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Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) hit the reset button on top of its Evinrude outboard line with the June 14 reveal of E-TEC G2, the company’s first complete outboard redesign since acquiring the brand in 2001. Dramatically styled and peppered with clever technical ideas, the six new Evinrude E-TEC G2 models may not be revolutionary, but do represent a great leap forward in the evolution of high-powered outboard design.
Five years in development, these 3.4-liter DFI two-stroke V6 outboards, rated from 200 to 300 horsepower, are literally new from the skeg up. The powerhead is a 74-degree V6 that BRP is claiming produces 20 percent more torque, 15 percent better fuel economy and 75 percent lower emissions than the best outboards in this category —thanks to a redesigned combustion chamber and refinement of the E-TEC DFI system. The top model, the E-TEC G2 300 R.A.V.E., utilizes a two-position exhaust port that broadens the powerband.
There are dramatic changes in the mid-section and transom bracket, where a new hydraulic helix (imagine a screw turned under hydraulic pressure) is integrated into the bracket and replaces the traditional hydraulic steering ram. An electric-boost motor tucked within the bracket adds power steering to all Evinrude E-TEC G2 motors in 25- and 30-inch shaft lengths. The trim system also utilizes a hydraulic helix control, and the motor pivots on a tilt tube that’s about 2.5 times larger in diameter than any previous design, and in conjunction with a new transom bracket is very rigid. The rigging tube terminates at a port on top of the transom bracket, and does not move when the motor is steered, so boat builders will be able to design motorwells for a much shorter tube. These motors are designed for new drive-by-wire controls.
BRP also ups the ante on maintenance. These new motors offer five years of maintenance-free operation, plus computer-controlled auto storage and no break-in period. You still need to keep the injector oil reservoir filled (only with BRP oil, by the way), but now there’s a two-gallon oil tank located right on the motor that can be filled through the top of the cowl. A gauge on the digital displays (sold separately) shows oil level. Concerned about not checking the gearcase for five years? These new motors have a gearcase lube reservoir under the cowl that indicates both the lube level and water contamination.
The new motors actually weigh more than current big Evinrudes. An E-TEC G2 has a claimed weight of 558 pounds (20-inch model) compared to 503 pounds for a current 3.4-liter Evinrude E-TEC. BRP points out that the weight of the new motors includes the oil reservoir and steering components that are not part of the current motors.
Which brings us to the styling. Instead of a typical bucket cowl, the new Evinrude models have a composite exoskeleton that supports plastic panels on the top, port and starboard sides. The side panels are secured with six quarter-turn screws and offer access for typical service. The panels will be offered in five different colors (blue, silver, black, red and white) with 14 available accent stripe colors, so you can color-match your motor to your boat and truck.
An Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 powered a Key West 239FS I sampled on a cold and choppy Lake Michigan, and the motor was quiet, smooth and delivered robust power. Top speed was about 48 mph at 5,850 rpm, with fuel economy of 2.7 to 2.9 mpg between 3,500 and 4,500 rpm (or 21 and 35 mph). The power steering and controls were outstanding.
BRP expects these new Evinrude motors to be in production in late summer, reaching dealers and boat builders in time for the early boat shows.