HomeThe MarketNew V12 engine pumps out 600 horsepower

New V12 engine pumps out 600 horsepower

Sorry, folks, this 7.6-liter engine is for use on water, not highways


7.6 liters. 12 cylinders. 600 horsepower. But it’s not from Ferrari or BMW or Mercedes-Benz or any other automaker. 

It’s from Mercury.

No, not the defunct Ford division, but from Mercury Marine, which has unveiled its new Verado outboard engine that the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based company says redefines outboard performance and features several industry-first features.

“With boats continuing to grow bigger and performance expectations continuing to rise, boaters have been asking for a better, more capable high‑horsepower solution to meet their needs. The V12 Verado outboard is Mercury’s answer,” Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president, is quoted in the announcement. 

“Using our advanced engineering and design capabilities, we completely redefined outboard performance. The V12 Verado outboard delivers boaters unrivaled freedom, luxury and power to pursue their passions on the water. This is a remarkable engine that will change the future of boating.”

That’s 4 X 600 = 2,400 horsepower for a quick trip across the lake

Mercury lists the “groundbreaking” innovations as:

  • The world’s first V12 outboard, “the Verado engine features a naturally aspirated, large-displacement, quad‑cam powerhead that generates impressive torque to get heavy boats out of the hole and on plane quickly, and to accelerate up to rated speed rapidly.”
  • The industry’s first two‑speed automatic transmission for an outboard “optimizes engine rpm according to workload, facilitating powerful acceleration and highly efficient performance at cruise.”
  • The industry’s first steerable gearcase on an outboard “pivots independently underwater while the engine’s powerhead remains in a space‑saving fixed position. This provides more room for multi‑engine configurations and a wider steering angle for agile handling. With help from contra‑rotating propellers, it also has better ‘bite’ in the water for docking and other close‑quarters maneuvering.”
  • And, it adds, “Several enhanced Mercury technologies work in conjunction to enable the V12 Verado outboard to deliver exceptional fuel economy and range.”

“This engine makes boats easy to maneuver near the dock and provides superior handling at all speeds,” Drees adds. “It’s incredibly fuel efficient, so boaters can go farther and stay out longer. It’s so smooth and quiet that you can have a conversation while the engines are running. It’s durable, reliable and easy to maintain. There’s nothing else like the V12 Verado outboard in the marketplace today.”

The Mercury Marine V12 Verado outboard will be available this spring. For more information, visit the Mercury V12 website.

Oh, and don’t forget, there is an automotive aspect to the Mercury Marine story. What was to become Mercury Marine was founded in 1939 as Kiekhaefer Mercury by Carl Kiekhaefer, who bought a small outboard motor company in Wisconsin with plans to convert it to the production of equipment for the state’s dairy industry.

Some 300 marine engines were part of the purchase, and Kiekhaefer and his crew rebuilt them and sold them to Montgomery Ward, at the time a mail-order business. The engines were so good that Kiekhaefer took in 16,000 orders at the 1940 New York Boat Show. 

After World War II, Kiekhaefer used NASCAR stock car racing as a way to promote his company and its products, which included dry paper air filters, and his team won 16 consecutive races and the 1955 and 1956 NASCAR championships.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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