Mercury Racing celebrates 50 years, unveils 500R outboard

On Wednesday evening, Mercury Racing continued its 50th anniversary celebration with an exclusive gala in Charleston, S.C. for boatbuilders, dealers, media and other industry partners.

During the event, general manager Stuart Halley also unveiled Mercury Racing’s newest flagship outboard engine, the V8 500R.

“Capable of delivering more than 500 horsepower in a wide range of conditions, and weighing as little as 720 pounds, the 500R establishes a new benchmark for outboard power density,” said Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing general manager. “This motor offers incredible mid-range punch and pulls with unrelenting authority all the way to wide-open throttle. This is the most exciting production outboard to ever emerge from the Mercury Racing shop.”

The 500R delivers more than 500 eager horsepower, 50 more horsepower plus 10 percent higher torque than the 450R model. Its 4.6-liter 64-degree V8 FourStroke powerhead is boosted by an exclusive Mercury Racing supercharger. The engine is designed to perform on pump fuel with a minimum 89-octane (95 RON) rating.

To handle this new level of power and to satisfy the most demanding performance boat owners, the 500R features upgraded component designs in the powerhead, cooling system, midsection and steering system. An all-new, 5.9″ diameter gearcase, available in R-Drive and R-Drive Sport configurations, efficiently transfers the power to the water while delivering outstanding durability, handling characteristics, and cooling. The 500R is available in four lengths – 20″, 25″, 30″ and 35″ – to accommodate any single or multi-engine performance application. The 26-inch center-to-center mounting distance on multi-engine transoms enables seamless installations on new boats and repower applications.

While the 500R model is based on the same 4.6-liter V8 powerhead as the 450R model, the engine has been upgraded with a number of new components intended to support the scaled-up power output. A stout new crankshaft specific to the 500R model rides in 230-degree groove main bearings for improved oiling and features larger, more robust 1-inch driveshaft splines. Connecting rods, rod bearings and pistons are strengthened to handle increased combustion pressure and a higher 6600 RPM redline. A new low-inertia flywheel allows the engine RPM to climb faster for improved acceleration.

Supercharger boost pressure is increased by 26 percent compared to the 450R model. To accommodate increased airflow demand, the 500R features a new attenuator with a larger intake. Throttle body diameter is increased by 15 percent from 80mm to 92mm, and the shape of the supercharger inlet is redesigned to improve flow. The charge air cooler fin density and flow pattern are optimized to improve efficiency.

Learn more about Mercury Racing and the new 500R at

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