by Gregg Mansfield
Mercury Racing celebrates its 50th anniversary but the company is showing no signs of slowing down with the debut of its first V10 outboard, the new Mercury Racing 400R model. Mercury Racing made the announcement before the 2023 Miami International Boat Show during a splashy party in South Beach.
The new 400R outboard, which features a naturally aspirated 5.7-liter (349 CID) powerhead, is designed for performance center-console boats and catamarans with speeds faster than 75 mph. The outboard maintains the compact width required for 26” center-to-center mounting on multi-engine transoms. The Mercury Racing V10 400R will be available in 20″, 25″, 30″ and 35″ lengths.
Mercury Racing has already started production on the 400R, which replaces the L6 400R outboard. When Mercury Marine announced the new V10 outboard platform in November 2022, company officials hinted that Mercury Racing customers would benefit too.
“The (previous) 400R had been aging,” said Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing general manager after the unveiling in Miami. “(When) we came out with a new 300 V8, the 300R, people came down from those other engines because they wanted the new engine. We believe the 400R and the V10 Verado 400 will bring people back up from 300s.”
Halley said the new 400R offers low-end torque, more peak horsepower and better fuel economy than its predecessor, while operating on 87-octane fuel. The V10 400R outboard uses the Digital Throttle and Shift and Mercury Racing’s Advanced MidSection (AMS) supports the 400R. An optional rear tie-bar bracket is available for catamarans and other high-speed applications.
Mercury Racing’s 400R is available with two gearcase options. The Sport Master gearcase is surface-piercing with low-water pickups designed for boats faster than 85 mph; the 5.44 HD gearcase is for performance center consoles and heavy bay boats.
The 400-hp outboard will be available in Phantom Black, Cold Fusion White and Devil Eye Red trim with Mercury Racing graphics.
Not to be overshadowed at the event, Mercury Racing announced the new four-blade Ventera propeller designed for high-performance center consoles, bay boats and day cruisers. The propeller was designed to carry more load with greater efficiency at high speeds as a successor to the Revolution 4 XP propeller.
Nick Petersen, Mercury Racing performance propeller manager, said blade diameter has increased from 14.625” to 15”.
“Our engineering team developed an entirely new blade profile with increased diameter and created a new blade thickness curve that can handle more power without sacrificing performance,” Petersen said.
The Mercury Racing Ventera propeller is available in half-inch increments from 18” to 27.5” pitch. Petersen said the Ventera is especially effective when paired with the Mercury Racing V10 400R and V8 450R outboards with the 5.44 HD gearcase.
Additionally, Halley announced Mercury Racing will be hosting an offshore race August 11-13 in Sheboygan, Wis., to celebrate the company’s 50 years.
“We wanted to showcase our heritage and our heritage started in powerboat racing,” Halley said.
Mercury Marine has had a couple busy years with the introduction of the V10 400, V10 400R and V12 600 outboards. Halley said they won’t be slowing down.
“We have a full product plan that we’re working through and we’re bringing them to market when they’re ready,” Halley said.