Here we go! Another Miami Boat Show is underway and like always, we have tons of news to share. As we celebrate Mercury’s 75th anniversary we have released our new Mercury Racing logo. The new branding celebrates our rich Racing heritage while promoting our technological leadership in high performance propulsion. All Mercury Racing sterndrive engines on display in the Mercury booth feature the new branding. As usual, we have a number of exciting new products at the show.
Our all-new 8.6L 540 sterndrive replaces the 8.2L 525 EFI. It outperforms it’s sibling in a variety of fronts. A 21 cubic inch displacement advantage enables the 540 to provide 13 percent more torque for enhanced hole shot and an additional 50 ft-lb of peak torque. It also delivers superior fuel efficiency and range compared to its 525 sibling. All this power and efficiency comes from 87 posted octane (R+M)/2, or 91 RON (global) pump gas. Digital throttle & shift replace mechanical cables – providing the operator with an intuitive control experience. The 540 complies with both EPA and CARB emissions requirements.
Also being debuted is the new Bravo One XR Sport sterndrive. The new Sport gearcase is two inches shorter than a standard Bravo or Sport Master. The gearcase shape provides enhanced hydrodynamics compared to the standard length Sport Master. Dual water pickups increase water flow for enhanced cooling in a variety of applications. The 540 on display in the Mercury booth features the new drive coupled with an integrated transom sytem (ITS). Cigarette Racing has a pair of 540s in their gorgeous 38 Top Gun VIP edition.
New Zero Effort Digital Controls
Our new Zero Effort Digital controls make their official public debut in Miami. The stackable, modular design enables the controls to be offered in either two or four lever configurations. Short throw levers, made of stainless steel, provide effortless shifting and ultra-fast throttle response. Outerlimits president Mike Fiore was the first to use the controls when he debuted his 520 powered Outerlimits SL 36 last summer. “The new Mercury throttle design is phenomenal—I can’t say enough good about it,” said Mike. “The throttle levers are shorter so you can rest your hand on the base and throttle with your fingertips. That will really cut down on driver fatigue. It’s awesome,” Mike said. Mike is providing demos of the boat from the Mercury slips, pier 2, at the the Sea Isle Marina.
Miami is the world debut of the first-ever Mercury Racing sterndrive to feature Mercury Joystick Piloting technology. Twin Joystick 520 sterndrives are strutting their stuff in Formula’s new 400 FX8 sport cruiser. Formula was an early adapter of the 520. It combines consumer friendly benefits of a production MerCruiser with enhanced power and performance from Mercury Racing.
Joystick piloting completes the loop in providing sports car like performance with luxury-car-like driveability. Our new Zero Effort Digital controls go hand-in-hand with Mercury’s Joy Stick Piloting technology. I’m looking forward to reporting the feedback from those who experience this performance cruiser.
520 Bling Option
Those wishing to match their 520s with the colorful boat graphics can do so with up to 10 color options in addition to the standard Mercury Racing Blue. Color optioned 520s now come with polished stainless steel exhaust elbows. Polished elbows are an available option for 520s in Mercury Racing Blue as well.
We’ve made subtle changes to the M8 drive to make it even greater. We’ve reduced the size of the torpedo (diameter and length) and enhanced the shape of the skeg for improved efficiency and performance. The revised gearcase, featured on the 1350 Miami display engine, will be available in April.
Performance propeller guru Scott Reichow is showing a number of new props at the show. The popular Bravo I FS family is growing with the addition of 20” and 21” pitch models in both left-hand and right-hand rotation. The lower pitch props will enhance time-to-plane and mid-range punch for a variety of applications including walleye, flats, bay boats and multiple-engine center consoles. Product will be in stock February 14.
Pro Max VCR
A Vent Control Ring (VCR), part number 8M0086395, is an available option for use with Lab and Pro Finish Pro Max props. The VCR controls exhaust flow over the blades – critical for hole shot performance. For most applications, the limited ventilation will reduce engine rpm enabling the blades to hook up for a more controlled on-plane performance.
Scott is also showing two additional props set for release in April. The Bravo I OC is yet another application-specific variant of the popular Bravo I propeller. The 300 h.p. rated prop is designed for use on outboard performance catamarans – with the OptiMax 300XS being the target application. The diameter has been cut down to 14.75″ with a pitch range of 32″ to 35″ (even and odd) sizes. A shortened exhaust barrel settles the stern to minimize drag while blade cup has been added to maximize performance with the new diameter. The prop has been tested on 28-foot to 32-foot Skater, Talon, DCB Spectre and Doug Wright hulls. It outperformed three and four blade cleavers in both acceleration and top-end speed. The Bravo I OC will be available in both left-hand and right-hand rotation.
Designed for sterndrives, the Pro Finish Maximus ST (short tube) propeller will be available in 24″ to 34″ (even) pitch sizes in both left and right-hand rotation. It too features a cut-down diameter (15.6” to 15.3”) and a shortened exhaust tube for enhanced performance. The Maximus ST is rated for up to 600 h.p.
Guppy’s South Beach Adventure
Mercury Racing always draws a crowd at the Miami show. In years past, our high performance sterndrives were the draw. You can bet our 1650 h.p. powered super car will be the talk of this year’s show. The car, referred to internally as “Guppy,” is an exotic display of our concept QC4v automotive crate engine. The car made its debut at the 2013 SEMA show and the concept has been gaining traction ever since. If Guppy could talk – I’m sure it would say it is happy to get away from the frigid Wisconsin winter and enjoy the limelight in South Beach. Stay tuned for future posts on the car and our crate engine program.
This is a milestone Miami show. I”m excited for all who get to experience it.