Video: Mercury rolls out new sterndrives, engine features

Mercury Marine introduced the latest iterations of its purpose-built sterndrive engines this week, adding two V8s to the line-up.

Mercury showed the new 6.2-liter V8 300hp and 350hp engines at a media event in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday morning, followed by testing on Lake Wylie, adding to the product line launched last year with the 4.5-liter V6 purpose-built engine.

(See Mercury's launch video here.)

Like the V6, the new engines are built from the ground up for marine use, not built off the GM block like earlier Mercury engines.

By not using the “unnecessary technologies” required for automotive engines, the new Mercury engines can avoid extra cost and complexity, said chief technology officer David Foulkes.

The new V8s offer increased power, torque and fuel efficiency from the previous models, he added.

“They are a really nice combination of increased performance and increased fuel economy,” Foulkes said.

The air-intake resonator on the new engines suppresses harsh sound frequencies throughout the engine operation range, while the throttle body directs noise away from the cockpit for easier conversation and a quieter ride.IMG_20150721_093804761

The 6.2L V8 uses durable cast-iron components wherever the engine encounters raw water and composites and marine alloys for lightweight efficiency throughout the engine.

It is also designed with ease-of-maintenance in mind, featuring a maintenance center near the top-front section of the engine. A QR code on the engine’s service label allows smartphone users to access “how to” videos online, while the 6.2L V8 has a “season extending” drain system to keep boaters on water during the transition times between seasons.

“We want our engines to be easy to use, easy to maintain and easy to understand,” Foulkes said.

(See our video interview with Foulkes below.)

The new V8s are available on 2016 models from many of Mercury’s boat builder partners.

Active Trim

Also introduced this week was Mercury Marine’s new Active Trim system designed to deliver instant, effortless trimming.

Mercury tests on a broad range of boats indicate fuel savings of 14 to 54 percent by running in the auto mode provided by Active Trim, versus fully trimmed down in manual mode.

The key to the system is its exclusive and patented GPS-based control system. Mercury’s Active Trim controls the trim in accordance with boat speed and engine rpm. This feature solves problems with the engine or drive trimming up instead of down, if the propeller breaks loose in hard turns. It also solves issues with the engine trimming up too early or too late while the boat is getting up on plane. Active Trim can be used on high-performance boats, and it provides a seamless handoff from auto to manual operation at high speeds, to give the operator full control.

Another Active Trim exclusive is its five selectable trim profiles that accommodate nearly any boat application, from small runabouts, pontoons, bass boats and cruisers to high-performance applications.

The Active Trim panel is compatible with analog and digital gauges, and has been specially designed to accommodate mounting in a broad range of boat applications.

Active Trim is compatible with any new Mercury Outboard or MerCruiser engine with SmartCraft.This includes outboards from 40hp to 400hp and MerCruiser packages from 130hp to 430hp.

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