If you’ve been paying attention to big happenings in the marine world lately, you probably heard about introductions like the new Suzuki Df350 outboard, and a number of new outboards introduced by Yamaha, but the latest big news is now coming from Mercury Marine – and both freshwater and saltwater anglers will want to tune in.
The new V6 FourStroke line ranges from 175 to 225 horsepower, and is a naturally aspirated 3.4 liter engine. The Verados are still out there, but these new powerplants eschew the supercharger in favor of displacement. Weight (short-shaft) is 475 pounds. Mercury is claiming that this new line offers 20 percent more torque and five to 15 percent better fuel economy than the nearest competitor. These engines also have a wide range of features, like mechanical or digital controls, hydraulic or power steering, an idle charge battery management system, and Advanced Speed Control (which maintains rpm as the boat moves through waves or goes into turns).
Those in need of heftier horsepower will look to the new V8 FourStroke, which is being offered in 250 and 300 horsepower models. This is a 4.6 liter block with 279 cid displacement, designed with the cylinders in a narrow 64-degree bank angle to minimize the outboard’s width. As a result, it can be mounted on 26-inch centers. In short-shaft versions (20-inch) the V8 weighs in at 527 pounds, which is almost 50 pounds less than the closest competitor and about 12 pounds lighter than any other 300 horse naturally aspirated outboard on the market today. Another perk: this engine has a whopping-big alternator to feed all of your electrical needs. It puts out 85 amps at peak, and puts out a healthy 20 amps even when the engine is idling.
Both of these engine lines feature cowls which can be customized by color. More importantly, they also have access hatches on the front so you can easily check oil level and add oil when necessary. Another smart move was adding a QR code inside the access hatch, so you can use your phone to get maintenance information wherever and whenever you need it.