In an announcement today at their press event in Nashville, Tennessee, Mercury Racing revealed a new, 450-hp outboard that, according to the manufacturer, takes the throne with the best power-to-weight ratio in the industry.
Utilizing a reengineered 4.6L V8 that powers their 300-hp models, the 450-hp engine is matched to a Mercury Racing supercharger that helps the powerplant to produce 40 percent more torque than their 400-hp Merc Racing outboard. “It’s raw performance in a premier package,” said Mercury Marine General Manager Stuart Halley. “Mercury Racing combines out of this world capability with real-world applications.”
As Mercury’s bespoke engine division, Mercury Racing “position ourselves like AMG to Mercedes,” Director of Marketing Steve Miller told me with their eye on the luxury, high-performance market. And the 450R delivers: At 689 pounds, the engine is over 300 pounds lighter than its competitors—that’s nearly the same weight as the 400R. It also runs on common, 89-octane fuel. “There’s nothing out there that touches it,” Miller said.
Other highlights of the 450-hp engine include: heavy-duty, stainless steel guide plates; stiffened engine mounts for improved stabilization and handling at high speeds; and a new, beefy 115-amp alternator to power today’s large electronics suites.
For an easy repower, the 450R accommodates 26-inch center-to-center mounting on multi-engine transoms. There are two gearcase options, both with 1.60:1 gear ratios; the traditional 5.44HD and a surface-piercing Sport Master for vessels capable of speeds in excess of 74 knots. Both are matched to Mercury Racing props.
To control the powerful engines, Mercury’s Zero Effort Digital Controls can run up to six engines on a single lever. In addition, Joystick Piloting is an option with Skyhook and Integrated Auto Piloting.
“Four or five years ago when we launched the 400R, we were at the height of transition of marine power away from inboard stern-drive propulsion to outboard power.” said David Foulkes, the chief executive officer of Brunswick Corporation—the parent company of Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing. “And we had the most powerful, quietest and compact mainstream outboard in the segment. As soon as we got into the development of the V-8 platform we knew we would eventually offer a supercharged derivative of it.”