Mercury Racing of Fond du Lac, WI, has rocked the marine industry once again, unveiling the next major advance in outboard technology with the new 500R.
The company introduced the new engine this week at a truly epic industry event in Charleston, SC, that was attended by many of the top muscleboat builders in the U.S. to help celebrate this milestone. The event included demo rides on boats powered by the new engine, including models from MTI, Performance Powerboats, Mystic, DCB, Fountain, Nor-Tech, Cigarette and others.
Just as it did in 2015 with the 400R, and in 2019 with the 450R, Mercury Racing's transformative new V8 500R delivers an elevation of power and technology, created exclusively for owners of the fastest luxury speedboats. Producing 500 supercharged horsepower, it introduces a host of new components in the powerhead, cooling system, midsection, gearcase and steering system, each engineered to harness the raw power produced by this engine and to meet the challenging demands of wide-open performance boating. “This motor offers incredible midrange punch and unrelenting authority," says Mercury Racing General Manager Stuart Halley. "This is a great machine. It's the most exciting production outboard to ever emerge from the Mercury Racing shop.”
Customers can choose from a variety of color options and benefit from a three-year limited factory warranty. The engine is available in four lengths: 20-inch, 25-inch, 30-inch, and 35-inch to accommodate any single- or multi-engine performance application. The 26-inch center-to-center mounting distance on multi-engine transoms enables seamless installations on new boats and repower applications.
Although the 500R model was based on the same 4.6-liter V8 powerhead as the 450R engine, the 500R includes a number of upgrades with several new components designed to enhance the extra power output. The 500R has been designed as a deep-breathing, high-winding engine, rugged and reliable, loaded with advanced design elements and Mercury Racing technology to go quicker, faster and farther than previously imagined. It introduces a host of new components engineered by the high-performance experts at Mercury Racing, and pumps out more than 500 horsepower in a wide range of conditions. It delivers astonishing power density, weighing in as little as 726 pounds and establishing a new benchmark for outboard power density. The 500R delivers 10% higher torque than the 450R model, all on 89 octane pump fuel.
The 4.6 liter V8 power head is boosted by an exclusive Mercury Racing supercharger that feeds the engine 26% more pressure than the 450R. To better meet the increased air-flow demand, it also features a new attenuator with a larger intake, a 15% larger throttle body, and an optimized charge air cooler flow pattern. A new low inertia flywheel allows the engine RPM to climb faster for improved acceleration. Upgraded internal components include a new crankshaft with 1" drive shaft. Splines, connecting rods, rod bearings, and pistons are strengthened to handle increased combustion pressure and a higher 6,600 rpm redline.
The 500R is the first marine engine to be equipped with humidity compensation technology. A new sensor measures the humidity level of the incoming air. The engine computer uses this data to maintain the most aggressive calibration to optimize performance under virtually all conditions. The result: up to 30 additional horsepower than would be available without this technology in the most challenging, very humid conditions.
The 500R is equipped with a full suite of Mercury Racing technology solutions, designed to enhance the boating experience, including the precision of DTS with available digital Zero Effort controls. It's compatible with all SmartCraft technology, and a top-cowl service door that eases routine maintenance.
Extreme performance requires the support of a strong core. The exclusive advanced racing core includes a durable new midsection designed as an integral element of the 500R. The advanced racing core features a strong transom plate engineered to accommodate 3 inches of vertical adjustment by using the seven transom mounting holes—twice the adjustment range available with the six-hole 450R transom plate. The enhanced trim system features two main hydraulic rams, plus two new booster rams for added trim authority under full load and more precise trim adjustment at high speeds. Precision-fitted, heavy-duty guide plates and stiffened engine mounts are tuned to stabilize the engine for enhanced high speed handling.
In addition, the hydraulic power steering system has been upgraded to produce 18% more torque than the 450R power steering system. A newly designed steering arm, stainless steel steering tube and steering cylinder are 20% stronger. An optional rear tie bar bracket integral to the arc provides a strong, ultra-light mounting point for rock-solid precision steering on catamarans and other ultra high-speed applications. The advanced racing core provides robust support for the 500R in the most demanding situations.