Mercury Marine unveiled its Bravo Four S forward‑facing drive with Smart Tow controls, a new drive system for MerCruiser engines for wakesurfing, wakeboarding and other tow sports. Digital controls that coordinate ballast, surf tabs and propulsion settings under a single and intuitive user interface make it easier than ever before.
"The popularity of water tow sports — and, particularly, wakesurfing and wakeboarding — has surged. We carefully studied all the refinements that go into optimizing a boat's wake for each of the various tow sports and devised a system to make those settings easy for the boater," said Tim Reid, Mercury vice president of product development and engineering.
"Whether boaters are veteran wakesurfers or new to tow sports, the Bravo Four S forward‑facing drive delivers the power to do it safely and reliably in combination with proven MerCruiser 4.5‑liter V6, 6.2‑liter V8 and 8.2‑liter V8 sterndrive engines ranging from 250hp to 430hp."
Mercury SmartCraft digital technologies, including an upgraded Smart Tow system, come standard with the Bravo Four S drive. These controls allow customization of the tow sports experience with just a few taps on a Mercury VesselView touchscreen display. The driver can simply select the desired tow sports activity, and the Smart Tow system will display the appropriate controls to dial in the perfect launch acceleration, towing speed and wake characteristics.
Other advantages of the Bravo Four S drive include:
- Enhanced maneuverability, especially at low speeds, resulting from the forward‑facing props' extra "grip" on the water;
- The SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift system for precise control, which is particularly important when riders are in tow;
- A selection of five new propellers designed specifically to leverage all the advantages of the Bravo Four S drive; and
- Support from the vast network of Mercury authorized dealers who can service the entire system, from drive to display.
Mercury built its first forward‑facing drive in 1949 when it invented the reversible gear case. The Bravo Four S drive builds on that foundation with a new forward‑facing addition to the venerable MerCruiser Bravo drive lineup.
"We started with our highly visionary legacy designs and added new technologies, digital functionality for the user and seamless integration with the engine and boat controls," Reid said. "This is the forward‑facing drive for the new generation of tow sports enthusiasts."