Mercury Racing has been involved with several unique projects over the years. I thought you would find the products that evolved from those projects interesting to say the least.
The experimental Mercury turbine outboard was built in alliance with Marine Turbine Technology (MTT) , LLC of Franklin, Louisiana. The engine featured a Rolls Royce Allison 250 series gas turbine (helicopter) engine mounted to a Mercury Racing 2.5 EFI Offshore mid section with a Sport Master or Torque Master gearcase.
The 320 h.p. engine was developed in the late 1990s in response to the then pending Department of Defense mandate that all gasoline be removed from ships by 2010. The turbine was light – weighing in at 200 pounds – about the weight of a 2-stroke 50 h.p. outboard. And it was multi-fuel compatible – with the ability to run on diesel, kerosene and JP4 jet fuel. MTT founder Ted McIntyre brought a turbine outboard powered landing craft to the 2001 Mercury Dealer Conference in Orlando, Florida. The boat stopped traffic every time the turbine spooled up to 51,000 RPM as it hauled awe-struck media and dealers around the lake. I went for a ride. I remember it was loud and I distinctly remember the fumes.
As time moved on and the military requirements became more defined – we set a course to develop a multi-fuel engine based on a conventional 2-stroke internal combustion engine design.
The OptiMax JP outboard was based on the 3.0 Liter V-6 OptiMax direct fuel injected, low emissions, 2-stroke engine. The 185 h.p. engine ran on JP5, JP8 and Commercial Jet-A fuels. The move to a multi-fuel engine based on existing consumer low-emissions 2-stroke technology is much more cost effective than alternative power sources.
The OptiMax JP has since been replaced with our Diesel Spark Ignited (DSI) outboard. This exclusive spark ignited, direct fuel injected 2-stroke runs on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, which is readily available around the globe.