New 200 to 300hp direct-injection two-stroke outboards use less fuel, create fewer emissions for more power and torque than four-strokes
Everything is bigger in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The seagulls, the meal portions, the cars and, at 58,000 square kilometres, Lake Michigan lapping the fetching city shores is more than 1000 times the size of Sydney Harbour.
Cue to Evinrude, for this is the outboards’ hometown and a household name in the wider boating world. And when parent company Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) decides to stage a new Evinrude outboard launch, well, you can expect it to be b-i-g.
Club 2015 Evinrude, June 15-16, Milwaukee, didn’t disappoint. It led to the unveiling of Evinrude’s first completely new engine in 38 years. Such was the magnitude of the event they closed an entire street, with some 2000 people making it to the evangelical “reveal” from more than 50 boating countries.
We can now reveal an altogether new high-horsepower Evinrude direct-injection two-stroke outboard, the E-TEC G2 as it is henceforth known, is the breaking news in the outboard world. This is the most daringly designed outboard in the world today, with more innovation and features than we’ve seen in a two- or four-stroke before. Game changed.
The new superhero-inspired E-TEC G2 comes in six models from 200-300hp with half carrying the High Output (H.O) performance acronym. In both H.O. and standard V6 guises, the engine delivers huge gains for the many outboard boaters going bigger (there’s that word again) and looking for more grunt, less fuel usage, longer range and lower emissions. Which is us all.
Since it acquired Evinrude and Johnson in 2001, BRP has now invested hundreds millions shoring-up the future of two-stroke outboard engines. The Canadian company will inspire with this new direct-injection offering and looks to arrest the four-stroke’s advance, especially in high-end (read high-margin) outboards.
But beyond the knockout styling lie some very impressive performance stats from a dashing new outboard that we drove to 60mph (100km/h) in triple-rig form on the back of a Wellcraft 35 Scarab Offshore. Just because we could…
– A paradigm shift in outboard thinking
Daring to be different, the E-TEC G2 engines offer the first and only customisable look using an exoskeleton, with hundreds of different colour and cowl combos so you can create something special and complementary with your boat. The engine comes standard in white or graphite, with the colour panel options offered as upgrades by the dealers (who might need some help given the lack of servicing intervals).
The BRP designers use words like powerful, audacious and heroic to describe ETEC-G2. Their mission was to evoke a “controlled emotional rush.” Inspiration for the exoskeleton came from action movies and superheroes such as Ironman. The outboard needed to “rise out of a sea of sameness” in the visual sense.
While looking imposing, the new outboards are also heavier than their E-TEC predecessors. That’s because they include an integrated Dynamic Power Steering system and oil bottle. This might lift the retail prices (a $3000 premium over generation one ETECs, which will remain available, has been mooted), but the reduced fit-up time will lead to cost savings, too.
Accordingly, with E-TEC G2 we expect more boatbuilders (including Australian Telwater) and their dealers will being going the factory BMT way. Doubtless, the bigger operators will pass on the fit-up savings to undercut the small players doing piecemeal fit-ups.
BEATING THE FOUR STROKES
– Class-leading outboard raises the bar
There are enormous gains on the water with this E-TEC G2. The quantum leap in performance comes from studying engine thermodynamics using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics. These studies revealed what was going on inside the earlier E-TEC G1 blocks. That led to the creation of new and unique in-cylinder flow dynamics and a “supercharging” like effect to create improved combustion and a super-powerful and clean-running outboard.
One tenth the amount of unburnt fuel now escapes the combustion chamber or cylinder compared with the generation one E-TECs. This makes the E-TEC G2 the cleanest running outboard engine in the world. And much cleaner running and, thus, fuel efficient than any four stroke.
Technically, the new E-TEC G2 uses an innovative 74-degree V6 direct-injection 3.4 litre block in H.O. 200, 225 and 250hp variants, and 225hp 250hp and 300hp standard models. Note that the old block with its portside cylinders near the exhaust have been redesigned to create a cooler-running starboard-starboard banked block. We’re told 90 per cent of earlier E-TEC failures were due to the cylinder heating up near the exhaust.
The end result is that the G2 engines produce 75 per cent fewer total regulated emissions, 15 per cent better fuel efficiency and 20 per cent more torque (according to BRP’s own testing) when pitted against Yamaha’s 250 SHO four-stroke or Mercury’s Optimax 250 ProXS.
After testing we felt the 20 per cent more mid-range power compared with the above-mentioned competition was a tangible and a standout feature, while the five-year engine and corrosion warranty, and no dealer maintenance (just annual owner checks) for the first five years or 500 hours, is absolutely industry leading and sure to be welcome by the end-user.
– Adjustable steering, auto trim and a powerful roar
Our albeit brief water testing of a triple-rigged Wellcraft 35 Scarab Offshore revealed snappy hole shot but astonishing mid-range poke, where four-strokes are often unresponsive by comparison. At the same time, there’s that familiar E-TEC note, a roar of power to stir saltwater boaters and sportsboaters alike. These engines sound like they mean business.
