In a sweeping debut at press time, Yamaha introduced a new V-6 F300 (downsized from a V-8) and redesigned V-6 F225 and F250 offshore-series engines. The company also added V-6 VMAX SHO four-stroke 200, 225 and 250s to its short-shaft, inshore lineup. All share several innovations, making them lighter and more fuel-efficient yet quicker and stronger, the company says:
- 4.2-liter powerhead - Using plasma-fused sleeveless cylinders instead of steel sleeves reduced the overall weight and expanded the cylinder size for greater displacement, optimizing power. The plasma-fusing process also yields a 60 percent stronger surface, and micro-textured walls create less friction. The new F300 is 246 pounds lighter than the V-8 F300 and 51 pounds lighter than the previous generation V-6 F250.
- Composite parts - In the F300, Yamaha incorporated a lightweight composite engine pan, 61 percent lighter than aluminum. The new VMAX features the lighter pan, plus a lighter mounting bracket and cowl. It's 34 pounds lighter than its two-stroke predecessor!
Other changes include larger intake and exhaust valves, and the offshore series comes with a 70-amp alternator versus a 45-amp. All the V-6s carry a three-star CARB emissions rating. VMAXs come in a 20-inch shaft length and will be available this month; the offshore series comes in 25- and 30-inch shaft lengths and left- and right-hand configurations; they'll be available this spring. VMAX retail pricing starts at $19,370; offshore-series engines start at $23,125. Call 770-420-5829, or visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.