Mercury Marine, the manufacturer and importer of Mercury and Mariner outboards for Australian dealers, released a swag of new and improved four-stroke outboards at the Sanctuary Cove Boat International Show on the Gold Coast in May.
The 135, 150 and 175hp members of the heralded Verado four-stroke family will augment the six-cylinder 200, 225, 250 and 275 hp engines that were released in 2004, providing Mercury with a complete line of four-stroke power.
The new Verado models are built on a 1.7L inline four-cylinder platform, rather than the inline six-cylinder configuration of the higher horsepower models. Otherwise, the base engine is quite similar to the larger Verado, with dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and the bedplate-and-long bolt design often seen in Formula 1 race cars.
The 135-175hp Mercury and Mariner Verado models will be released as 2006 model year products and their start of production will be scheduled accordingly.
The 2006 Mercury/Mariner will upgrade its 75 and 90hp models to electronic fuel injection instead of carburettors, and the EFI technology will be applied all the way down to the 25 and 30hp units. Both the manual and electric-start models are electronically fuel injected; in fact, the manual-start version is the industry’s first battery-free manual-start EFI four-stroke. The 25hp engine is also the first EFI of that horsepower in the history of outboards.
The new 25/30 engines weigh in at just 74kg – that’s 20kg lighter than the 30hp four-strokes they replace and 5kg lighter than the previous 25 BigFoot.
The diminutive 2.5 and 3hp, 85cc outboards help Mercury offer the largest number of four-stroke models in the industry. These were also launched at Sanctuary Cove.
Of interest to most Australian boaties is the fact that, as of the 2006 model year, Mercury will no longer produce a line of freshwater-rated outboards.
See your Mercury dealer for more information on these products. – Steve MorganReads: 586