Rumor Mills R Black & White

400R Model Shot
The all-new Verado 400R outboard.

After months of rumors and speculation, the all-new Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard is a reality. It was unveiled moments ago in Miami. At a staggering 153 horsepower per liter, the 400R is the most powerful consumer outboard ever produced by Mercury and provides the highest power-to-weight of all other four stroke outboards in its class.

Performance Enhancements
High Performance air intake
High Performance air intake

The 400R features a custom cold air induction system for improved air flow and power development while significantly reducing intake noise for improved sound quality.


The all-new supercharger is water cooled for enhanced performance.
The all-new supercharger is water cooled for enhanced performance.
Structural upgrades incorporated into the 2.6L cylinder block and head ensure classic Verado durability, even at this higher power output.
Structural upgrades incorporated into the 2.6L cylinder block and head ensure classic Verado durability, even at this higher power output.

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 unmatched 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 (95 Ron) fuel when the recommended premium 91-octane (98 RON)  fuel is not available to maximize performance.

Race Legs

The 400R is the first Verado outboard to feature the race-proven Sport Master gearcase.
The 400R is the first Verado outboard to feature the race-proven Sport Master gearcase.
Low water pickups.
The Sport Master features low water pickups and a surface piercing housing for enhanced efficiency.

The 400R is the first ever Verado to feature the race-proven Sport Master gearcase with low water pickups for added performance. The efficient and durable Sport Master greatly expands the application of the potent four-stroke. From single engine flats boats, traditional catamaran sport boats to multi-engine offshore center consoles – the Sport Master – in the correct application – will enhance boat handling, speed and efficiency.

Stainless steel guide plates provide enhanced engine stability at higher speeds.
Stainless steel guide plates provide enhanced engine stability at higher speeds.

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” HD gearcase for more traditional applications.

Zero Effort” with Joystick Piloting (JPO)

The 400R gives you maximum performance at high and low speeds with Joystick Piloting for Outboards.
The 400R gives you maximum performance at high and low speeds with Joystick Piloting for Outboards.
JPO 400Rs come equipped with cambered skeg Sport Master gearcases.
JPO 400Rs come equipped with cambered skeg Sport Master gearcases.

The Verado 400R is the first Mercury Racing outboard to feature Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) technology. Joystick Piloting takes 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 available exclusively with cambered Sport Master gearcases.


The high styled Zero Effort Digital controls.
The high styled Zero Effort Digital controls.

Mercury Racing’s ergonomic, high-style Zero Effort Digital controls go hand-in-hand with Joystick Piloting for an intuitive control experience – precisely signaling driver intent to the Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) equipped Verado 400Rs. 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).


Color Options

White 400R Profile
Verado 400R in Cold Fusion White.
Verado 400R in Phantom Black.
Verado 400R in Phantom Black.

The 400R is available in both Cold Fusion white and the legendary Mercury Phantom Black. Cold Fusion white models come standard with Mercury Racing Blue accent colors. 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.  

Cold Fusion white 400R color options.
Cold Fusion white 400R color options.


The Bravo I FS is recommended for 400R bass, flats, cats, bay and multi-engine center console boats.
The Bravo I FS is recommended for 400R bass, flats, cats, bay and multi-engine center console boats.
The Pro Max is designed specifically for maximizing single engine outboard boat performance.
The Pro Max is designed specifically for maximizing single engine outboard boat performance.

When we develop any high performance engine – we develop it as a complete system – including the propeller. The recommended props make use of all four hundred horses for unmatched performance on multi and single engine boats.

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74 thoughts on “Rumor Mills R Black & White”


        1. Hi Mark:

          Verado 400R outboards began shipping in March. Do you have one on order? Demand has exceeded all expectations. An order placed to day will be fulfilled in August.


    1. Just curious about fuel consumption in comparison to 300xs on 23′ cat racing hull. (SCB) turning 28″ bravo 1. Top end speed prediction 16-1800 lbs w/o engine

      1. Good question, Gary. What is your rpm and speed at WOT? And – do you have a feel for what your fuel burn is at cruise and or WOT (mpg) with the 300XS?

