Mercury Marine invited journalists from around the globe at its legendary Lake X headquarters in Florida this week to unveil its latest innovation: the all-new 600-hp Verado, the world’s first V12 outboard engine.

Attendees of the special media event were offered rides on half a dozen boats powered by the new 7.6-liter V12 Verado outboard engine, including a Scout 425 LXF and Sea Ray SLX 400 (each coupled to two engines), Boston Whaler 420 Outrage and Tiara 48 LS (each coupled to three engines), and a Formula 500 SSC and Valhalla V-46 (each coupled to four engines).

During performance trials executed at Lake X, the new powerplant impressively propelled the massive 50′, 14.5′ wide, 47,000 lbs. Formula luxury cruiser to a jaw-dropping 69 mph at 6400 rpm, with a 0-20 mph acceleration in 7.87 seconds. The 46′, 13.4′ wide, 32,150 lbs. Valhalla fishing center console sped up to an equally impressive 74.1 mph at 6387 rpm, with a 0-20 mph in 4.77 seconds –– both powered by quad engines.

The boats with triples were a 42-1/2′, 13′ wide, 31,100 lbs. Boston Whaler fishing center console which ran a top speed of 63.7 mph at 6375 rpm, with a 0-20 mph acceleration in 5.28 seconds. The second largest boat in the fleet, the 48′, 14′ wide, 32,200 lbs. Tiara luxury cruiser went 60.3 mph at 6402 rpm, with a 0-20 mph of 5.1 seconds.

Lastly, the final two twin engine boats—a 40′, 12.2′ wide, 21,000 lbs. Miami-themed Sea Ray reached a brisk 58.8 mph at 6391 rpm, with a 0-20 mph in 4.66 seconds. The 42′, 13.1′ wide, 23,800 lbs. Scout center console recorded 61.9 mph at 6410 rpm, with a 0-20 mph in 6.1 seconds.

Described as its most powerful and most capable outboard, the 600 Verado includes several industry first features for a wide variety of applications.

“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,” said Mercury Marine President Chris Drees. “The V12 Verado outboard is Mercury’s answer. 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.”

Groundbreaking product innovations include:

• 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, ultra quiet and smooth-shifting 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 lower 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 45º steering angle (as opposed to a typical 30º) for especially agile handling of larger boats. With help from contrarotating propellers totaling seven blades (four in front, three in rear), for more rapid acceleration and minimized slip, resulting in better “bite” in the water for docking and other close quarters maneuvering and overall outstanding performance.

• Several enhanced Mercury technologies work in conjunction to enable the V12 Verado outboard to deliver exceptional fuel economy and range. Utilizing Mercury’s sophisticated and proprietary fuel management system they’ve dubbed Advanced Range Optimization, the engine adjusts fueling automatically, based on operating conditions—resulting in significant fuel savings.

• Service and maintenance are expected to be largely hassle-free, with 200 operating hours before routine service, such as oil changes and basic maintenance –– all easily accessible via the innovative, electronic button-released top cowl service hood with the boat still in the water. Also, the new V12 can run up to 1,000 hours or five years before requiring its first more in-depth service, where the entire cowl would need to be removed. Mercury’s enhanced engine monitoring systems are also always at work to help safegaurd the 600s and improve the overall boat-ownership experience.

“The V12 Verado outboard delivers everything boaters want and more in a high-horsepower outboard,” Drees said. “This engine makes boats easy to maneuver near the dock and provides superior handling at all speeds. 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 in the marketplace today.”

The five-year development of the V12 Verado outboard is yet another product of Mercury’s continued commitment to “Go Boldly” by devoting into their R&D and innovative manufacturing expansion, which includes more than $1.5 billion of investment since 2008.

“We’ve dedicated substantial investments and years of effort toward enhancing our ability to turn highly creative ideas into practical, functional and dependable solutions,” said Tim Reid, Mercury Marine vice president of development and engineering. “That work has positioned us well to anticipate and respond to shifts in the marketplace. We listened carefully to boaters’ needs and wishes, and we created new product capabilities aimed at exceeding their highest expectations.”

The Mercury Marine V12 600-hp Verado outboard will be available this spring.