The E-TEC G2s also boast: a new “clean rigging” arrangement with just one combo ‘run’ to rid the splash well and transom of that spaghetti of space-consuming wiring looms, fuel leads and steering gear; an integrated hydraulic power steering system that removes the need for separate steering systems and fit-up; and you can select three steering feedback settings on the new ICON touchscreen multifunction panel to suit the conditions and individual. Joystick docking is in an option.
The completely new stiffened mid-section mounting arrangement acts like a shock absorber to greatly reduce flex and provide a truer transfer of power, while a so-called i-Trim system automatically takes over trimming at speed should you need it. That feature will endear the technology to newbies for whom trimming an outboard remains something of a black art.
AUSTRALIAN BOATBUILDER ONBOARD
– Quintrex in the world spotlight
Dual rigs, triple rigs and quads using 200-350hp outboards have long been big in America and they are finding their way Down Under. But single-outboard boats with increasingly high horsepower account for a growing share of the global pleasure-boat market. BRP is now confident of grabbing a bigger slice after 10 years of static outboard-market growth.
The 20-plus strong demonstration fleet on Lake Michigan certainly revealed a boatload of possibilities and applications for this inspiring new direct-injection two-cycle outboard.
Our very own Quintrex was among the mix, with a Trident 690 cuddy cabin looking snappy with coloured matched E-TEC G2 250hp outboard. There are hundreds of colour and graphics mixes to choose from, thanks to the removable panels of the E-TEC G2 cowl, plus customisations with partnered boatbuilders like Quintrex for an even more unique look.
Sashaying before the crowd with a cool lime-green wrap and graphics extending from bow to engine cowl, the stunning Quinnie tinnie rig was towed into the spotlight during the ETEC G2 global unveiling during what was an Andy-Warhol moment on the world boating stage.
“This will change things a lot,” Paul Phelan, CEO at Telwater, the parent company of Quintrex, told BoatPoint andboatsales from the South Shore Yacht Club, where the on-water demos were staged earlier in the day. He revealed that Telwater will sell 900 Evinrude E-TEC outboards this year, with a target of 1000 the next.
Factory-rigged BMT packages are growing for Telwater and the new E-TEC G2 with clean-rigging offers faster fit-up and, with integrated power steering and oil bottle under the cowl, it leaves a lot less to chance at the dealers’ end, where you can expect fit-up cost savings to be passed down the line.
TWO-STROKE NOW AND IN THE FUTURE
– Arriving in spring from the Sturtevant factory
The new E-TECs will be available in the American autumn, meaning late-spring or around November in Australia, when another big BRP launch is planned in Sydney. Meantime, there’s a lot more to these game-changing new E-TEC G2 outboards than we’ve outlined here. After all, they were five years in the making.
Certainly, these superheroes are out to further the direct-injection two-stroke’s cause and fly in the face of the’ evil’ four-strokes. On the water and the transom, the new E-TEC G2s have presence and the superpowers to do it, too.
“The engine stands alone, in the industry, and on the water,” said Chris Dawson, vice president and general manager of Global Sales and Consumer Experience.
“Until now, achieving these levels of performance and integration were unheard of. Add to this the fact that these engines produce, by far, the fewest emissions of any outboard on the water and it’s clear to see why the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 will change the face of boating.”
E-TEC FACTORY FACTS
– On-going tank and hot testing
Our tour of the 37,161 square metre BRP Evinrude factory in Sturtevant just outside Milwaukee, where up to 500 employees are based, was revealing.
We followed the squeaking-clean floor from the service-training rooms to the scrutinised Emissions Lab, down the production lines to learn about the lost-foam casting method and titanium-oxide anti-corrosion coatings, to a 1893-litre test tank. We walked through R&D, saw historic Evinrudes from the ages, and got back on the bus for our own water testing on Lake Michigan.
As we write this, the new Evinrude is still undergoing extensive customer and commercial cycle testing. To date, the engine has been years in the making, now takes a day to construct, with at least seven hours of hot testing before it’s shipped to you. The result is the most contemporary designed, high-tech, hot-performing, class-leading and impressive two-stroke outboard engine we have ever driven.
The technology can be adopted both up and down the horsepower ranges, making E-TEC G2 an outboard of the future. If you’re in the market, you really need to reconsider any prejudices you might have against two strokes, at least in the top-end for now.Yep, game changed.
10 KEY E-TEC G2 FEATURES
>> Totally new, ground-breaking, visually exciting direct-injection two-stroke engine from skeg to head
>> 75 per cent fewer total regulated emissions, 15 per cent better fuel efficiency and 20 per cent more torque than four-stroke competition
>> Impressive mid-range acceleration where four-stroke outboards can be doughy
>> Clean rigging means boaters get 60cm more aft deck and splash well to play with
>> New mid-section with less movement at engine mounts, integrated power steering and three adjustable feedback levels at helm
>> Integrated oil bottle adds to ease of fit-up and overall integration
>> Automatic trim system to remove the ‘black art’ for newbies
>> Hundreds of colour-and-graphic combos and customisable look for partner boatbuilders
>> 5+5+5 warranty, corrosion warranty and five year/500 hour first dealer service
>> A breath of fresh air and design backed by class-leading performance in the outboard-engine world