Mercury Marine Vice President of Category Management Martin Bass, left, and Mercury Category Director Facundo Onni, right, accept the IBEX Innovation Award, presented by IBEX Awards Chair Zuzana Prochazka, center.
Mercury Marine’s new 4.5-liter 250hp sterndrive engine, designed and purpose-built by Mercury for marine use, was named the top innovative product in its category Tuesday Sept 30th, 2014 at the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference in Tampa, Florida.
The 4.5L 250hp MerCruiser sterndrive engine is engineered with innovative new features and state-of-the-art technology and is manufactured at Mercury Marine’s world headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
“We were proud to introduce the next generation of sterndrive technology with this ground-breaking new engine,” said Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer. “Our new 4.5-liter engine is a great power source that provides features, benefits and technology that make boating more enjoyable and worry-free. This engine was purpose-built for marine use and delivers Mercury’s proven performance, durability and ease of service.”
The MerCruiser 4.5L establishes new standards for acceleration and overall performance, thanks to design innovations such as a long runner scrolled intake manifold and high displacement, which produces an outstanding power-to-weight ratio. This V-6 engine weighs 130 pounds less than a 5.0L V-8 small block, yet provides similar performance.
The 4.5L V-6 also offers Adaptive Speed Control (ASC), which automatically maintains the set rpm point regardless of load or condition changes, such as tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane. The result is increased throttle response and a “sportier” feel for the driver, who no longer has to make continual throttle-control adjustments.
“We developed a purpose-built marine engine with intelligent enhancements that deliver the greatest value to all our customers – boatbuilders, dealers and consumers,” said Facundo Onni, category director of Mercury outboards and MerCruiser engines and drives.
The engine’s increase in horsepower and torque, combined with its smaller package, offer a new realm of possibilities in all boat segments, including pontoon boats.
Brady Kay, editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and one of the innovation judges, perhaps best summed up the engine’s purpose-built nature when he said, “Auto engines are for highways.”
The 4.5L is a “good citizen” on the water, providing maximum fuel efficiency and exceptionally quiet operation. Its newly designed rear-facing throttle body, anti-whistle throttle plate, engine cover and mounts, lightweight flywheel, fuel supply module and structural oil pan all work together to deliver superior idle and smoothness, as well as low noise and vibration, for a better boating experience.
The MerCruiser 4.5L is a technology-rich platform that delivers the world’s first V-6 sterndrive compatible with SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) for immediate throttle response and smooth shifting throughout the rpm band. An option for the 4.5L V-6 with DTS is Joystick Piloting, providing the ultimate in docking experience and maneuverability.
Mercury Marine built its ultimate anti-corrosion protection system into the 4.5L V-6, using durable cast-iron componentry wherever the engine encounters seawater, and corrosion-resistant aluminum and composites everywhere else. Digital rather than analog sensors are used throughout. As with all MerCruiser engines, the 4.5L sterndrive comes with a standard three-year corrosion warranty, plus Mercury’s limited manufacturer’s warranty of up to two years.
Mercury paid particular attention to ease of maintenance when designing the MerCruiser 4.5L V-6, eliminating the need for the traditional 20-hour service. This unit features a maintenance center near the top-front section of the engine, ensuring that consumer touch-points – including oil filter and fill – are easily identifiable and accessible. Additionally, the valve train is maintenance-free for the life of the engine, and a QR code on the engine’s service label allows smartphone users to access “how-to” online videos. The 4.5L V-6 also boasts a “season-extending” drain system that can keep you boating during the transition times between seasons.
Available in single or twin installations and compatible with Mercury’s full series of Alpha and Bravo Drives, the MerCruiser 4.5L offers ultimate flexibility to boatbuilders, marine dealers and consumers in creating the ideal propulsion package for a wide range of boats from runabouts to cruisers. The engine’s smaller size leaves extra space for additional options by boatbuilders.