Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

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Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:14 am

newMercOnWhaler.jpg
Boston Whaler demonstration boat at Miami International Boat Show with new Mercury FOURSTROKE V6 engines.
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Mercury has added three new engines to its non-supercharged FOURSTROKE line at the 175, 200, and 225-HP levels, all using a newly designed 64-degree V6 3.4-liter block with four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams. The fuel induction system is described as closed-loop, generally understood to mean that fuel-air mixing ratio is adjusted by monitoring exhaust gases. This technique is common is automobile engines and has been used in marine outboard engines before. There is no mention of cam phasing or variable valve timing in the initial literature.

The engine appearance is unusual with an angular faceted cowling having a rather tall peak. The engine is available with four base colors: black and three shades of white, but certain colors are limited to certain horsepower models. A cowling accent panel is available in silver, gray, blue, and white. For further color customizing the accent panels are also available as ready-to-paint and can be painted to any color to match boat accent colors. As seen above the accent panel has been painted red to coordinate with the trim color on the Boston Whaler boat.

Mercury says the engine-to-transom mounting is a new design to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. The engine weight is claimed by Mercury to be the lowest weight in its horsepower class. The lightest model is 475-lbs and has a 20-inch shaft length. Shaft lengths of 25 and 30-inch are available, although certain horsepower models are required for certain lengths. The engine can be mounted on 26-inch centers for twin engine applications.

These engines can have either legacy mechanical control cables or use Mercury's digital throttle and shift DTS controls. Another option is called ACTIVE TRIM, which is said to make boating more enjoyable and easier by automatically trimming the outboard engine, and thereby improving performance and decreasing cost of operation, particularly for new boaters. Although not explicitly stated in the literature I have seen, I presume these engines will use the proprietary Mercury Smartcraft engine instrumentation system.

The new engine is said to be manufactured in Fond du lac, Wisconsin, at Mercury's facilities there, and on an entirely new production line built for this new model. With the introduction of a light-weight large-displacement V6 200-HP four-stroke-power-cycle engine, it appears that the 1.7-liter supercharged four-cylinder in-line VERADO FOURSTROKE may become obsolete and cease production.

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Mercury FOURSTROKE V6 in white base color
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mercuryBlackOnTransom.jpg
Mercury FOURSTROKE V6 in black on transom
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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:22 am

An Australian boating magazine gives an excellent presentation, including showing Boston Whaler boats with the new engines:

https://youtu.be/-ZYg716oL5w --I highly recommend watching this one. It discusses the new engine features and performance with very positive comments.

whalerNewMercSternView.jpg
Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 25 with twin 225-HP Mercury FOURSTROKE engines.
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As you can see above and assuming there has not been a custom paint job of the whole engine, one of the base white color choices appears to be an excellent match to the Boston Whaler hull gel coat color--no surprise there. Having become inured to the massive weight and height of the VERADO FOURSTROKE L6 engines, these new V6 FOURSTROKE engines look quite petite on the transom.

Another recorded presentation available on youTube recorded at Lake-X:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=CswX6ZjHmog

Another explaining the proper procedure to change the oil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=iZo1nXCmmQ0

The oil changing method takes advantage of several design features to minimize spilling of used oil.

Another recorded presentation shows the top of cowling access door, oil check, and cowling release features:
https://youtu.be/wHXlrBAq9xY?t=82

This access door is being highly promoted for "daily oil checks."

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Mambo Minnow » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:00 pm

Exciting I have been waiting for this generation to replace my 19 year old Optimax on transom of my Conquest! My local mechanic told me the factory already has 6-8 weeks of orders in hand.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:17 pm

I believe the new engines will not be available until May 2018. If there is already a two-month backlog of orders after the engines have only been revealed to the public for less than two days, the soonest you could get one if you ordered now would be perhaps July or August. Also, surprising that a mechanic would know this kind of information. I wouldn't expect a person at a dealership who was not at least a principal in the dealership would be able to know the number of orders and the duration of the backlog.

Maybe your fellow was confused and misunderstood that no engines would be available until May--that is about eight weeks from now. It sounds to me like Brunswick are not quite into full production or may have committed initial production to their own boat boat builders. As you see above, it looks like Boston Whaler will be selling these engines on their boats. And that means a lot of boats and a lot of engines.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Jefecinco » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:39 pm

The exterior design is somewhat radical and seems to follow a trend started by the Evinrude G2 family.
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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby onlyawhaler » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:45 pm

Wow, sounds great, looks really ugly. The big Verado, "prawn" look had to grow on me over the years. Newer decals and trim pieces have made it better. The smaller 150 4 cylinder is great looking, great running and easy to maintain. Easy to like from day one. These, I will never warm up to--just saying.