        1. I would say about 2-3 mph at an average of 5600 rpm which is my Cruze speed in upper 60’s. I ask because a friend of min has the 300 verado with a V hull and says his fuel consumption is excessive. I only hold 65 gallons and high octane is hard to find on coastal bays. We try to stretch a tank for the weekend because we don’t trailor for 2-3 days of fishing. 400 horses sounds great but can I quench it’s thirst?

  2. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww !

    What a fantastic good new we were waiting for !

    Congrats for the whole engineer’s team and for their voluntee to do the very best !

    Special thanks for the knock sensor, because our gas here in France isn’t so good than yours.

  3. Wonderful news. Been waiting for a 400 hp version for a while. And with the sportmaster lower unit – Great news! Time to get in line for a pair of them for a 30 Skater Cat.

  4. I know it’s not the “inteded” application for this motor. But Charger had a 475FS with an “unlimited” rating. Was thinking 300xs or 300G2….but now that the 400 is out that this may be the ticket for the ultimate Family Fish-n-ski. Thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Ross;

      For the size and hull type, you would be best served to go with the OptiMax 300XS with Torque Master II gearcase.

  5. I hope this is not a stupid question. For the intended applications how much performance improvement would be gained by going from the offered verado gear case to the sport master? How does it affect handling? Will the sport master gear case fit on the 300 pro 4 stroke?


    1. Hi James. There is no such thing as a stupid question. The Sport Master gearcase is designed for use on lighter weight hulls with natural bow lift. The crescent leading edge housing with water pickups mounted at the bottom of the torpedo enable it to run at elevated transom heights, reducing drag for enhanced efficiency. The hydrodynamic housing provides enhanced stability for improved handling at speeds in excess of 85 mph. The Sport Master will mount on production Verados, including the 300 Pro FourStroke.

    1. Hi DP:
      Are you asking to compare the dB difference between the Verado 400R and 300 Verado or compared to our OptiMax 300XS. Are you asking for a general sound level or at WOT (wide open throttle)?

  6. Rick,

    I have a commercial user wanting to re-power his existing quad 350sci set up with the new 400hp. This set up is on a SAFE 42ft open walk around.( Not sure of the length ) Would this be a viable option for them or would we be looking at the new 350 instead?
    This is a Patrol boat used for intercepting drug vessels so they need the horses.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Dan. What is the weight of the boat? We have a formula to determine proper application for the 400R outboards. The application formula is as follows:

      Total Horsepower/Total Dry Weight of Boat with Engine(s)


      A. Hull with quad 400Rs: Boat dry weight = 11,000 lbs. 400R’s weigh 668 lbs. Calculation: (11,000 + (668 * 4)) = 13,672 lbs. total dry weight. 1,600 horsepower/13,672 lbs. = 0.117. Since 0.117 is greater than 0.08, this package is a good fit for the 400R’s.

      2. Hull with triple 400Rs: Boat dry weight = 13,500 lbs. 400R’s weigh 668 lbs. Calculation: (13,500 + (668*3)) = 15,504 lbs. dry weight. 1,200 horsepower/15,504 = 0.077. Since 0.077 is less than 0.08, this application may not be the best fit. The 400R develops peak power at 7,000 rpm (an addtional 600 rpm over the Verado 350) to realize peak power. You may be better off going with the 350 if the application doesn’t take advantage of the Verado 400Rs higher operating rpm range.

      1. Rick,

        Thank you very much, great formula. So any calculation that work out greater than 0.008 is acceptable HP / Weight ratio ?
        Will this work on all your products 300XS ??


        1. Hi Andrew. Does the total vessel weight of 4,000 lbs include the weight of the engine? If it is the weight of the boat only – and if we’re talking a std 20″ 400R @ 668 lbs, The power-to-weight ratio is as follows:

          Total Horsepower/Total Dry Weight

          4,000 boat dry weight + (1 X 668 lb 400R) = 4,668 total dry weight.

          400 h.p./4,668 lbs. = .08. which would qualify as a good application.

  7. Hi Rick,

    I just ordered 4X400r for my Nortech 392 Super Fish. What props do you recommend for a heavy load (580 gallons of fuel, 120 gal livewell, 6 people) With a lighter load, will I be able to take advantage of the 7000rpm’s? Thanks!

