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VIDEO: Honda adds a few horses to the stable

Honda Marine introduced its 225-hp 4-stroke more than 10 years ago and since then has focused on lower-horsepower outboards. In 2012, however, its most powerful engine yet will hit the market: the BF250.

The manufacturer builds the BF250 around a 3.6-liter engine with a displacement of 219 inches. Honda has given it a sleeker, more streamlined design that includes a new gearcase, which reduces drag by 5 percent, according to the company. A new air induction system uses two air-cooling methods for better combustion and performance.

Click play to view the BF250 in action.

The V-6 outboard weighs 600 to 622 pounds, depending on shaft length. That's about 60 pounds lighter than Mercury’s 250 Verado and 40 pounds heavier than Yamaha's 250. The Suzuki 250 weighs about 580 pounds.

Initial performance numbers look good, especially when it comes to fuel efficiency. For instance, a pair of BF250s pushing an Everglades 295 center console gets 2.3 mpg at 27 mph. And at wide-open, mileage is 1.2 mpg, still respectable.

The BF250 has an industry-first feature called AMP+, according to Honda. When the outboard senses a need for more amperage at idle, AMP+ automatically increases engine rpm by 100 to generate 9 additional amps. The idea is to help prevent draining the battery when powering multiple accessories. (Paying attention, offshore anglers?)

Honda has made getting to the spark plugs easier with an access cover that eliminates the need to remove the entire cowling.

Honda offers a 5-year standard factory warranty on its engines. Most others back their products with 3-year factory warranties. The BF250 will be available in 2012. Pricing was unavailable.