The large size of the object concealed under a plain white cloth confirmed the suspicions of some of us in the crowded room, while simultaneously putting paid to the guesses of others. It was the size and shape of an outboard motor, too large to be electric– my guess prior to the event – but which outboard?

The venue was Walt Disney Coronado Springs Resort and Conference Centre in Orlando, Florida, the date was November 14, and our host was Mercury Marine, represented by a string of senior executives, including Brunswick Corporation CEO David Foulkes and Mercury Marine President Chris Drees.

The room full of international marine journalists and social media influencers didn’t have to wait long. A few short speeches and then Mercury Marine’s latest engineering triumph was revealed: a gleaming white, all-new Mercury V10 Verado outboard motor.

In recent years, Mercury has invested around US$2 billion to develop new engine platforms, which include Mercury’s V6, V8, and most recently, V12 Verado outboards. Now these are joined by the new 5.7-litre V10 Verado high horsepower, quad-cam outboard.

The new V10 is clearly part of the same family, sharing the design language and similar engineering fundamentals. Like its cousins, it has a narrow bank V configuration with high displacement and is naturally aspirated. Its hallmarks are speed, power, smoothness and quiet operation – the quietest Mercury ever.

Mercury Marine President Chris Drees praised his Engineering Team for “knocking it out the park” with the new V10. “It’s the next evolution of the Verado brand, continuing the Verado legacy of high horsepower outboards delivering power, luxury and freedom,” said Drees. “It elevates the boating experience and redefines what’s possible.”


The V10 is related to Mercury’s hugely successful V8, said Tim Reid, VP of Product Development & Engineering. It also shares much technology with Mercury’s flagship Verado V12. Across the V6, V8, V10 and V12 platforms, the engines share small cylinder bores (but lots of cylinders) for smoothness, and narrow bank angles so they are slim enough to retrofit in multiple installations in place of Mercury’s Verado L6 inline sixes. Like the V8, the V10 has the same industry-leading 26-inch mount spacing.

While clearly close family with the other V motors, the new V10 has been wholly redesigned: engine mass has been moved forward, there’s a 35-inch mid-section, and all-new electric steering (but not the V12’s steerable leg). It also gets an optional dual mode 48/12V alternator with 1890W (150 amps) output, a new gearcase with a larger 6.4-inch diameter torpedo to house bigger, stronger gears and provide more lift, and new Revolution X four-bladed performance propellers. Designed specifically for the V10, the new propellers offer improved lift and 35-40% more blade area to better convert the new engine’s massive torque into motive power.

“Our focus with this engine was performance, ease of ownership and reliability. We wanted a refined, versatile 350-400hp engine suitable for diverse applications, single or multi,” said Reid.

The new engines are compatible with Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO), which provides fingertip control to move forwards, sideways or even rotate in one place for boats with multiple engines. With Mercury’s parent company Brunswick also owning Navico, C-Zone and Fathom, seamless integration is a big part of the Verado story.

Testing at Lake X
The following morning we all trooped aboard buses for the drive out to Lake X, Mercury Marine’s famed testing facility in Central Florida where we would experience the new engines on the water.

Lake X was discovered by Mercury Marine founder Karl Kiekhafer, who developed its facilities over many years. Karl wanted somewhere remote and ‘secret’ to test Mercury products year-round – something that was impossible in his native Wisconsin.

Back in the 1950s, the lake was certainly remote – the tower, the slipways and docks were all carved out of virgin forest. Even today, Lake X remains a wild place, home to turtles and alligators and ringed by cypress trees trailing sphagnum moss.


Mercury had pulled out all the stops to present the V10 to the press on a wide variety of vessels, mostly drawn from the Brunswick Boat Group. The aim was to demonstrate the new engine’s versatility and broad appeal. We got the opportunity to experience the V10 on the water and drive a variety of boats with single and multiple engines.

Boats ranged from the 47-foot Freeman powercat with four V10 Verado engines, the fastest vessel on the lake (75mph), to triple and dual engine offerings from Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Monterey, Intrepid, Scout, Valor, Bayliner and Tiara, as well as more modest single engine rigs from Seavee, Avalon, Lund, Caymas, Barletta, Harris and Ranger – cabin boats, cruisers, bay boats, pontoon boats, large saltwater centre-consoles and smaller freshwater fishing boats.

