CAPTAIN’S REPORT: BoatTest.com Reviews New Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 HP

Evinrude’s all-new E-TEC G2 250 HP includes integrated hydraulic steering: hoses coming from the steering assembly go directly to a casing integral to the outboard body itself. There’s no external rod and cylinder exposed to corrosion, no third-party steering parts to complicate installation and adjustment. And these engines are the first 2-stroke outboards completely designed from scratch for direct fuel injection, according to Evinrude. The combustion chambers are optimized for complete combustion and a clean burn. 

 

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BRP’s new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 V6 outboard motor.

Mission Statement

Evinrude set out to build its second generation E-TEC outboards to not only surpass current engine technology but to build an off-shore capable engine that is easy to use and even easier to maintain. They are the only one of the “Big 5” outboard builders to pursue advanced 2-stroke engine technology rather than the less costly development of 4-stroke power.

 

The big lesson here is that 2-stroke engines produce twice as many power strokes as a 4-stroke engine does, thereby increasing power output per revolution. This means that the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 is able to accelerate faster and give quick, low-end torque in a much lighter overall package. Plus, there are no valves, cams, or timing chains, so there is less reciprocating weight. Consequently, there are fewer parts to maintain and a greater power to weight ratio than a 4-stroke engine.

 

Distinguishing Features

  • In-cylinder fuel injected 2-stroke
  • Digital shift and throttle controls
  • Revolutionary steering and power trim system
  • Multi-piece polymer engine cowling

 

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This exploded view shows how the cowling separates from the body.

First Impressions

The striking looks of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 cowling is made up of a multi-piece configuration with a main center section, side, and top panels. Engineers dumped the old-fashioned heavy fiberglass hood design in favor of this high-tech solution. The cowling panels, along with accent pieces, can be custom ordered in a range of colors, giving the owner just the right look. The insulated side panels are easily removed to perform basic engine service by simply rotating six captive screws. The top panel removes to gain access to starter jumper points, as well as the flywheel and charging system.

 

Engine

The clean sheet design of the new engine starts with a block and heads that have been totally reconfigured to maximize combustion and reduce fuel consumption, while at the same time minimizing its carbon footprint. All cylinders are fed by direct, in-cylinder fuel injection. Fuel is delivered inside the combustion chamber, rather than in the intake manifold, resulting in more accurate fuel delivery, fewer emissions and increased power output. The resulting combustion is fired by BRP’s Fast Rise Inducted Ignition system that produces a higher energy, longer duration spark for improved fuel burn.

 

The 250 ponies are produced from only a 3.4 liter (210 cu. in.) V6, normally aspirated mm; there are no turbos or superchargers. That says a lot about the engine’s efficient design. It can spin up to 6000 rpms and turns through a reduction gear case of 1.85:1, while weighing only 570 lbs. (259 kg).

 

Drive

A redesigned gear-case for the lower unit is claimed to be more streamlined while incorporating a larger gear set and electronic shift mechanism. The beefier gears and bearings offer increased durability, and allow for larger props that give more thrust. The digital shift system eliminates cables and linkage; replaced by a small solenoid in the lower gear case that does all the work. The Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 is available in 25’’ or 30’’ (.64 m or .76 m) shaft lengths that incorporate additional water inlets.

 

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This electronic unit handles all the shifting for the drive unit. 

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Flats fisherman will like the additional lower water pick-ups situated at the front of the torpedo.

Corrosion Protection

To run with the competition, the all-new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 was designed for salt-water service. So Evinrude increased the use of stainless steel and advanced metal treatments on engine and drive components to reduce corrosion potential. Throughout the unit, a titanium oxide coating was applied at critical surfaces in conjunction with electro deposition paint for the drive housing for a long lasting, durable finish.

 

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A peak at the sight tube for the oil reservoir.

Servicing

Servicing the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 under normal use requires only changing the spin-on style fuel filter/water separator and checking the sight tube of the oil tank. Because the Evinrude E-TEC G2 uses lube oil so efficiently with its targeted oiling system and built in two-gallon reservoir, a full tank should last all season. There is even a brilliant engine-fogging feature installed in the engine’s computer software to ensure storing the motor won’t result in a tragedy next season.

