Without a doubt, the boating
industry will look back on 2004 as the year Mercury launched its
much vaunted and highly secret Project X, now known as the supercharged
four-stroke Verado engine.
The result of a five-year and A$150 million development,
the Verado has set a new benchmark in outboard technology, with
its super-quiet supercharged engine, fly-by-wire controls, power
steering and SmartCraft instrumentation.
Unveiled to the world at last February’s Miami
International Boat Show, three months later at the Sanctuary Cove
International boat show, Mercury Marine Australia gave locals the
opportunity to see first-hand what all the hype has been about.
Mercury is aligning its standards to those of the
automotive industry and has head-hunted a raft of top automotive
specialists, including former Porsche designer, Claus Bruestle to
bolster the team. Bruestle was instrumental in assisting Mercury
to design an outboard using automotive technology.
The series is led by the powerhouse 275hp model, now
unchallenged as the world’s most powerful four-stroke outboard.
The Verado range initially offered in Australia and New Zealand
comprises the 250hp, 225hp and 200hp models under the Mariner and
Mercury brands. Volume production of the first four models started
in May. Australian and New Zealand dealers are expecting initial
shipments to arrive in July.
The supercharged 2.6 litre
A completely new engine
mounting system which virtually eliminates vibration.
Smaller horsepower and mid-range models will be added
to the Verado range in the near future with the new technology expected
to flow across to the MerCruiser range in due course.
The in-line six-cylinder power plant has a smaller
displacement than most four strokes at 2.6 litres, but Mercury has
supercharged the 158.5 cubic inch block to achieve maximum power.
Performance is further enhanced by the supercharged induction system
with air cooling and electronic boost pressure control that significantly
increases power by forcing higher air volumes into the combustion
The supercharged air induction system, with a highly
tuned intake resonator greatly reduces intake noise in the mid-range
to wide open throttle settings. High performance acoustic foam lining
used extensively in the top of the cowling absorbs high frequency,
engine and drive shaft noise. At idle, the engine can barely be
heard. Even at wide open throttle, the loudest sound detected by
passengers is more likely to be the wind and the waves.
The head on all four models released to date includes
a valve train with four valves for each of the six cylinders and
a double overhead cam. All of the engines in the range are fitted
with a 70-amp alternator, the most powerful of any outboard available
The Verado is a fully-integrated propulsion system
with steering and control systems, including Mercury’s exclusive
SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift to ensure throttle use and
gear shifting is smooth and seamless. The system has a programmable
two-speed trim and tilt, allowing the boat’s skipper to program
the trim and tilt range to maximise performance.
The driving experience is improved thanks to Verado’s
electro-hydraulic power steering system with integral hydraulic
cylinder. With a small pump mounted inside the boat, the system
eliminates undesirable steering torque without sacrificing engine
‘feel’, a critical control factor, particularly at high
Fuel supply comes via a computer-controlled, sequential,
multi-port fuel injection system. Each component of the Verado engine,
with the sole exception of the propeller nut, has been re-designed
Mercury Marine’s sales and marketing director,
John Temple, claims the introduction of Verado “heralds the
dawning of a new era for the outboard industry.” In the past
two years, those who were among a select few to view Project X prior
to its official launch were most impressed. “Their combined
response, every time, was unbelievable,” says Temple.
Integrated power steering
provides precise directional control.
SmartCraft Digital Instrumentation
shows all key performance indicators.
The unique Digital Throttle
and Shift (DTS) allows for smooth seemless throttle and gear
The key maintenance points located front and centre
on the powerhead are easily accessible via a spring-loaded latch
that removes the upper section of the cowling.
All models will be available in L (20”) and
XL (30”) shaft lengths and are designed to cater for various
applications, from single, dual and even triple rig installations.
The 225hp, 250hp and 275hp models are also offered in XXL (30”)
lengths, while all XL and XXL models can be specified in right and
left hand propeller rotations.
The Verado range is backed by Mercury Marine’s
three-year industry best warranty (non-commercial) and is environmentally
friendly with long term emission compliance and a three-star rating
from the California Air Resources Board.
For further information contact Mercury Marine Australia,
telephone 1800 114 500 or Mercury Marine New Zealand, telephone
00800 688 292.
To visit the website, www.mercuryverado.com.au