In 2014, Evinrude built upon its experience with the E-TEC series when it launched the E-TEC G2 engines. This time, engineers at Evinrude designed a brand-new engine from scratch specifically intended to use direct injection. A new combustion chamber was designed in concert with professors at the University of Wisconsin who harnessed not only their experience but the considerable computing capability of the university’s mainframe computers.
By modeling the flow of gases both in and out of the combustion chamber, calculating the exact location of the injector and its distance from the spark plug, and then computing the optimum shape of the combustion chamber for maximum power, the E-TEC G2 was born.
We tested three different boats of three different types and compared the results with public data recorded by Yamaha techs on their engines on the same boat models in all three classes.
Our tests of the G2 engine compared to Yamaha 4-stroke engines of the same horsepower on the same boat models of approximately the same weight, show that the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp engine is as fuel efficient—and often more so.
Not Your Grandfather’s 2-Stroke. This was a remarkable achievement because for years many boaters thought there could never be a 2-stroke engine as fuel efficient as a good 4-stroke. That is not a statement that BoatTEST makes lightly. We can say that based on more than 30 tests we have conducted with Evinrude G2 engines.
A 3-Test Comparison. Let’s take a close look at three of those tests on three different types of boats and you’ll see what we mean. The three boats we have chosen to examine were all tested by BoatTEST with Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboards and we are comparing those test numbers with the ones that the team at Yamaha recorded and published after they tested the identical models with Yamaha F300 engines.
All of the test data is public information and appears either on the BoatTEST website or on Yamaha’s website.
We’ll start with the Ranger 2510, a center console bay boat that is used in both salt and fresh water. We tested the boat powered by an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp engine. When we compared our test data with that of the Yamaha F300 provided by Yamaha, we discovered that the Evinrude rig got more miles per gallon at 8 out of the 10 rpm settings recorded from 1000 to 5500 rpm. Evinrude’s improvement in fuel efficiency averaged 1 mpg greater for the entire range in this comparison.
As can be seen, in this specific boat comparison, the Evinrude engine is more fuel efficient at in all but one rpm setting. And note that the E-TEC G2 engine is remarkably more fuel efficient at a trolling-speed setting of 1000 rpm – getting 4.4 more mpg than the Yamaha. That is because at that low rpm the E-TEC G2 injector is able to put a very fine mist of fuel into the cylinder.
When trolling for hours at 6 to 8 mph, the E-TEC G2 technology shows a dramatic improvement over the fuel consumption of the 4-stroke Yamaha. Over the course of a long summer this can add up to big fuel savings.
In the critical cruising range from 3000 to 4500 rpm, the Evinrude engine was more efficient at every setting. Here, it averaged 0.875 more miles per gallon than what the Yamaha techs recorded at the same setting.
Now let’s take a look at what happened when we tested a pontoon boat, the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300s. This is a large, heavy pontoon boat that requires lots of power to get it into the 50-mph range, so this model comes powered by twin 300-hp engines. What we discovered when we compared our tests with Yamaha’s test data, is that the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp engines once again got better fuel economy at 8 of the 10 rpm settings. Overall, the twin Evinrude 300s averaged nearly half a mile more per gallon than the Yamaha-powered rig across the whole rpm range.
In the critical cruising range from 3000 to 4500 rpm, the Evinrude engines were the same or more fuel efficient in all four settings.
Pontoon boats are often used for slow evening cruises around the lake, running at 1000 to 2000 rpm. It is here that the test data shows that the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300s are significantly more fuel efficient than the Yamaha engines.
Finally we compared an outboard-powered sportboat, one of the fastest-growing segments in boating. We tested the Four Winns HD 270 OB, a large deckboat with lots of freeboard designed to pull wakeboarders and skiers.
The Evinrude engine was more fuel efficient at 7 of 10 rpm settings. Once again, slow, evening-lake-cruise mode produced dramatic fuel savings. And once again, in the rpm settings that most boaters run their sportboats, that from 4000 rpm and higher or faster than 30 mph, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 is more fuel efficient.
In this test we find that the in the cruising range from 3000 to 4500 rpm, the Yamaha engine was more fuel efficient at the lower two of the rpm settings and the Evinrude was more fuel efficient in the upper two settings. Further, it notes, that as the rpm went up the Evinrude was not only more fuel efficient but got slightly better at the highest setting. We think this is remarkable for a 2-stroke engine.
Again, at the low end of the rpm scale, the Evinrude was far more fuel efficient – so much so that there can be little doubt as to the advantage of this engine at low speeds – more torque and more fuel efficient.
It’s important to understand that test comparisons like these are never exactly apples to apples, even when they are made on identical boats. There are dozens of variables that can affect fuel consumption on any given day. Bottoms can be dirty, props dinged, props different, and a dozen other things, so we don’t think that a tenth or two in mpg improvement, or even 3/10s, is really that important to this investigation.
Rather, we think that the most important takeaway from these tests is that Evinrude has demonstrably closed the gap that existed between 4-stroke engines and the old 2-strokes with its next-generation, high-tech E-TEC G2 engines.