Mercury launches Project X

MIAMI, Fla. – Mercury Marine launched, today, its long-awaited Project X four-stroke engine line, to a large crowd at the Miami International Boat Show.

The engine line, named the Verado, is the first four-stroke engine manufactured by Mercury and will be offered in 200-, 225-, 250-, and 275-horsepower platforms. It will also be the first production supercharged outboard engine available. Mercury says it is the strongest and quietest four stroke on the market, as well.

“Six years ago, we set out to create something that could almost not be imagined,” said George Buckley, Chairman of Brunswick Corporation, parent company of Mercury Marine.

“And we have succeeded,” said Mercury President Pat Mackey. “The trip was long and was not without its obstacles, but we never wavered.

“The introduction of Verado is a landmark for Mercury Marine and the dawning of a new era for the outboard industry. It’s impossible to fully convey the passion, dedication and effort – not to mention the thousand upon thousands of hours – that have been poured into researching, designing, testing and producing this amazing integrated outboard system. It embodies the very essence of Mercury Marine: power, reliability and state-of-the-art technology. And it will change the way boat owners regard outboard engines.”

The six-plus-year project cost Mercury more than $100 million to produce, what it says is the most sophisticated marine propulsion system in history. The Verado, Mercury says, is a completely integrated propulsion system with steering and control systems. The company also says that it has positioned itself with a smaller-displacement than traditional outboards and coupled that with a higher-horsepower in an attempt to compete with two-stroke engines of equal horsepower.

The in-line six-cylinder has a displacement of 2.6 liters, or 158.5 cubic inches. The Verado’s valve train features four valves for each of its cylinders with a double-overhead cam design. Fuel will be delivered via a computer-controlled, sequential, multi-port fuel injection system.

Mercury says this will also be one of the quietest engines on the market, utilizing a low-pass acoustic system. The company says that the engine can’t be heard by most passengers at idle speeds.

The product also features the SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift technology, which was introduced in the OptiMax product line in model year 2002. This couples with Mercury’s exclusive ElectroHydraulic Steering system which is said to eliminate undesirable steering torque without sacrificing engine “feel.”

The initial line of products will begin production in April, and the yet-to-be-announced remainder of the family will be available within the 2005 model year.

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