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Outboard boat motors have been around for over a century and are the fastest-growing marine power. Their growth stems from the advancements in outboard engine technology and increased horsepower demand in recent years. So, which are the biggest, most powerful outboard motors on the market today?

Mercury and Yamaha dominate the top 5 most powerful outboard motors

Mercury and Yamaha are the top manufacturers of powerful outboards. The two companies have a history of producing the world’s most potent outboard motors, setting the standards for muscle and performance. 

1. Mercury Verado 600

A Mercury Verado 600 outboard cruises on open water
Mercury Verado 600 | Mercury Marine

In 2021, Mercury Marine released the world’s first V12 outboard, delivering a 7.6-liter displacement, 600 hp, and 516 lb-ft of torque at 5,800 rpm. The Verado 600 can propel heavy boats and quickly accelerate. In 2023, it remains the most powerful outboard motor on the market. This powerful engine pairs with a steerable gear case and streamlined rigging to allow mounting on a 27-inch center. 

Despite its potency, the Verado 600 is quieter and easier to operate than the brand’s previous outboards. Mercury Marine says the V12 Verado sets a new standard for smooth and near-silent operation.  

2. Mercury Racing 450R

Mercury also gets credit for the second most potent outboard motor. With a 4.6-liter V8 four-stroke powerhead, the Racing 450R harnesses 450 hp and 439 lb-ft of torque. 

The key to this outboard’s performance is a supercharger. It pumps dense pressurized air and fuel into the cylinder, allowing the 450R to produce 40% more torque than the previous model, the 400R.

3. Yamaha F450 XTO

Yamaha Marine introduced the F450 XTO to provide more convenience, enhanced tech, and 450 hp. This powerful outboard motor has a 5.6-liter displacement, providing higher torque. 

Although the F450 XTO has the same horsepower as the Mercury Racing 450R, some technical differences make the latter stand out. With a dry weight of 689 pounds, the Mercury Racing 450R is easier to install than the 1,090-pound Yamaha F450. Also, users report better performance from the 450R because it’s lighter than its Yamaha rival.

4. Yamaha F425 XTO

The Yamaha F425 XTO is a 4.6-liter V8 boasting 425 hp, exceptional acceleration, and top speeds. Sharing many features with the F450, this powerful outboard offers an advanced fuel injection system, an electric steering system, and a direct air intake system. 

Though it has a unique exhaust that reduces noise and emissions, it’s not as quiet as the F450. However, users get variable camshaft timing (VCT) technology that optimizes performance across the RPM range. Boaters can adjust the timing of the intake and exhaust valves to achieve better fuel efficiency and higher torque.

5. Mercury Verado 400

Featuring a supercharged 5.7-liter V10 powerhead, advanced midsection, and digital controls, the Mercury Verado 400 V10 makes easy work of propelling heavy vessels. Though the 2023 V10 is a rare configuration, it keeps the powerhead slimmer than the typical 90 degrees found in other outboards.

Mercury doesn’t give a precise torque output, but the Verado 400’s displacement and excellent power-to-weight bode well.

Outboard motors continue evolving. Popular manufacturers like Mercury, Yamaha, Evinrude, and Suzuki have recently upped their game to deliver the power and performance that boaters demand. However, Mercury and Yamaha dominate the top five most powerful outboard motors.


How Much Does the Mercury V12 Verado 600 Cost?