    1. Henry,
      Awesome news regarding your 400R order. It’s going to be an unbelievable Super Fish. Typically, Nor-Tech prefers the Revolution 4 design.However, with the higher horsepower, the Bravo I FS will be used. We have been working on propellers with Nor-Tech – maximizing both engine and hull performance. What’s your current engine and horsepower along with prop style and pitch? Also, can you also supply you wide open throttle and speed numbers? With this information – we should be able to dial-in the pitch. Consider contacting Nor-Tech as well to get their input.

  8. I have quad 300’s, 1.75:1 poseidon hd’s, 23 rev 4’s with the tips grinded down a little, top speed is 72-74 mph on the rev limiters, 25 rev4’s get me to 75 mph at 6250 rpm. Thank you!

    1. Henry,
      The Verado 400R has the same 1.75 gear ratio and an rpm range of 6400 to 7000. Ideally, for maximum horsepower, the goal is to prop the engine to reach the maximum engine operating range of 7,000 rpm. Your existing 25” pitch Revolution 4 propellers should be perfect.

  9. I have a 27 Shearwater ( same as Blackwood 6 inches more freeboard and a better interior configuration …. They only built seven of them…) One 350 Yamaha V-8 rigged on a nice jack plate and power pole combo…. 50 miles per hour …Works great on the flats… And can go offshore on a nice day.. This is the catch .. No pun intended… 30 miles out getting lots of grouper and having a great day with my son…
    On the way to shore (124 hours maintenance done religiously) the crank snaps at the center journal. Yamaha replaces power head under warranty… But…Now I’m scared of future problems … I don’t really want two engines but I’m considering it.. How much extra performance could I expect if I went to this new 400 and retained the jack plate- flats capability of this wonderful boat … Or .. Should I give in to two 300’s.. Thanks …
    Sorry for the long winded ness … Paul

  10. Scott,

    Thank you for the information. If I were to go with the Bravo 1 FS for more top speed, what pitch would you recommend? 28’s? Any guesses at top speed? Thank you for your help!


    1. Henry,
      Plan on using your current 25″ pitch Revolution 4 propellers. Your boat typically performs better with these props. Using your rpm and speed data from the 300 motors, my calculations, given the added horsepower of the 400R and 6400 to 7000 rpm range points to the 25″ pitch. Only if we ran out of pitch with the Revolution 4 would I recommend the Bravo I FS.

  11. I have a 250 OptiMax on my 22′ bay boat. I damaged the motor recently from clogged oil line (lack of oil). I’m tired of noisy 2-stroke and sick of watching other boats fly by with more horsepower. Do you think the 400R is a good choice? Boat recommend hp 300 but rating is unlimited. PS I got a need for speed!

  12. Hi Rick
    I am curious about .08 hp/lb recommendation for the 400r. That would suggest that a boat heavier than 5000 lbs would not be an appropriate application. However it was suggested that the 350 might be because of the lower rpm operating range. Is this because of a limitation of available prop sizes? I think both engines would be running the same gear cases and final drive ratio in this application yes/no? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    Thanks very much for an interesting blog – no other manufacturer does this!

    1. Hi James:
      Great question. Lighter weight hulls will get the full benefit of the 400R’s power output and rpm band. This is true for a couple of reasons. The 400R reaches its max power right at 7,000 rpm. If the engine isn’t able to turn that – you are not getting the full potential of the engine. The Sport Master gearcase is designed to run at elevated transom heights. Models outfitted with the Sport Master is beneficial on boats with natural bow lift. It is actually a deficit on heavier hulls that need power trim to raise the bow. The Sport Master, which is actually larger in size compared to a std case, creates more drage when run submerged. Props are not an issue – we have a full range of props available for the 400R and its various applications. Its not that the 400R would not work on the larger, heavier hulls – its just not going to operate at its full potential.

  13. Scott,

    I though I would give you and update. The Quad 400r’s ran beautifully. With the existing Rev 4 23’s the top speed went from 74 to 82.7. They had trouble pulling the boats the Rev 4 25’s, but with a little work to the props First Coast Nor-Tech got it going to 87.1. Thank you for some amazing engines!


  14. Hello
    I have a 522 VX Ranger Bass boat, With a 250 ProXS. It runs 72 mph. My dry boat weight is 1960 lbs. Loaded with the motor, gear, and fuel my boat weight is about 3,300 lbs.
    Would the 400R be a good fit for my Ranger?

