By Eric Vienneau
Mercury Racing is expanding its Apex Series of competition outboards with the introduction of the Mercury Racing 200 APX outboard. It is a powerful V6 four-stroke model designed for UIM F2 and APBA OPC tunnel boat racing and is rated at more than 200 horsepower. What we are witnessing is a very durable powerhead and the latest in four-stroke engine technology, available to qualified racing teams.
They just keep getting faster and faster each year with hair raising speeds and off the wall performance! Racing is the number one area to develop long lasting motors for everyday boaters.
“The new 200 APX is designed to deliver outstanding performance while reducing the cost of maintenance and fuel for race teams,” said Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing general manager. “Mercury Racing is also striving to produce high‑performance and competition engines that keep emissions to a minimum, and the 200 APX helps push that effort forward.”
The 200 APX is the first V6 four-stroke outboard produced by Mercury Racing, and its powerhead is based on the Mercury Marine 3.4-liter double overhead cam/four-valve powerhead with a 64-degree cylinder angle. Mercury Racing raises the compression ratio from 10:1 to 11:1, increases peak RPM from 5800 to 6800, and fits a lightweight carbon fiber cowl that incorporates forces cold air induction, all to prepare the engine for the intense racing competitions.
The engine requires 91-octane (98 RON w/ E10 max) pump gasoline fuel. The 200 APX is equipped with a digital throttle control and a 24-volt starting system.
Getting into the boats this impressive outboard will power, both the UIM F2 and APBA OPC circuits are carbon fiber tunnel boats about 16 feet (4.8 meters) long and weighing just over 1100 pounds (510 kg), including the engine and driver.
In Europe, the F2 boats reach speeds approaching 120 mph (190kph) and go from zero to 60 mph in hair raising time! F2 racing is intense, with 20 boats so close that they leave imprints on each other as they dodge spray and head for the podium.
Racers can save some cash with the 200 APX as well. “[The 200 APX] produces about 20% more torque than the two-stroke motor, but at a lower RPM,” said Mercury Racing Director of Engineering Jeff Broman. “With the overdrive gearset, they can swap some of that torque to increase propeller RPM.” This gives them a possibility of utilizing their 2-stroke props.
Some of the features of the 200 APX include: an evolved version of the Mercury Racing Super Speed Master (IV SSM) outboard gearcase which is direct-drive with no neutral or revers shifting, above-water exhaust offering unrestricted flow and produces a loud and intimidating roar, integrated lightweight steering arms for tunnel boat cable steering, robust latching and stealing systems on the top cowl, and a carbon fiber driveshaft cover with quick-release fasteners for easy access to the midsection.
Also, Mercury Racing 10W-20 MRX engine oil, which is a brand new high-performance full-synthetic lubricant, was engineered alongside the 200 APX outboard. It was specifically formulated to withstand the extreme heat and stress which will come along with tunnel boat racing.
The Mercury Racing 200 APX will be available in May 2021, only to qualified racing teams.
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