Story and select photos by DinaRella / Professional images from Mercury Racing (T. Leigh)

Love was flowing in the air at the Mercury Racing 50th Anniversary celebration of speed on the glowing red 7th floor of the 1111 Lincoln Road Event Space aka convertible parking garage gone glam Miami Beach hot-spot, not because the fiesta fell on Valentine’s Day, but to commemorate the ushering in of its newest cutting-edge nautical nirvana – the 5.7L V10 400R outboard, and its accompanying sidekick, the Ventera propeller.

Gathering together at 7 p.m. for introductory remarks by Brunswick Corporation CEO David Foulkes and incoming president John Buelow led to Mercury Racing general manager Stuart Halley revving up the reception to full throttle unleashing the bold black and white V10 400Rs gracing the main stage area. Guests were also treated to a video showcasing the history of the company from its earliest roots supplying engines to the professional racing community and the opening of the legendary Lake X, to the 80s superboat era and influence of Miami Vice, and onto the explosive outboards of current times.

Seeing racing and industry heroes from the big screen including Bill, Mike and Tim Seebold of Mercury Racing tunnel boat fame, and the driving force behind the brand for decades, the one-and-only Fred Kiekhaefer, mixing and mingling over the course of the evening in the crowd of 200-plus invitation-only attendees, only further added to the engaging half-century recap of Mercury’s supremacy in advancing, refining and perfecting high-performance WOT speeds on the seas!

1 V10 400R Miami launch.JPG
2 Mercury Racing 50 Year Anniversary party.JPG
3 2023 Miami Boat Show Merc launch.JPG
4 Merc superboat era.JPG
5 Mery Racing GM Stuart Halley.JPG
6 Fred Kiekhaefer andj Andrea Jansen.JPG
7 Merc 50 Ben Robertson and Seebold family.JPG

Next Never Rests: V10 400R

Picking up where Go Boldly left off, Mercury’s newly trademarked Next Never Rests tagline nicely sums up the engine platform evolution which builds off the V10 Verado 350 and 400 outboards launched in November of 2022, and clearly echoes the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based flagship’s steadfast dedication in architecting the future of the marine industry.

As the successor to the L6 400R, the V10 400R is the culmination of: determination, motivation and innovation, all packaged together delivering the potent performance and drivability that only Mercury Racing provides through improved fuel economy, more low-end torque and more peak horsepower.

Details from Halley in the press release tell us, “The new naturally aspirated V10 5.7-liter (349 CID) powerhead is based on the proven design architecture of the V8 4.6-liter Mercury Racing 300R model. The 64-degree powerhead displaces the 5.7 liters while maintaining the compact width required for 26-inch center-to-center mounting on multi-engine transoms for seamless installations on new boats and repower applications. It will be available in four lengths – 20", 25", 30" and 35" – to accommodate any single or multi-engine performance application.”

Designed to propel the performance center consoles and sport cats well over 75 mph with a 30 percent better fuel economy – a rundown of the top features are as follows:

*The engine runs on 87 octane fuel.

*Peak horsepower is achieved at 6,000 to 6,600 rpm opening options wide open for propping any performance hull.

*It features the precision of Digital Throttle and Shift , and Mercury Racing’s Advanced MidSection (AMS) supports the V10 400R.

*An optional rear tie-bar bracket integral to the Racing AMS offers a strong and super-light mounting point for clear-cut steering on ultra high-speed applications. What’s more, the Racing AMS isolates the powerhead from the transom to ensure run quality is smooth and quiet at all speeds.

*The V10 400R is covered by a three-year limited factory warranty , with an available (up to) five additional years of Mercury Product Protection extended factory warranty.

*Two gearcases are available, the race-proven SportMaster is a surface-piercing design with low water pick-ups crafted for 85 mph and faster boats; and the Heavy Duty 5.44 is best suited for multi-engine performance center consoles and heavy boats needing a more submerged gearcase to allow customers to realize the full potential of specific boat-and-engine combinations.

*Three color options are offered in Phantom Black or Cold Fusion White are finished with Mercury Racing graphics and Devil Eye Red trim. And for boaters planning a special custom paint application, the V10 400R is also available “ready for paint,” free from any applied graphics.

8 V10 400R platform.JPG

9 Halley intros the V10 400R.JPG
10 Thank you.JPG
11 Miami style party.JPG
12 V12 400R in white.JPG
13 Nor-Tech team.JPG
14 Dave Batzer feels the love.JPG
15 Merc 50 Party Jeff Murray and Jeff Johnson.JPG
16 Merc Party credit T Leigh.jpg

The Future Looks Fast

After half a century as the industry innovator, turning the big “50” could have been a time to pull back the throttles. Mercury Racing’s mantra is quite the opposite; it's moving the bar and throttles further forward. Nowhere was this more apparent than 12 hours later. After, we, the guests, finished gorging on guava-glazed salmon and savory melt-in-your-mouth churrasco steaks and downing a few free-flowing beverages while getting down to the DJ's Miami-style mixes of Fleetwood Mac and Steve Perry....the team was set up and ready for us under the big tent at Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove at its in-water demo zone featuring a collective of fast-water favorites to take an appointment-only sea trial spin around Biscayne Bay on for a first taste of the V10 400Rs.

My ride de jour was on the sporty Fountain 38 SCX with captain Bowan Brooks. As part of our series celebrating five decades of fastness with Mercury Racing, luxurycenterconsoles and riverdavesplace will be adding separate profile stories on our first V10 400R sea trial, in addition to the Ventera propeller; and lastly, we will take a look at Mercury’s astounding representation with both its American and Middle East teams at the Dubai Boat Show just days after its massive Miami launch.

Gearing up for a year long line-up, given that Mercury Racing started out in powerboating racing, it will reach its 50-year zenith on August 11-13 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin when hosting a first-year race event with American Powerboat Association Formula One tunnel-boat racing, the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1, and the American Powerboat Association. Until then, a special heritage web page presenting the Mercury milestones can be seen here

17 MTI Merc Racing credit T Leigh rdc.jpg
18 V10 400R tie bar.jpg
19 Sunsation with twin V10 400Rs rdc.jpg
20 Nor-Tech with quad V10 400Rs rdc.jpg
21 Mercury Racing Makes 50.JPG