Ole Evinrude would have freaked out if he saw what I was looking at from a dock on Okauchee Lake, not far from Milwaukee. It was on this very lake 110 years ago that he offered to row his boat a couple of miles to fetch his fiancée a bowl of ice cream. Since it was 90 degrees that day, the result was pretty predictable. He vowed to find a way to remedy the situation, and in 1909 he became the first person to successfully bring to market an outboard engine. It cranked out an amazing 1.5 hp. If he had been standing with me 107 years later, he would have seen the E-TEC G2 150 hp. It has an angular look, clean rigging, and changeable side and top panels, and it is exactly 100 times more powerful than the original Evinrude. Who wants chocolate?
A couple of years ago, Evinrude introduced the marine world to its first generation of E-TEC G2 direct-injected two-strokes, which used a 3.4L V-6 platform to generate 200 to 300 hp. For 2017, version two of the G2 family brings its advanced technology to the 150 to 200 hp class with a slightly smaller 2.7L version that features the same power and versatility of the original. Unlike competing four-strokes that all use an in-line four-cylinder platform, the E-TEC G2 150, 150 H.O., 175 and 200 feature V-6 engine blocks, like their 300 hp big brother. The bigger block does negate the weight advantage usually enjoyed by two-strokes. The lightest 150 is the Mercury 150 FourStroke, which weighs 455 pounds, compared to Evinrude’s lightest version of this new platform, which tips the scales at 496 pounds.
Evinrude still offers the previous generation E-TEC 150 hp (also a V-6), which is considerably lighter, at 418 pounds. The difference, on paper, is even more pronounced on the higher horsepower versions of this new G2 family, because of the integrated Dynamic Power Steering system, which adds even more weight. The 2.7L version of the G2 200 weighs 530 pounds, which is only seven pounds lighter than the 300 hp E-TEC G2 with a bigger block. Part of the reason for the heft of a G2 150 to 200 is it uses the same beefy SLX gearcase as the G2 300 model and includes the weight of the internal oil tank.
Type: V-6, direct-injected two-stroke
Displacement: 2.7L WOT Range 5000-6000 rpm
Weight: (150 hp) 496 lbs. 20 in. shaft
Gear Ratio: 2.17:1 Price $16,170
Tested with Ranger 1850MS Reata
Time to plane: 2.4 sec.
0-30 mph: 5.8 sec.
Top speed: 48.4 mph
Decibels: @ idle 64 dBA
Cruise: 30.6 mph/4000 rpm/86 dBA
Peak: 48.4 mph/6000 rpm/96 dBA
Bombardier Recreational Products, evinrude.com
Hit the Easy Button
The G2 family of 150 to 200 hp direct-injected two-strokes features a host of user-friendly features, including drive-by-wire shift and throttle, which is smooth and remarkably quiet. Many boaters don’t know how to trim a boat; fortunately, Evinrude’s i-Trim takes the guesswork out of that equation, and it’s not an option like other outboards’ auto-trim systems. When the throttle is jammed, it automatically adjusts trim to match the boat’s speed, which boosts performance and fuel economy.
Evinrude makes ownership an easy proposition. No break-in period is required and no maintenance is needed for five years or 500 hours, whichever comes first. One annoying aspect of outboard maintenance is not knowing the level or condition of the gear oil, unless an owner wants to crack the seal on the fill screw, which can compromise its integrity. The G2 fixes that dilemma with a clear gear-oil tank. It also has a self-winterizing function. Owners might never see their dealer again, unless they want to change the colored side and top panels.
Ever try to get a jumpstart from another boater? Usually, jumper cables are just long enough not to reach from one battery that’s buried in a bilge to another, but with the G2, two jumpstart poles are immediately under the easy-to-remove panel. The top panel gets removed to fill the whopping three-gallon oil reservoir located inside the cowling; it holds enough oil for 50 hours of operation. Evinrude is the only outboard brand to have a magneto-style alternator, so there’s no belt or chain to adjust — or break.
The unseen advantages of the E-TEC G2 150 include efficient combustion settings, a strong SLX gearcase and an advanced engine management module.
Power to the People
The E-TEC’s stratified RPM combustion mode gives it a tremendous boost out of the hole. I tested it on a variety of boats, including the Ranger 1850MS Reata, a multispecies family fishing boat, and the SunChaser Classic 8522 SG, a midsized triple-tube pontoon. Both got on plane in 2.4 seconds. Midrange throttle response was excellent, and the Ranger reached 30 mph in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 48.4 mph. Top speed for the SunChaser pontoon was 36.6 mph. Being a two-stroke, the G2 has a throwback sound that harkens back to the old days but is quieter than previous-gen Evinrudes. At WOT on the Ranger, the decibel meter measured 96, while the pontoon was slightly quieter at 95, both of which were a couple of decibels higher than comparable four-strokes.
The G2’s warranty is the longest in the business, with a five-year engine and non-declining corrosion warranty, but Evinrude is running a special that lasts until the end of March 2017. With it, buyers get a decade of coverage at no extra cost other than a $50 deductible per repair after five years.