Good post Ray, I think you hit the nail on the head.....
I'll try and guess how and why this happened.
It would take any company even one as large a Mercury Marine 4 to 5 years to design, build proto type tooling , develop working proto type engines, test, test, test!, develop production tooling, vendors, subcontractors, test, test, tes!, set up assembly lines, inventory, marketing, etc.,etc.,etc.!
So back in about 2005 -2006 when Mercury and the industry were charging along like gang busters and there seemed to be no end to sales, profits and consumer support. Mercury made the decision to proceed with project 1300! Once you start a process and let it run a few years until our lovely economy CAVED IN! you can't just stop some project like this without loosing millions of dollars of investment and for God's sake the TIME!
My continued guess is that no one understands being "KING OF THE HILL" better than Mercury and no one was any close to the GM DEBACLE! any more than Mercury who has done specialty engine development and production (Corvette original ZR1 back in the nineties) and probably saw the writing on the wall when it came to understanding that GM's future would not be made on building big block marine engines or base engines.
Mercury probably was challanged by the appearance of Mr Penske and Ilmore and wanted to stop the prestige and position they were loosing in high performance marine I/O engines especially after Ilmores wins in P1 and overseas where Mercury covetts its long standing leadership in marine engine racing!
Another point, Mercury understood better than anybody that the ability to make high horspower engines was severly threatened by the ever increasing and tightening emmissions laws and requirements. Mercury knew as most of the major performance engine builders that meeting these requirements was not going away and the credits for polluters program would not be a good future basis of building big power engines, not to mention that the European markets had no such credit procedure or policies.
So, what do you do when faced with these type of issues and problems if you've got the money! You SIGN the Check, rollup your shirts leeves and get to Work!
Work they did and what they have now apparently developed at a HUGE expense is the most technically advanced, all new platfrom design and built performance engine to come out of the US in maybe just 40 years or so!!
In simple terms, they will "Kill a bunch of birds with one STONE! and they apparently are poised to "HIT one out of the Park!" when it comes to supplying super performance marine engines and complete drive systems that will totally destroy its competition in all forms of the Big Bucks World of extreme marine performance boats and all forms of offshore racing and such!! If it works as planned it will be "Game Over' for the others like Lamborgihini, Sea -Tek, Ilmore, etc. unless they have similar engines either in development now or ready to run in the near future.
a few of us realize that if you put 100+ octane race fuel in this engine and turn the rpms up just a bit lets say 7000 or so the potential possibly for this engine, how's 1600-1800 HP sound for round numbers!
Some other musings of mine. Most of us know that Mercury racing is not going to stay with old big block supercharging technologies for the other marine performance engine packages it offers, so what can it do, Mercury can take this base engine design package produce it in a non-turbocharged (cheaper package product) and easily take care of the 525HP to possibly 700HP part of the Mercury racing engine family. They will also most likely repackage this engine in the near future for replacement of the 850-1075 supercharged package engines and they have a complete system of drives, NXT thru #6 to do that with no new development or investment. Whola! complete racing engine family based on one engine package!!!
If you look at the future of marine performance in both high end recreation, racing and such you kinda see this big buck move on Mercurys part could recapture most of there big investment and again let them totally dominate this sport and market. These guys Mercury are smart ccokies with a big wallet and if the cards fall their way, they have made a huge leap forward, not to mention, they have shown the entire performance industry that you can make big power, be efficient, meet emmisions laws, improve durability and cement your position for years to come, all it takes is
Any engine manufacturer or engine builder who wants to try and dethrone or attempt to affect Mercurys dominance in this industry has just had its "Ass handed to it on a Big Platinum Plate!!"
As for the rest us us small aftermarket players and specialty engine builders and such we will just keep humm'in along supplying the parts, engines and systems that the average "JOE PERFORMANCE BOATER" needs and can afford! We are kinda like a flea on the back of an elephant trying to take a small bite!
The really good news here is that when those nay sayers around the world start saying the USA is not a world leader in technology, Mercury and the USA can say, you oughta check out this marine engine!! I am proud to be in an industry where bright people and companies can do things like this! I just sometimes wish I had the money and time to do something similar! I'd love to give the 800 pound Black Gorilla a Bloody Nose" once in a while!
Enough Musings! Back to the lab!
Raylar's Mad Engine Scientist ?
Last edited by Raylar; 02-12-2010 at 10:37 AM.
Good post Ray, I think you hit the nail on the head.....
Is this 100% Mercury design or has there been involvement from any outside company. The design is very "European" so to speak. Has "the other Merc" been involved? Or any other manufacturer of advanced combustion engines? I think the whole package is a stunning piece of art, revolutionary actually.
about time we are catching up with the reliability of auto engines hopefully
This platform would be a complete waste to use as a replacement for the 496 ho, even at 425 hp. I don't think they could detune that thing enough to only make 425 hp NA (It would be less than .8hp/ci.) with 552 ci and dual overhead cams. Not to mention, it would be to expensive to be an entry level engine. At least that is my take on it.
Also, it says the cylinders are aluminum... I bet they can run considerably less piston-to-wall clearance like that? Question is, what ring wont wear an aluminum cylinder wall?
Last edited by Panther; 02-12-2010 at 04:07 PM.
So they didn't have any new small blocks?? Back when I started this thread I had heard twin turbos but thought they were building twin turbo small blocks to phase out the 525 at least that is what the little "birdie" told me.
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