Fishing & Boating News

New OptiMaxTM 200 XS Outboard and Scorpion 377 Sterndrive Hot New Look, Bold New Products From Mercury Racing

by: Rick Mackie, Mercury Racing, Mercury Marine

(Wednesday, November 03,1999 - Fond du Lac, WI) An all-new low-emissions outboard and a stroked small block sterndrive engine package lead the Hi-Performance propulsion offerings from Mercury Racing for 2000.

2000 Mercury Racing Consumer Performance Outboards
Mercury Racing Engineers have combined the fuel efficiency, dependability and reliability of the OptiMaxTM low-emissions technology with race-proven 2.5 Liter Pro Max 200 hardware to create the all-new OptiMax 200 XS. This latest creation from Mercury Racing is the world's first direct fuel injected high performance outboard.

The compact 2.5 Liter V6 powerhead, designed and developed by Mercury Racing, spins up to 6500 rpm to produce more power than the larger 3.0 Liter displacement stock OptiMax 200. A race version of the 200 XS finished third overall at the 1999 '24 Hours of Rouen' endurance powerboat race in Rouen, France. The engine, featuring a stock powerhead mounted to a race center section and gearcase, finished ahead of all like-horsepower SST 120/S2000 race outboards and the only engine to accept the low-e challenge. All components, including the direct fuel injection compressor and oil injection system, survived the world's most punishing race event - ensuring sport boaters turn-key performance and hassle-free boating from this race-proven outboard. Sport boaters will also appreciate an improvement in fuel economy over standard 2-cycle performance outboards along with reduced emissions levels.

The OptiMax 200 XS will be available with the 15" (381 mm) short shaft or 20" (508 mm) standard center section. The 20" center section models are available with the right-hand rotation 1.87:1 Torque Master or Sport Master gearcase. The 15" short shaft models are available with the right-hand rotation, 1.87:1 Sport Master gearcase.

Also new for 2000 is the Pro Max 225 Offshore outboard. This new model gives offshore sport boaters a potent 225 horespower, 2.5 Liter V6 powerhead, with the convenience of oil injection, mounted to the same heavy-duty offshore center section used on the legendary 2.5 EFI Offshore Race outboard.

The 20" (508 mm) offshore center section, designed for use on V-bottom and catamaran offshore sport boats, features a heavy-duty driveshaft housing, swivel/clamp bracket assembly and trim ram designed to withstand the additional stress of boating in rough seas for extended periods of time. The heavy-duty exhaust adapter plate has a provision for the installation of transom mounted water pick-ups to ensure adequate engine cooling in rough seas. Solid upper and lower engine mounts, standard on all Mercury Racing Consumer Performance Outboards, improve boat handling and overall performance at higher speeds. A removable exhaust baffle, mounted on the above-water exhaust snout, redirects exhaust through the propeller for a quieter ride. The Pro Max 225 Offshore comes standard with the right-hand rotation, 1.87:1 Sport Master gearcase. Models are also available without a gearcase, allowing sport boaters to dial-in their rigs with accessory Sport Master gearcases with optional gear ratios or left-hand rotation Sport Masters for multiple engine installations.

Like the Pro Max 225 Offshore, Mercury Racing enhanced the versatility of the Pro Max 300 with the addition of three new models that are sold without a gearcase. The availability of selected 300s without a gearcase allows sport boaters to custom rig the engine with the best gearcase style and gear ratio to match their hull type and application for maximum performance and satisfaction.

2000 Mercury MerCruiser Hi-Performance Series
The all-new Mercury MerCruiser Small Block 377 Sterndrive leads the 2000 Mercury MerCruiser Hi-Performance (HP) Series model-lineup and is sure to find a home in single and twin engine 22' to 35' catamaran and V-bottom sportboats. Based off the Scorpion 377 Hi-Performance Ski engine, the new Scorpion 377 Sterndrive will be available with either the Bravo One or Bravo One Performance drive. Differences from the Scorpion 377 Hi-Performance ski engine include an all-new valve train - valves, springs, retainers, rocker arms and rocker arm studs, that are designed to withstand the more severe sterndrive duty cycles and deliver peak power and torque throughout the engine's operating range. The blueprinted 377 Sterndrive, featuring a custom balanced Lunati crankshaft, produces 400 ft./lbs. torque at 4400 rpm and delivers 350 propshaft horsepower within the 4800-5200 rpm full throttle operating range.

Also new for 2000 is a swept-back skeg on the Mercury/MerCruiser Six Drive. Standard on the HP900SC engine package, the swept-back Six Drive improves handling and overall boat performance at higher speeds.

All 2000 Mercury Racing Consumer Performance Outboards and selected Mercury MerCruiser Hi-Performance Series engine packages feature hot new graphics which highlight the new Mercury logo. The logo highlights the Mercury brand and Mercury's 60 years of performance heritage.