Hands On Test: Evinrude G2 Outboard

Hands On Test: Evinrude G2 Outboard Nov 5, 2014

Captain Chris Kourtakis attended the Evinrude G2 Outboard launch – here’s his Hands On Test Report.
See the full report in 29-4 here.
As I boarded the plane to Milwaukee International Airport for the Evinrude press event and dealer meeting, I had no idea what was about to be introduced to me.  Sitting in the seat getting ready to take off, I was eager to see what Evinrude had in store for their new two-stroke line up, but at the same time, I was thinking ‘what could they possibly show me that I have not already seen?’.  Having tested boats and engines for over 20 years I have seen a lot of new product launches and new technology advancements, but what was left for me to see?  What was left for me to get excited about?
After I landed, I grabbed a quick bite at a local hole-in-the-wall that specializes in Bratwurst, cheese and spices mustards, which are common and a specialty of Milwaukee before I headed over to the auditorium for the press event in the afternoon.  As the presentation started, I could tell this was NOT going to be your ordinary product review.  There was something different about the presentations and then there it was – the Evinrude E-Tec G2 series.  I had officially been ‘wowed’.  Before me stood a two-stroke engine that really didn’t look like an outboard at all and had been built and designed from start to finish by BRP.  This was going to be an exciting couple of days!
The Look
When Evinrude started on the quest over five years ago to build something that no one had seen before they set one bold guideline: “Develop something that can stand out from 200 yards away at dusk”.  If you think about it, this is not an easy task.  However, they not only met it, but exceeded it.  This engine is built with a super hero in mind.  The G2 has traditional values in terms of two-stroke engines and the rich heritage behind both the BRP and Evinrude brands.  The designers listened to the customers and came up with optional color schemes to match any boat.  It has an exterior armor that can easily be changed. There are 14 different swoosh colors available for the accent that goes with the 2 standard colors (black or white) and the three optional colors (red, silver or blue) – over 400 colour combinations in all.
Blowing Smoke
BRP claims that the G2 outboard delivers a 15% fuel economy improvement by being more efficient in changing fuel into energy.  At W.O.T., the 300HP V6 74° E-TEC D.I. G2 outboard will burn 21 gallons per hour and burns 2-3 times less emission than their competitors and produces the lowest levels of carbon monoxide (CO) of any outboard currently on the market.  This engine is 100% global emission complaint and can be run on lakes that only allow Evinrude motors.  Their R.A.V.E technology provides horsepower on the top without losing it on the bottom.
SLX Gear Case
The gear case is both robust and fast.  It has been designed to reduce steering effort, as well as friction with the water, and to have less drag that increases speed and acceleration.  The unique shape not only looks cool, but is designed with durability and handling in mind.  It has a high capacity water pump and lower water intakes to allow the engine to cool itself faster and is designed with a weed-shedding leading edge to keep the intakes from getting clogged.
The gear case sports a larger diameter prop shaft and holds a VVP (Variable Vent Port) prop specifically designed for the G2.  The Raker HO is for high speeds, while the RX4 is for everyday use.  There are also larger anodes on the lower unit to help fight corrosion.  To say that the G2 has it all and that BRP thought of everything, after seeing the visual gear oil inspection container (2 gallon) leads me to believe that they have.  With this container you no longer have to get messy checking your lower unit oil levels and clarity.  You can do it with a simple glance when the cover is off.
Additionally, since BRP designed the G2 from scratch for drive-by-wire controls and eliminated cable controls, BRP was able to move the shift actuator into the gear case as there is no longer a need for shift linkages and all the problems that they are accustomed to having.  The I-Trim system provides automatic trimming, so the driver no longer has to raise and lower the engine to find the boat’s sweet spot.  The engine does it for you!
Hydraulic Steering
Like no other engine on the market, the G2 has the hydraulic steering built into the motor’s midsection.  With fewer parts exposed and no additional rigging needed the hydraulic system is dynamic and beyond easy to use when you are behind the wheel – no matter what speeds you are traveling.  One unique feature is that the hydraulic helix (looks like a cork screw and used on bull dozers) steering system is sitting in a bath of oil to help prevent corrosion and mechanical failures.  The electric boost motor is away behind the motor bracket.  The ECU and controls provide you with 3 modes (built into the ECU) that you can set the amount of feedback that you want when captaining your vessel.
The new dual axis rigging system provides a clean look, fewer obstructions and the design eliminates the need for an aftermarket system, thus providing more room on the transom and will allow boat builders to utilize and reclaim the space once needed for the motor.  Additionally, the rigging tube stops at the top of the transom bracket and does not move with the motor which will also allow the boat builders to add more space on the transoms.
No Guts No Glory
The 210 cu in G2 block was designed from the inside out.  With Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), BRP studied the flow of gas in the cylinders and how both exhaust and gas traveled in and out of the heads.  This lead to the distinctive piston thrust away from the hot exhaust port, which leads to increased durability.  It also helped improve the air and fuel mixture in the cylinders which achieved a more-efficient burn and allowed less fuel to escape through the exhaust ports. BRP states that this design produces 20% more torque (over 600 foot pounds at 5,000-6,000 rpms), 15% better fuel economy and 75% lower emission compared to other outboards in this horsepower range.  Completing the redesign is the titanium oxide coating on all aluminum parts and lightning fast microprocessor which has a failsafe protection mode on it and an auto break-in period and an auto storage function.
On Water Test
As I left the dock I overcompensated for the power steering.  Talk about easy to drive.  I quickly got the hang of it, and cruised effortlessly out in through the no wake zone.  As soon I as had the chance, I pushed down the throttle and discovered first hand that indeed the BRP designers had certainly improved the torque on these new engines.  The 210 cubic inch, 74 degree V6 E-TEC direct injection outboard jumped the 2,718 pound Hurricane 2690 deckboat that my test engine was mounted to out of the water and onto plane in under 6 seconds!  We quickly reached the top end speed of 41.2 mph at 5,900 rpms cutting through the choppy water.  The auto trim feature on the new 558lb G2 is sleek and spot on.  The auto trimraised the motor to the exact position where the boat would reach optimal performance.  For first time boat owners, this is a great feature to have, as you will never have to play with the trim button again.
Carving through the chop with frosted white tips, the twenty-six foot Hurricane performed better than expected (cornering sharply like a smaller runabout), and my expectations were pretty high knowing that the SunDeck was the largest boat Hurricane ever produced with an outboard motor.  The G2’s power steering performed flawless even in the heaviest winds and water.  And this new engine runs on standard 87 octane gasoline.
BRP is also putting their money where their mouth is and is including one of the industry’s best warranty’s, a 5 year (North America 3 year of BRP limited warranty, plus 2 year of BRP extended service terms B.E.S.T), 5 year non-declining corrosion coverage and no dealer-scheduled maintenance is required for 5 years or 500 hours of operation.  To me, they are showing that they have tested the G2 and are confident that this motor will do what it is designed to do and what they say it is going to do.
Incorporate Evinrude’s iDock joystick docking system, add their iTouch digital gauges available in 3.5”, 4.3” or 7” touchscreen displays with bar graphs showing fuel burn, there’s no doubt that these six new 3.4 liter V-6 two-stroke outboard motors ranging from 200 to 300 horsepower are distinguishing, and they should live up to all the hype.
VIDEO link of the Reveal of these new engines – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz5bWInvAK0

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