The afternoon wind blew steadily across the waters of the lower Cooper River in Charleston, S.C.
As often happens along the coast, the wind had picked up steam after being relatively calm around midday. To the south and east, past Drum Island and the Ravenel Bridge, and into Charleston Harbor proper, a front from the Atlantic had stirred up the water.
It was mid-May, and Evinrude Outboard Motors, part of the BRP Marine Group, had invited a collection of media and industry personnel out to the Low Country to check out a few new products ahead of their release. I stood at the helm of a Tidewater 198 CC. At the stern sat one of Evinrude’s new motors that we’d spent part of the morning learning about, and which at the time was still under wraps. To my right was Larry Koschak, Senior Outboard Product Coordinator for Evinrude Outboards, and another member of the media.
Koschak had taken us out of the choppy waters of the harbor to a protected area of the lower Cooper before turning the boat over to us to get some first-hand experience with the new motor. I certainly wasn’t complaining.
He told me to pay attention to the torque whenever I accelerated. I asked if I was good to go, waited for confirmation, threw down the throttle and felt myself instinctively smile. Sometimes you just can’t help yourself.
Fast forward to today, June 12, and Evinrude is officially announcing the expansion of its revolutionary E-TEC G2 product line with three new 1.9-liter 3-cylinder models: a 115 H.O. (High Output), a 140 HP and a 150 HP. As was pointed out during presentations at the event in May, this brings some of the technology and features folks have come to appreciate and rely on in the larger E-TEC G2 models into a smaller class of motors, one which is incredibly popular among anglers and other boaters.
The new models feature a direct-injection 3-cylinder powerhead. According to the folks at Evinrude, they’re also the company’s quietest-operating engines and excel in terms of performance, offering more torque and fuel efficiency at lower RPMs than similar four-stroke engines. A key reason for the increased fuel efficiency at lower RPMs, and particularly at idle speeds, is the “stratified mode” of operation found on all G2s, which allows the engine to efficiently use only the amount of fuel needed at those speeds. Good low-RPM fuel efficiency is obviously important to trolling anglers, as is ease of use. And the new E-TEC G2 models don’t disappoint in that regard either.
As with all E-TEC G2s, these new engines require no break-in period, and no engine oil changes ever. There is no dealer-scheduled maintenance for 5 years or 500 hours.
The new motors are also very clean-running. Like prior E-TEC G2s, the new 115 H.O., 140 HP and 150 HP engines are worldwide emissions compliant, and, in fact, are among the cleanest-running motors on the market, according to Evinrude.
“We are proud to continue the legacy of Evinrude innovation in 2019 and well into the future,” said Tracy Crocker, president of the BRP Marine Group. “By bringing the E-TEC advancements to the 115 H.O., 140 HP and 150 HP models, some of the most popular outboard sizes in the market, we are once again, delivering the pinnacle in innovation and performance that inspires confidence in each and every Evinrude owner as they pursue their life on the water.”
Among the next-generation technology that Crocker speaks of are features like digital shift and throttle, the iTrim control system, digital instrumentation and optional iSteer dynamic power steering. Oh, and of course custom color panels. All E-TEC G2 engines will feature new premium graphics, and users will be able to choose between a white or slate gray frame and two new propellers. The 115 H.O. and 140 HP models will also be available with optional premium controls and gauges, as well as a tiller option equipped with touch troll and trim switches, LEDs for basic diagnostics and an NMEA 2000 connection for integration with external gauges and accessories.
Eric Olson, Network Development, Marine Propulsion Systems Division for Evinrude, and pro walleye angler, was quick to point out the advantages of the tiller option — which he described as the “first all-digital tiller handle” — for fishermen while on the water in Charleston Harbor. He pointed to its user-friendly, fly-by-wire controls and other key features which aid anglers.
“The most important thing with this is, when you’re adjusting speeds, you’re not trying to fight a cable to dial in the appropriate speed,” Olson said. “That’s number one. Number two, because it’s digital, we also have what’s called ‘touch troll.’ It’s got an up and down — minus button, plus button — gives you 50 RPM increment increases, which increases your speed. Now, the good part is, it goes anywhere from 650 RPMs all the way to wide open, but for fishing the key point is going to be anywhere from 650 RPMs to probably 1,500 RPMs, giving you total control of your bait, regardless of presentation. Crankbaits — if you’re 3 miles an hour, 2.5 miles an hour, you can dial it in and be consistent with that. That’s real important.”
So, in short, there are lots of exciting developments here from Evinrude, as well as some coming up that were teased at Charleston event but which we are still unable to discuss openly. In the meantime, however, Evinrude now has an expanded E-TEC G2 line that encompasses a wide range of outputs — from 115 H.O. to 300 HP — sure to fit the needs of many boaters. And as for technological advancements and innovations to come, only time will tell, and the future is full of possibilities.