Mercury Marine has made a big splash at the Miami International Boat Show, unveiling two high horsepower Verados. The latest editions to its outboard range include the Verado 2.6L in-line six-cylinder 350hp and 400R, the most powerful in the company's range of supercharged FourStroke outboards.
Built on Mercury's supercharged inline six-cylinder Verado outboard engine, the Verado 350 can operate on 89-octane gas with 91-octane recommended for full performance. It will be available in 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft lengths.
"We're proud to introduce the next evolution of this market-leading outboard series, the innovative and powerful Verado 350,' said John Pfeifer, President of Mercury Marine. "Whether it's installed in single or multiple-engine configurations, Verado 350 delivers everything performance-minded boaters and anglers demand.'
Mercury believes the 350hp challenges its class competitors in the fuel efficiency category and weight. The Verado 350 tips the scales at 668 pounds.
Building on the Verado brand heritage, the 350 offers excellent torque across the operating range as experienced on a number of demo models based at the Miami show's Sea Isle Marina venue.
The Verado 350's new cold-air intake system is designed to collect cool, fresh air from outside the cowl and deliver it efficiently to the supercharger. Its larger, straighter airflow path was engineered to create less-turbulent airflow. The water-cooled supercharger is designed to deliver greater boost by utilizing water from the engine cooling system to provide a cooling jacket around the supercharger components, thereby reducing the work required to compress the air induction and increasing overall durability.
The top cowl's ‘labyrinth' design keeps the powerhead dry, while the styled vented flywheel cover allows engine heat to dissipate more easily, improving the overall efficiency and durability of the engine and its components.
Optimized guide plates serve to maximize driver handling at high speeds, providing greater confidence when you're running hard and fast. Verado's robust 5.44-inch-diameter gearcase is built to handle offshore seas and to provide extra lift for longer, heavier center-console and walkaround boats.
Gears are precision-machined at Mercury Marine to ensure the highest levels of quality and durability.
Mercury's specially formulated lower-gear lubrication for the Verado 350 reduces lube temperature and increases gearcase efficiency, which translates into more prop shaft horsepower and better performance. It also means lower maintenance and longer engine life.
The engine also employs Mercury Marine's Idle Charge system, which adaptively increases engine rpm at low speeds when battery voltage is low. This provides additional current for increased house loads that can be caused by today's integrated navigation equipment, and helps ensure that operators always have the power they need to maintain safe operation.
Like its Verado siblings, the new 350 is compatible with Mercury's SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) system, which offers smooth, instantaneous, quiet shifting and responsive throttle control. Operators also are assured a quiet ride by the inherently balanced inline six-cylinder Verado engine with its Advanced Mid Section (AMS) design, which is said to virtually eliminate vibration in the boat.
Verado outboards come standard with Mercury's exclusive lifetime maintenance-free valve train. In addition, the maintenance label under the cowl outlines the maintenance schedule at 100- and 300-hour intervals and provides a QR code that links to additional information about your Verado 350 as well as brief maintenance "how to' videos.
Verado 350 is available with Joystick Piloting for Outboards as well as Skyhook and VesselView. It also offers owners the ability to personalize their engines with custom colours, including standard Phantom Black, Cold Fusion White and Warm Fusion White.
At an eye-opening 153 horsepower per liter, Mercury Racing's new Verado 400R is said to provide the highest power-to-weight of all other four stroke outboards in its class.
The 400R's development involved numerous advancements to its proven 2.6L Verado platform and it's squarely aimed at complementing the latest generation of high-performance hulls.
The engine features a custom cold-air induction system, for improved air flow and power development while reducing intake noise for better sound quality. An all-new water-cooled supercharger is designed to reduce intake temperatures and significantly increase air density. This enables the engine to generate unprecedented torque and acceleration all the way from the lower end of the power band up to the 7,000 rpm maximum engine speed.
Electronic knock control enables the engine to safely run on 89-octane fuel when the recommended premium 91-octane fuel is not available to maximize performance. Structural upgrades incorporated into the 2.6L cylinder block and head ensure classic Verado durability, even at this higher power output.
The 400R is the first-ever Verado to feature Mercury Racing's Sport Master gearcase, with low-water pickups for added performance. Sport Master is said to greatly expand the application of the high-horsepower four-stroke, including flats boats, traditional catamaran sport boats and multi-engine offshore center consoles. To unlock the full potential of Sport Master, the 400R features stainless steel guide plates with composite wear pads on the Advanced Midsection for enhanced engine stability and improved handling at speed. The engine is also available with the standard Verado 5.44-inch HD gearcase for more traditional applications.
The Verado 400R is the first Mercury Racing outboard to feature Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) technology. Joystick Piloting is designed to take the stress out of docking, maneuvering in tight spaces and operating in tight quarters by providing boaters 360-degree movement at their fingertips. JPO 400R models are available exclusively with cambered Sport Master gearcases.
Mercury Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) replaces the potential lag and hesitation of traditional throttle and shift cables for smoother shifting and instant throttle response. Mercury Racing's Zero Effort Digital controls compliment Joystick Piloting for an easier user control experience. The DTS system also features one-touch Smart Start, automatic throttle synchronization and shadow mode for triple and quad engine applications (where two throttle levers operate all engines).
JoyStick Piloting is also capable of acting as a virtual anchor. With a push of a button, Skyhook (digital anchor) pinpoints the boat's position using a GPS satellite antenna and automatically shifts, applies throttle, and articulates the engines independently to maintain the boat's position. This can be handy in a number of scenarios, from maintaining position while waiting for fuel to holding coordinates over a fishing spot.
Integrated autopilot, auto heading and waypoint sequencing make navigation simple and efficient. A built-in digital compass on Auto Heading allows the captain to maintain course and make precise corrections with the touch of a finger. One-degree heading adjustments can be made with a tap on the joystick; 10-degree adjustments can be accomplished using the control panel. Trips with multiple stops between the starting point and final destination are made easier with Waypoint Sequencing, which allows the operator to plot the boat's course using multiple points. All of the system functions can be monitored and manipulated via Mercury VesselView displays.
The 400R is available in both Cold Fusion white and Mercury Phantom Black. Cold Fusion white models come standard with Mercury Racing Blue accent colours. In addition, a total of seven custom colored accent decal kits are available on Cold Fusion white models to match a variety of boat graphics.
Every Verado engine comes with Mercury's corrosion protection, utilizing low-copper aluminum silicon alloys, and its advanced paint system, which features irridite metal prep and sealing, electro-deposition paint (EDP) priming and powder-paint top coat. Mercury Verados are covered by a three-year limited corrosion warranty.
Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Mercury Marine is a $2 billion division of Brunswick Corporation. Mercury's brand portfolio includes Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; MotorGuide trolling motors; Mercury propellers; Mercury inflatable boats; Mercury SmartCraft electronics; Attwood marine parts; Land ‘N Sea marine parts distribution; and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils.