasure boats.
For example, the 400R has a maximum rpm rating of 7,000 rpm, but the Verado 400 is rated for a maximum of 6,800 rpm. The 350-hp Verado peaks at 6,400 rpm. The non-racing engine is designed to run on 89-octane gas, but Mercury Racing recommends 91 octane for the the 400R.
“We got to the point where we can take everything that’s on a 350 Verado and put it on a 400,” Mercury Marine president John Pfeifer told Trade Only Today. “It’s still supercharged, and the engine is so light for 400 hp that your power-to-weight ratio is fantastic. The boatbuilders love that because they like light weight. The consumers like it because of its fuel efficiency.”
The supercharged 2.6-liter outboard weighs 668 pounds in its lightest configuration. For comparison, Yamaha’s 425-hp XTO Offshore weighs about 950 pounds.
Additionally, the Verado 400 gets all the bells and whistles that come on the non-racing engines, including the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics that Mercury has been paying a lot of attention to.
The Verado 400 has a 5.44-inch-diameter gearcase, with a 1.75-to-1 gear ratio. It has Mercury’s Advanced MidSection, which is designed for maximum noise and vibration dampening.
“You can’t hear it idling, and I was out on a boat with quad 400s,” Pfeifer said. “We were going 80 mph across Lake X, and it was very quiet. It gives you color options to match the boat, and it gives you all the prop-to-helm control technology. There’s a lot more versatility where it can be applied.”
Prop-to-helm controls include digital throttle and shift, which now can control up to six outboards with twin levers using Mercury’s shadowing technology and Joystick Piloting for Outboards. The 400 Verado is also available with the company’s Active Trim system.
The engine has a 70-watt alternator and automatically increases idle rpm to boost output and keep up with charging demands.
The engine carries a three-year limited warranty.