This wide range of vessels ably demonstrated the V10’s versatility, showing off just some of its potential applications, whether for new vessels or repowers. Interestingly, one of the pontoon craft was the second-fastest boat on the lake, reaching more than 70mph – quite a ride on what is essentially a floating patio!

With so many boats to try in a relatively short time frame, there was no way to experience them all, but I did my best to sample both single and multi-engine models. In every case the new V10 was the star. Supremely quiet throughout the rev range, especially with the exhaust mode set to ‘stealth’; in the ‘sports’ mode setting most testers seemed to prefer, the exhaust still produced a satisfying growl.

The V10’s broad torque curve and wide powerband, working in conjunction with the purpose designed Revolution X propeller, provides impressive acceleration, even for heavy vessels. Mercury’s Advanced Midsection (AMS), engine mounting technology, an outstanding feature of the V6 and V8 Verados, but modified for the new V10, which carries its mass further forward, minimises vibration delivers exceptional comfort underway.

Loading the demo boats with journalists (some of the bigger vessels had eight, 10 or more journos along for the ride) made little appreciable difference to how they performed such is the V10’s torque, while lighter craft I tried like the aluminium Lund 2175 and fibreglass Ranger were transformed from practical freshwater sport fishers into excitement machines. The 400hp V10 gave them stunning performance with top speeds of more than 60mph.

Mercury’s current electro-hydraulic steering system is great, but the new all-electric system, available for multiple engine rigs, is even better – direct, incredibly responsive, with adjustable resistance as well, but absolutely no kick-back. You could turn the wheel in any direction and the boat went that way. No worries taking your hands off the wheel either – the boat keeps going where it’s pointed – while Adaptive Speed Control maintains boat speed at any throttle setting.


Those boats with multiple V10s and JPO made good use of joystick piloting, moving on and off the docks and parking in tight spaces between other vessels with uncanny precision.

For us the test day at Lake X came to an end much too soon, with many boats left unsampled, but it was abundantly clear Mercury Marine’s new V10 platform has hit the mark in so many ways: styling, engineering excellence, refinement, economy, ease of ownership and maintenance, and of course, performance.

We in New Zealand can expect to see the first of the new engines from April 2023.

V10 Highlights

Naturally-aspirated 5.7L V10 engine
The new platform features the outboard industry’s first V10 naturally-aspirated powerhead. It leverages class-leading 5.7L displacement and a performance-inspired quad-cam design to propel boats with exceptional speed and acceleration. A class-leading 150-amp alternator swiftly charges onboard batteries and intelligently supports the boat’s electrical system.

All-new gearcase
The platform’s all-new hydrodynamic gearcase is engineered to improve performance and durability across multiple applications, while also maximising fuel efficiency.

Mercury engineers went back to first principles of engineering and designed the all-new Revolution X propeller to perfectly match the V10 Verado. Larger diameter and wider blades, combined with the deep ratio of the new gearcase, provide excellent handling, thrilling acceleration and high efficiency from low speed all the way to wide-open throttle.

Efficient all-around performance
Calibrated to deliver full performance on Regular Unleaded (91 RON) petrol, these outboards also feature efficiency-enhancing technologies, a closed-loop fuel system and Advanced Range Optimization (ARO).

• Intuitive features and advanced technologies
Adaptive Speed Control maintains engine rpm despite changes in load or conditions, making climbing large swells easier and cruising at low speeds smoother. Transient Spark Technology electronically adjusts spark timing to optimize low-end power.

The V10 engines will also be compatible with a new Mercury electric steering system for multi-outboard vessels, set to be introduced in April 2023. The new system will offer enhanced steering responsiveness, dramatically simplified rigging and a more than 50 percent reduction in energy consumption.

The new Verados will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-Power System, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

The development of the V10 Verado outboards is a product of Mercury’s continued commitment to invest heavily in R&D and production capacity to keep up with customer demand. The company has invested US$2 billion since 2008, and its manufacturing footprint has expanded to more than 275,000m2.