    1. Hi Mike. it sounds like you have your Ranger dialed in and running at respectable speeds. The 400R may be an enhancement in top-end speed. Unfortunately, the max power rating for the 522 VX is 250 h.p.

  15. Hi!

    Congrats with a great new engine! I have a 2011 Verado 350 sci on a Phantom 25 UK bullt offshore race hull. Dry weight hull only is approx 1650 lbs plus engine, fuel and driver. Top speed is 81, 7 mph at 6,550 rpms spinning a reworked Rev 25 prop.

    The propheight is approx 2,5 inches below. If I go higher the Rev 25 loose grip and it tend to propwalk.. I have checked a stock Bravo 256 prop, but the prop did not carry the bow enough.

    I plan to either buy a 400R with a Spormaster LU with cambered skeg, og only swop my HD 5,44 LU to a Sportmaster and keep my 350 sci and hope for a couple of mph faster speed.

    What do you think?

    Cheeers and thanks!

    Toffen, Norway

    1. Hello Toffen. Your question is a good one as we have had some people who repowered their center consoles – moving from 350 SCis (5.44 HD gearcases)to 400Rs with Sport Masters. Have you experimented with engine heights? You may want to try raising your engine first. The Sport Master is a surfacing gearcase designed for lighter weight hulls with natural bow lift and capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph. The Sport Master, if fit for your application, would open up another range of prop sizes to try to maximize the engine operating range and power output. It may behoove you to try the cambered Sport Master on your existing 350 SCi first prior to ordering a 400R. Your estimated speed increase comparing your existing 350 SCi HD 5.44 engine with a 400R with same gearcase would be 4-5 mph. An estimated speed increase with the 400R Sport Master – compared to your 350 SCi with 5.44 HP case – would be 6-10 mph!

      update the 350 SCi with the Sport Master you will difnately need to raise the engine to take advantage of the Sport Master case. The Sport Master is designed for lghter weight hulls with natural bow lift. It may be worth your while to try the Sport Master on the 350 SCi – making sure it is running at the recommneded engine height.

      1. Hi!

        Thanks for your swift reply 🙂

        I am using a jack plate and have tried various props on my 350 SCi. The best has been a reworked REV4 25 pitch prop. However, the prop looses bite when the propshaft is higher than 2.5 inches below bottom. A stock Bravo 26 prop can be rised higher, but did not provide enough bow lift. With the REV4 I use very little positive trim. I have heard very good words about Bravo FS. Or maybe a 5 bl Maximus would be the trick running high.

        The question ofcourse is if I can run the prop height necessary to offset the Sport Masters added length. Buying a Sport Master to try is a tricky one!

        Cheeers and thanks!

        Toffen, Norway

        1. Hi Toffen:
          Let me know what you are getting for engine rpm and speed at wide open throttle and the size and type of prop you are using. I assume you are using the 1.75:1 HD gearcase.


          1. Hi!

            Thank you for your help 🙂

            I am using the 1.75:1 HD gearcase. The prop I use is a balanced and reworked REV4 25 pitch prop by Winrace in Norway. The REV4 has added cup and we have shortened the tube with 2 1/2 inch. Top speed is 81, 3 mph consistently (81,7 mph best speed) spinning the prop at 6,550 rpms.

            The propshaft is approx 2,5 inches below the bottom. I use a Stainless Marine Gorilla Jackplate with 5 inches of setback. If run higher, the prop loose bite.

            The bottom of the boat is a straight V hull, no notch and no pad.

            Cheeers and thanks, Toffen

          2. Toffen,
            You have that custom Rev 4 dialed in, not sure if we can be beat. The Maximus is not an option. Not enough slip and too much blade area. You would have to run a 15” x 23” pitch to achieve similar rpm. Unfortunately, you would end up 8 to 10 mph slower. The Bravo I FS might be an option. Depending on the work that was done to the Rev 4, a 28” pitch FS might achieve similar rpm. If the boat handles the Bravo I FS you may see a 2 – 3 mph gain but that’s a big if.
            Have fun,

  16. Hi,

    I have a boat with twin 300xs and get about 90-93mph depending on conditions/load/etc. At WOT i’m burning about 60 gph (30 per side)which nets me 1.5 mpg at WOT.

    What do the 400r’s burn at WOT?

