WANT RED-HOT ACCELERATION in a midsized outboard? Try an E-TEC 175 -- we ran one on a J&H Performance B210, and it launched the 1,400-pound bay boat out of the hole so fast that my ear-to-ear grin stretched back to the nape of my neck.
Holeshot is one reason people opt for two-strokes these days, but this NMEA-2000 compliant, 2.6L V-6, 158-cid powerplant has another ace up its sleeve: low weight. It tips the scales at only 419 pounds, which is a hair lighter than the 431-pound two-stroke Mercury OptiMax 175 and significantly less than Yahama's two-stroke 175 HPDI VMAX, which weighs 468 pounds. How does that match up to a four-stroke powerplant? A 175-hp Verado is 510 pounds, and a Suzuki DF 175 is 474 pounds.
Of course, a modern two-stroke must live up to modern fuel efficiency standards, and the E-TEC 175 is Three Star certified, meaning it meets the California Air Resources Board emissions standards for 2008. Cruising at 4500 rpm, that translated into a 12.2-gph fuel burn. At full throttle (5900 rpm), we burned just a little more than 17 gph. Considering we were doing 50 mph at the time, which makes for nearly 3 mpg, that's pretty sweet. The reason is the E-TEC's high-pressure injection system, which ensures a complete, clean fuel burn. It atomizes fuel as it gets shot into the cylinder at up to 700 psi through a nozzle that "swirls" the fuel into the combustion chamber. Pressure is built via a magnetized coil.