MTI joined Mercury in Nashville recently to help them unveil the engine we’ve all been waiting for: the new V-8 supercharged 450R. This engine brings more performance, more torque, and more speed. Our MTI-V 42s were fast with the original Mercury 400, but they’re incredible with the new 450R. So the next time you have a chance to get out on the water with some Mercury 450s, you will not be disappointed in the least. Read the post below to learn about Mercury’s unveiling in Nashville, and what you can expect from this impressive new engine.

Mercury Racing 450R Outboard Engine Debuts In NashvilleThat today’s on-water debut of the new Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine on Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville managed to be impressive was—in and of itself—impressive. To be brutally honest, it’s not as if the 450-hp, supercharged 4.6-liter V-8 outboard was a well-kept secret. Between leaks and rumors, not knowing the most powerful offering in the Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine line was coming required a healthy dose of willful ignorance.

But between the Internet and its cursed social media stepchild, secrets are awfully hard to keep these days. So big reveals are fewer and farther between. As the saying goes, don’t hate the player. Hate the game.

And yet the four-stroke 450R outboard, which for demonstration purposes found itself in multi-outboard applications on the transoms of a Cigarette 59 Tirranna, a Formula Boats 430 Super Sport Crossover, a Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats 450 Sport center console, a Midnight Express 43 center console, an MTI-V 42 center console, a Mystic Powerboats M3800 sport catamaran, a Wright Performance 420 catamaran and more, was still mighty impressive.

“Four or five years ago when we launched the 400R, we were at the height of transition of marine power away from inboard stern-drive propulsion to outboard power,” said David Foulkes, the chief executive officer of Brunswick Corporation—the parent company of Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing—who was on hand for today’s media event. “And we had the most powerful, quietest and compact mainstream outboard in the segment. As soon as we got into the development of the V-8 platform we knew we would eventually offer a supercharged derivative of it.”

Here are several key things you need to know about the new 450R:

• It produces 439 foot-pounds of torque—some 40 percent more torque than the Mercury Racing 400R outboard—and at 689 pounds, it is reportedly 300 pounds lighter than its nearest competitor.

• It runs on 89-octane fuel.

 Its proprietary 64-degree aluminum block is topped with aluminum cylinder heads with a Mercury Racing Quad Cam Four Valve (QC4) design and double overhead camshafts (DOHC). The valve train features a high-performance intake cam profile and race-spec Inconel exhaust valves. The camshafts are chain-driven and run in an oil bath so there is no timing belt to maintain.

• It has an operating range of 5,800 to 6,400 rpm and features Mercury’s Adaptive Speed Control system—with a special custom Mercury Racing calibration—for better docking manners with high-pitch propellers as well as responsive throttle response for powering over rough seas.

• It comes with a three-year limited factory warranty and can be purchased with an additional five years of Mercury Product Protection.

• Depending on options such as a SportMaster surfacing gearcase or a fully submerged 5.44 HD gearcase it will retail for $54,000 to $64,000.

Of all the aforementioned boats available for demo rides today on Old Hickory Lake today, the one that intrigued me most was the MTI 340X sport catamaran powered by twin 450R outboards. That’s because, thanks to MTI 340X owner Bob Christie and Tom Stuart, MTI’s director of sales and marketing, I’ve driven MTI’s popular 34-footer with both 300R and Verado 400R outboards on the transom. So I had a solid basis for comparison. 

Nick Nida of Mercury Marine and Mike Griffiths of MTI took me for a ride this morning in the 34-footer and they even let me drive for a few legs up and down the waterway. We didn’t run the boat past 115 mph, though it reportedly has topped 128 mph and has a few more ticks in it, but throughout the acceleration process the 34-footer continued to pull hard. There was no waiting—the MTI cat just kept on pulling.


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