The all-new Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboards just revealed by BRP at a demo in Milwaukee combine stunning new styling with technical innovation, which BRP says challenges what it calls the “sea of sameness” in the outboard market. There’s no doubt these new motors – six 3.4-liter V6 two-stroke models ranging from 200 to 300 horsepower – are distinctive, and live up to the pre-launch hoopla.
For a quick video look at one of these new motors, watch EVINRUDE E-TEC G2: FIRST LOOK VIDEO.
The E-TEC G2 models are the first all-new outboards from BRP since the company acquired the Evinrude brand following the bankruptcy of OMC in 2001. BRP loves design and creating products that offer an element of surprise, and in that regard these new Evinrude outboards do not disappoint.
The new profile is very vertical, and the typical bucket cowl is replaced with a composite exoskeleton that supports plastic panels on the top and 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. Boat builders will also be able to order the panels in custom colors, to match or complement boat styling.
All New Parts
While the E-TEC G2 powerheads share the displacement and bore x stroke of the current big E-TEC V6 models, I was told that other than a few bearings, the motors share no parts. George Broughton, Evinrude Director of Design Innovation, explained that his engineering team combined the latest Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software with a big investment in computing power to analyze the flow of fuel and air within the current E-TEC combustion chamber; then they redesigned the transfer and exhaust ports, the piston, and the cylinder head to improve the “loop” and mixture of air and fuel in the cylinder. They achieved a more-efficient burn, and less fuel escapes through the exhaust port.
BRP claims the new 74-degree V6 powerhead produces 20 percent more torque, 15 percent better fuel economy, and 75 percent lower emissions than the best outboards in this category. Only the E-TEC G2 300 R.A.V.E. model utilizes a two-position exhaust port that broadens the powerband.
Another big powerhead design change is the relocation of the exhaust manifold for the port bank of cylinders, from the center of the V to the outboard side. This change was made mostly to enhance reliability, as those pistons will no longer be pushed by the angle of the connecting rods into the very hot exhaust port on each stroke.
The observation by some BRP designers – who are not boaters – that the transom area of current outboards looks cluttered with tubes and hoses led Broughton’s team to devise an all-new midsection; it incorporates motor steering controlled by a hydraulic helix (imagine a screw turned under hydraulic pressure) integrated into the bracket. The helix replaces the steering ram and tiller arm we’ve seen on outboards for generations. An electric boost motor tucked within the motor bracket adds power steering to all Evinrude E-TEC G2 motors in 25- and 30-inch shaft lengths. A similar hydraulic helix powers the trim system, and the motor pivots on a tilt tube that’s about 2.5 times larger in diameter; that contributes to the very rigid design of the entire motor mounting system.
You can feel this rigidity on bass and walleye boats, which when powered by the E-TEC G2 don’t dart to port when the throttle is chopped. Broughton explained that when the motor is under maximum load and trim, prop torque loads up the entire mounting system, including the rubber motor mounts, the transom bracket, the steering linkage and even the transom. When the throttle is chopped, all that tension is released like a big spring, causing the boat to steer to port. The goal of the very rigid E-TEC G2 design is to eliminate as much of that loading as possible.
The rigging tube terminates at the top of the transom bracket, and does not move when the motor is steered. Boat builders could redesign the motorwell for a much shorter tube and reclaim some space. These motors are designed for new drive-by-wire controls and for joystick steering. But they still use the standard mounting bolt hole pattern and can run on 26-inch centers, so they are candidates for re-power projects.
The gearcase is also brand new, with stronger internal parts and a new shape also designed with that CFD software. Because these motors were designed from scratch for drive-by-wire controls, BRP moved the shift actuator into the gearcase, thus eliminating the shift linkage and all of its associated problems.
I was expecting all this innovation would include a significant weight reduction, but 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, which are not part of the current motors.
5 Years, No Maintenance
Last but not least, are you ready to go five years without scheduled outboard maintenance?
BRP is stretching its no-maintenance plan to five years/500 hours with these new motors, plus computer-controlled auto-storage and no break-in period. Your dealer won’t miss you – you’ll still need to keep the injector oil reservoir filled with BRP oil, 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.
I ran various Evinrude E-TEC G2 models on a number of boats at the demo, from pontoons to center consoles. My highly calibrated seat-of-the-pants impression? These motors are smooth, quiet, and offer outstanding power. The power steering and digital controls feel great, and the data presented on three new Icon touch-screen display panels (7-inch, 4.3-inch and a 3.5-inch display that fits into the standard round instrument hole) was comprehensive and easy to use. There’s even a new bar graph that helps dial in the best fuel economy.
What I like best about these motors is the willingness on the part of BRP to simply chuck so many elements that we take for granted but which are really “legacy designs.” Broughton pointed out the shape of the mounting bracket used on almost all other outboards. “It still has that hook on the top and looks like it was designed for screw clamps,” he told me. “It looks like the bracket Ole Evinrude designed, and we’ve been doing it the same way for all these years. It’s time to change.”
Amen to that.
BRP expects these new Evinrude motors to be in production by late summer, reaching dealers and boat builders in time for the early boat shows. No pricing is available at this time.
For more information, visit Evinrude.