Mercury’s Verado line up has always been the pedigree which is known for power, and now they’ve released their mighty 4.6-litre V8 outboard – more displacement than bolting three small VW Polo’s together! With 300 horses in the stable, we put these motors to the test to see how they stack up.
The all new V8 300 HP Mercury Verado does have a predecessor, but this latest model makes vast improvements from an already strong base. It’s also 16 kg lighter (weighing 272 kilograms) over the previous inline six-cylinder configuration, so it should prove interesting to see the results.
You’d have a hard time finding a boater which doesn’t like the new look of engine shape from Mercury. Its sharp edges give the outboard a sporty, aggressive look which will be very appealing on the back of any boat.
Most extraordinary in design is that this Mercury comes standard with the Advanced MidSection, electro-hydraulic power steering and additional sound dampening in its cowl. It’s also available with electrically actuated exhaust cut-outs for those who want a throatier, sporty sound. A 5.4” gear hub is standard on the Verado, and it has been proven over time to be reliable, standing up to punishing offshore work at high speeds.
The 300 HP Verado for our test was the first available in the country where two have been mounted onto a brand new Cap Camarat centre-console. Measuring 10.5 metres, with a displacement of 4 250 kg, this would be a tall order for most engines.
Being naturally-aspirated, Mercury assures that the outboard should prove smooth and quiet while optimizing fuel economy. Be it that the powerhead is large-displacement, it is designed for greater power and increased low- and mid-range torque, which directly impacts its acceleration. This should make it a great choice of outboard for both weightier boats, as well as for those skippers which require instant power instead of top speed.
It appears that there’s been a change of thinking from the folks creating Verados to rather opt for greater power by means of sheer displacement, fuel injection and electronic engine control – rather than just bolting on a supercharger, as was done in the previous six-cylinder model. It’s said to be efficient too, as the electronic fuel system continuously controls the fuel-air mixture in a closed-loop fuel system to ensure no petrol is wasted while giving ample thrust. Additionally, expect better hole-shot acceleration as Mercury uses what is known as a “Transient Spark”, which they claim adds 5-7% more torque at the low end.
Although the Advanced MidSection makes the Verado heavier than the other 4.6L V8 series engines that Mercury offers, it dampens vibration considerably and makes for a more comfortable to ride in. And, since vibrations translates into harmonics, less vibrations means reduced noise.
On acceleration, the vast amount of power is extremely notable! From zero to three quarters of throttle, the Cap Camarat is lively, jumping into action with little input from the power plants. Pushing the lever to full taps gets the hull to its designed top speed of 39 knots (into the wind) at 6 000 rpm. Throughout the throttle curve, the engines were deceivably quiet, making conversation on board easy to maintain. It’s difficult to comment on the fuel efficiency since the Mercury Verado 300 HP V8s were pushing a very weighty craft, but nevertheless, the results were in line with tests performed worldwide on comparable outboards. Without a shudder or stutter, these Mercury powerhouses are all they’re meant to be and comfortably make my list of top engine options.
When fitted to the Cap Camarat 10.5 WA, the twin Mercury 300 HP Verados claimed the following figures:
|RPM||Knots||Litres per hour|
Get the look!
The traditional Phantom Black engine colour is still available, and now you can also opt from three different colours of white in the palette to customise your boat’s overall look. Graphite Grey, Mercury Silver, Pacific Blue and Redline Red are further options you can consider for the lower accent panel to really step up to a sportier look.
Mercury produces four lines of outboards – Verado, FourStroke, Pro XS, and SeaPro – and in their intended purposes, there’s no horse in this stable that’s less than average. Their latest 300 HP Verado, at least in my opinion, is a blend of the three other models as it rakes in top marks across the board for efficiency, speed and low-down grunt, making this the ideal choice for almost all applications.
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