Mercury makes waves with first V12 outboard engine
Mercury Marine recently pulled the covers off an all-new flagship, a powerful hunk of water-dipped muscle it bills as the world's first V12 outboard engine. The naturally aspirated 7.6-liter V12 Verado produces 600 hp, and unlike with an automotive V12, boatbuilders can mount several to the back of their vessels, spiking total horsepower into the thousands. A two-speed transmission and steerable gearcase help sea captains put all that muscle to the most efficient use.
Along with up to 600 horses, the V12 Verado provides plenty of torque to get heavy vessels moving and accelerating up to rated speed. A two-speed automatic transmission, which Mercury calls an industry first for outboards, helps the engine optimize rpms. First gear is 20 percent lower than second gear, sending maximum torque to the propellers for the quickest acceleration from standstill. The switch over to second gear happens without a perceptible clunk, seamlessly shifting over for efficient cruising and/or top speed attainment.
"With boats continuing to grow bigger and performance expectations continuing to rise, boaters have been asking for a better, more capable high‑horsepower solution to meet their needs," says Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president. "The V12 Verado outboard is Mercury’s answer."
The newest Verado has been calibrated to offer full performance on 87-octane fuel, and features like the dual contra-rotating propellers and hydrodynamic design help to optimize fuel economy and vessel range. The advanced range optimization (APO) system helps out by adjusting fuel delivery to maximize efficiency during cruising. According to the company, testing a dual-V12 Verado setup on an 11.5-ton 43-foot (13.1-m) day boat resulted in a 20 percent fuel economy boost at a set cruising speed versus a triple-425-hp-outboard setup from a competitor.
The V12 Verado's new steering system keeps the bulk of the engine completely stationary while the twin-propeller gearcase in the water rotates to shift direction. This design increases available steering movement to 45 degrees in each direction, delivering precise maneuverability at slow speeds and responsive handling out on the water. It also allows multiple V12 Verados to be mounted more closely together, letting boatbuilders pack on the power. The new engine has a minimum dry weight of 1,260 lb (572 kg).
Mercury promises a quiet, smooth ride despite the V12 Verado's large size and power. It claims that the 600-hp V12 Verado has the same noise and vibration levels as the 300-hp V8 Verado.
Mercury will launch the V12 Verado this (Northern hemisphere) spring.
Source: Mercury Marine