Mercury's New 6.2L V-8 Tow Sports Engine

A new Mercury 6.2L V-8 series purpose-built for tow sports.

Mercury MerCruiser 6.2L
MerCruiser’s new 6.2L tow-sports V-8 inboard comes in 370 and 320 hp versions.Mercury MerCruiser

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.