 

At the top of the motor is the maintenance free, magneto style charging system that produces a juicy 133 Amps and dedicates 50 of them to run the engine’s electrical components.

 

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Evinrude’s silky smooth electronic throttle and shift controls.

Electronic Engine Controls

Although late to the party, Evinrude’s new electronics package has moved the bar up a notch. ICON now fully integrates engine computer, digital shift and throttle controls, and has coupled them to a programmable hydraulic steering. A variety of ICON helm controls are available to work precisely and can be configured to suit the driver and boating conditions with presets for engine speed, trim attitude and steering feedback. The system monitors are available in 4.3’’ or 7’’ (.11 m 18 m) color touchscreen formats and can work with third party peripherals for total helm customization.

 

Now, the ICON electronic throttle controls offer many of the same features as the competition but one point that stands out is the rpm tune that allows the user to lock in a specific engine speed for greater control during trolling cruising or telling.

 

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ICON touch display provides not only engine information but gives users selective modes of dynamic power steering and trim control.

Steering

The Dual-Axis Rigging is a rotary actuator for the steering that is built into the drive trim cylinder mechanism. It is fully integrated into one small unit, and completely eliminates the long steering rack located in the engine well. Plus, all the exposed plumbing is gone, which greatly reduces potential damage to the system.

 

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This small unit controls steering and tilt movements.

The electronic speed sensitive steering mechanism is much like those found on high-end luxury cars, allowing less steering effort at low speed, when needed, and greater buffered control at high speeds. What is really slick is that the steering also incorporates three levels of feedback adjustment to custom tailor the boats steering performance.

 

Twin-engine application boats can use the IDOC system; this joystick controlled wonder integrates with the ICON’s electronic throttle and shift to give greater maneuverability in tight situations. BRP teamed up with SeaStar steering to produce the Optimists 360 that can be integrated with some bow thrusters, resulting in only one control unit at the helm.

 

Trim

The other half of the Dual Axis Rigging is the power trim system. They call it the Fast-Track power trim, and it does just that. It rapidly trims the motor up and out of the water to an angle of 81-degrees. Salt-water boaters will love this as it keeps the skeg totally out of the brine and eliminates corrosion from electrolysis. Evinrude also incorporated iTrim on the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250. It automatically trims the drive while underway, depending on engine speed, ensuring optimal performance even for novice drivers.

 

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Note the absence of any steering gear at the transom, making it safer for water activities while streamlining the stern’s appearance.

On Water Testing

To test the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250, we chose a center console fishing boat equipped with a large T-top. She had a length overall of 23’9″ (7.24 m) and a beam of 8’6″ (2.59 m). With 58 gallons (220 L) of fuel on board and two people, we had a test weight of 4,001 lbs. (1,815 kg).

 

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We were turning a stainless steel 3-bladed prop that measured 15” in diameter with a 17” pitch.

On the water, conditions were rough with 2’ to 3’ seas and winds averaging over 15 miles an hour. Pinning the throttle down we leaped on plane in only 3.5 seconds and blitzed to 30 mph in five seconds. Wide-open throttle resulted in 48.9 mph, burning only 21.2 gallons per hour. Optimal cruise speed was found at 3500 rpm and resulted in a very good 3.4 miles per gallon.

 

Observations

Our test conditions were less than ideal but provided a great proving ground for the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250. The precise engine controls move effortlessly and the engine performance is smooth and responsive. When adding throttle at any rpm, we felt the torque of the engine kick and respond with a hunger to run strong with no hesitation. I was glad to see improvements have been made to quiet the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250’s intake and exhaust noise through specially tuned silencers, as the previous generation was fairly loud when running.

 

Although I was very impressed with everything that has been engineered into this new outboard, kudos have to go to the steering and trim guys at Evinrude for coming up with such a great idea. It’s amazing how much the new design cleans up the transom while giving extra space to an already cramped part of the boat. They are truly pioneers of boating bliss.