The new MerCruiser 4.5-liter 250-hp sterndrive unit will be the first in a series of gasoline engines built in-house by Mercury Marine, company president John Pfeifer said week at a introduction.
“We need to make it clear that this is not just another sterndrive,” Pfeifer said. “It represents a big change in course for the industry. We’re holding events in a lot of different locations. We started in the Keys down in Florida, where we brought some customers together to show them exactly how we design the product and how we build the product.”
The engine will go on sale in September. Pricing is not available yet. Mercury said last year that it will no longer rely on automotive engines for its gasoline sterndrives.
At a press event held in Fond du Lac and nearby Oshkosh, Wis., Mercury introduced the 4.5-liter engine and three outboards — 75-, 90- and 115-hp second-generation 4-strokes.
The sterndrive’s design innovations include a long runner scrolled intake manifold and high displacement, which produces an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, Mercury said. The V6 engine weighs 130 pounds less than a 5.0-liter V8 small block, but delivers similar performance, the company said.
Its newly designed aft-facing throttle body, anti-whistle throttle plate, engine cover and mounts, lightweight flywheel, fuel supply module and structural oil pan contribute to smoothness and low noise and vibration, the company said.
The MerCruiser is compatible with SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift. An option for the 4.5-liter V6 with DTS is Joystick Piloting.