Mercury Racing® is well known for its line of high performance consumer and race outboards. For the United States government, the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based company released a second “stealth” outboard today that will be rarely seen: the OptiMax Diesel. Developed for the U.S. Department of Defense, this exclusive spark ignited, direct fuel injected two-stroke runs on ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, which is readily available around the globe.
“A Navy ship crash in 1995, which resulted in an explosive gasoline fire, spawned a DoD directive for all gasoline-powered engines and gasoline fuel tanks be removed from Naval ships by 2010,” said Tony Nahitchevansky, Mercury Marine government accounts manager.
The mandate called for engines to be developed to operate on fuels that are:
1) Able to improve ship safety by minimizing fire hazards,
2) More economical and more efficient, and
3) Readily available as single battle space fuel.
The 3.0 Liter V-6 Diesel, which produces 175 propshaft horsepower, shares 95 percent of its components with the gasoline engine from which it derives. And, with only a handful of unique parts, there are minimal additional training requirements necessary for maintenance.
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