    I’m estimating/hoping a 10-14 mph gain would be possible, but would like know factor in the running costs associated.


  17. Rick will this motor be offered in 15″ version? What type of performance can someone expect with a 400R vs a 300XS on a 23′ true tunnel cat that weighs approx 1200 lbs rigged?

    1. Hi Glenn. The standard shaft length for the Verado 400R is 20″ with either Sport Master or 5.44 HD gearcase options. There is not a 15″ option. Good question re: performance differences between the 400R and the 300XS. Is the boat rigged with a 20″ 300XS today? What numbers are you getting? What is you engine speed (RPM) and top boat speed at Wide Open Throttle? What type prop are you using? Was the rigged weight you provided include the 300XS?

        1. Hi Glenn:

          Dealers and boat builders are receiving a letter regarding the upcoming batch build of 400 ROS competition outboards for the 2017 race season. The deadline for orders is May 15. The motor is currently not being used in any of the U.S. offshore racing organizations. We hope they will consider it for the 2017 season. it is a competition motor and thus – sold without a warranty.

      1. The weight includes rigging, etc, I have a 15 x 36p four blade cleaver it runs 125 on the rev limiter of the 300xs. What kind of difference can I expect on a 400r

  18. While this motor is incredible from a technological and performance standpoint, not everyone wants or likes them. There is still a devoted 2 stroke contingent in the world who prefer lightweight 2.5’s for our light performance hulls (Allison’s for example).

    I do realize the market for these engines is small by comparison to other segments, but, given that most of the tooling for 2.5/280’s was paid for long ago, it would be nice if mother mercury could make some in small numbers for those of us who prefer and need the level of performance only a high revving two stroke offers.

    1. Andrew,
      Thank you for your concern regarding the popular 2.5 EFI. Unfortunately, the technology was no longer viable on the consumer front with the 2006 implementation of EPA/CARB exhaust emissions standards. More recently – various powerhead components have become no longer available. We understand the power-to-weight advantage of the light weight, high revving 2-strokes. The 3.2 Liter OptiMax 300XS is by far our most popular consumer 2-stroke today. The 2.5 Liter OptiMax 200XS has filled the gap for a selection of tunnel boat and offshore race classes. What would you suggest as a 2.5 EFI replacement – knowing the standard 2-stroke is not an option?

  19. i have a 28 eliminator speedster with twin 400’s. although the boat is fast, i feel it could be several mph faster if the engines could be raised more. if i raise them any higher, they alarm due to water pressure or temp. they are mounted about even with boat bottom and pick up slots. the bottom is notched and we are currently running cnc 5 blade, 34 cleavers. rpm is as high as 7200. can anything be done to improve water flow? there is no cavitation getting on plane or turning which indicates more speed might be achieved by going higher.

    1. Hi David:
      Perhaps you could modify the boat running surface in front of the gearcase water pickups to enhance water flow into the pickups. We have not tested external water pickups plumbed to the 400R and thus we can not advise you to try this. Any modification to the motor voids the warranty.

  20. I have a new (still in the crate) 350 sci and would like to replace the 5.44 HD gearcase with a 400r type sportmaster swept skeg for single engine application. What parts are required for this swap? is there any residual value of the never used 5.44 HD gearcase?

    1. Hi Jerry:
      What type of hull are you using the 350 SCi on? The Sport Master is a surfacing gearcase designed for lighter weight hulls with natural bow lift and capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph. The Sport Master is physically larger in size when compared to a standard shape case such as the 5.44 HD. It is actually slower when run submerged and thus it would be a deficit when used in the wrong application.

  21. I would like to change out the 5.44 HD gearcase to a sportmaster on my 350 sci. Length is 20″. What parts are required? Are any internals carryover? My 350 sci is still in the crate and never seen water.

    1. Hi Jerry
      The 20″ Sport Master will bolt up just fine. No other parts required. See your local Mercury dealer to order the Sport Master.

          1. Hi Jerry:
            Yes. The Verado Sport Master and 5.44 HD gearcases share the same internal components.

  22. Im placing an order for a 33 CC Renegade Power Boats here in Florida and Im in Between Twin 350 Verados or 400R(Triples are too much for me) Not sure if the cost for the upgrade its really worth it . Can you please elaborate on that ? Thanks

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