Mercury MerCruiser’s new 6.2-liter V-8 series includes two inboard motors designed to deliver torque curves and features that optimize the performance and enjoyment of wakeboard and wakesurf boats, as well as old-school ski boats.
This engine is built from the main bolts up by Mercury and is also available in sterndrive iterations. Offered in 320 and 370 hp inboard tow-boat versions that make 400 and 410 foot-pounds of maximum torque at 3,750 rpm, respectively, the push-rod platform features multiport electronic fuel injection and two valves per cylinder. Both models are engineered to run on 87-octane gasoline and weigh in at 862 pounds. Freshwater closed cooling and DTS (digital throttle and shift) are optional for both.
The 6.2L tow-sports engines are designed to power boats ranging in length from the high teens to upper 20s, according to Mercury. The platform currently propels Sea Ray’s new SLX-W 230.
“The 6.2L MerCruiser tow-sports engines include several features that improve the user experience,” says John Buelow, vice president of global category management for Mercury Marine.
“The long-runner scrolled intake manifold optimizes air flow for higher torque, which translates into greater acceleration and improved boat performance,” Buelow points out. High displacement produces an outstanding power-to-weight ratio and helps boats stay on plane at lower speeds.
The lubrication system was specifically designed to operate within a safe margin during the extreme operating attitudes and angles experienced when driving the boat for wakeboarding and wakesurfing, Buelow reveals.
To prevent oil starvation, Mercury researched numerous methods and techniques for maintaining sufficient lubrication, he says. “The results were used to establish a safe oil-level operating range with design margin.
“Additionally, in the unlikely event that the oil level drops below the minimum level when extreme maneuvers are encountered, the engine is protected with the Mercury Guardian system,” Buelow adds. If Guardian is triggered (due to low oil pressure), engine power is reduced to a safe operating condition and an audible alarm notifies the operator, who can take corrective measures.
These engines are also compatible with Mercury’s Smart Tow, which enables GPS-based speed control to allow users to set and maintain speeds down to the 1/10th of a mph. Smart Tow also lets the captain utilize launch profiles or select how aggressively the boat will automatically accelerate for individual riders.
“The set speed is maintained regardless of load or condition changes that occur in tight turns or with other maneuvers during watersports activity,” Buelow says. “The driver no longer has to make continual throttle-control adjustments, resulting in a better experience for both the captain and rider.”
The 6.2L tow-sports inboards integrate with Mercury’s new Joystick Piloting for Inboards (JPI). This system works with bow and stern thrusters to make it easier to maneuver and dock a boat with a single inboard. “The JPI system provides ultimate vessel control at a level previously unheard of in single-engine tow-sports boat applications,” Buelow says. It fills a real demand.
To reduce noise and vibration, and so enhancing crew comfort, the 6.2L tow-sports motors feature large engine mounts, an air intake resonator, and a sound-muffling throttle body.
For ease of service and maintenance, touch points are top-front-mounted on the engine. Merc’s 6.2L engines also come standard with an air-actuated “season extender” water drain system, which allows users to easily drain water from the engine to prevent freeze damage, enabling tow-sports enthusiasts to stretch their seasons out longer.
“Because some tow-sports enthusiasts do like to customize their boat package and personalize their experience, consumers have a choice of three different colored engine-cover options,” Buelow says. The standard color of Merc’s 6.2L tow-sports engine is the iconic Mercury black, but you can opt for red or silver covers.