One would think someone in the design department would ask and get feedback on just how it "looks" from the consumer end of thing. They may run great. They should look great

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:12 am

At the Miami International Boat Show 2018 a panel of judges has awarded an Innovation Award, which recognizes "exceptionally ground breaking new consumer marine products" in the category of Outboard Engines to the new Mercury 3.4-liter V6 outboard engine.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Mambo Minnow » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:07 am

Jim--my local Mercury mechanic owns his own shop and deals exclusively with Mercury engine sales and service--no boat sales. People are already putting down deposits to get in line for engine orders.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:48 am

Impressive that you can sell out months of production in one and a half days at one boat show. There must have been substantial pent up demand by Mercury customers for engines with these characteristics. At the rate of two-months of production per two days on the market, the entire remaining 7-months of production in 2018 will be sold out by next Saturday. If demand remains at that level, 2019 will be sold out less than two weeks later. And 2020 production gone by the end of March. These are astounding sales figures. I have to say, they're a bit hard to believe.

On the other hand, both Yamaha and Evinrude have already reported months of back orders for their engines. The loss of so many outboard-engine-powered boats in Florida due to hurricane damage has been cited as causing an unanticipated peak in demand.

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Re: Boston Boat Show, Boston Whaler

Postby Phil T » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:23 pm

Jeff got a ride on a new Outrage with a set of the new Mercury V6 FOURSTROKE 225 225-HP engines in Miami today.
jeff.jpg
Boston Whaler demonstration boat at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show. Photo Credit: Jeff
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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:23 pm

I quite like the new styling. I also liked the styling of the Evinrude G2 engines from the first time I saw them. This looks a lot like a trend to me. If sales are substantial, look for similar styling from Suzuki and Yamaha.
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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Whalerdog » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:15 am

[The new Mercury FOURSTROKE V6 engines are] not supercharged [and may be] cheaper to make.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:16 am

The styling of the new Mercury V6 FOURSTROKE engines has been a topic of many comments. It seems reasonable to say the angular and faceted look is a departure from previous cowling styles.

Exactly how much weight a customer will give to the engine appearance in making a buying decision is hard to say for certain for every individual customer. Outboard engine manufacturer EVINRUDE conducted a survey of potential engine buyers before they developed their E-TEC engines in 2001. They found that customers told them the qualities of an outboard engine that were most important to them were ranked as follows:

Evnirude wrote:Outboard consumer surveys, conducted around the world in 2001, were commissioned to gauge if the typical outboard owner’s requirements had changed. The results were a little surprising to many of the older marine engineers. In order of preference, the modern outboard owner wanted

1. DQR - Dependability, Quality and Reliability

2. Ease of Maintenance

3. Easy starting

4. Performance

5. Economy

6. Style/appearance


Note that style and appearance had the least influence on customer preference.

Mercury said when it announced the OptiMax The Next Generation (OTNG) engines that:

...product development and engineering teams focused heavily on key customer attributes, such as durability, reliability, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and overall ease of operation.


Note no mention of style and appearance as engine attributes that were key for customers.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:33 am

When Brunswick first introduced their new Mercury FOURSTROKE line with the 150-HP in-line four-cylinder, not long afterwards, in November 2013, they told their investors about future outboard engine plans:

Brunswick Corporation wrote:Mercury’s outboard product line will be comprehensively upgraded with new, more cost-effective architectures and product-refresh programs.


The significant wording in that short sentence is "more cost-effective." There is no doubt that the FOURSTROKE (not VERADO) line is more cost-effective to produce than either the FOURSTROKE VERADO or the OptiMax.

The FOURSTROKE VERADO engines use supercharging. The supercharger component is a costly addition. Obtaining high horsepower output from small displacement means high engine speeds and very high stress on all moving components. Using natural aspiration and large displacement is a less expensive method.

The OptiMax engines use fundamental technology developed by Orbital and paid for with a license fee. The OptiMax engines are also complex arrangements of fuel pressure pumps, air compressors, and manifolds.

The FOURSTROKE line forgoes all of those technologies and expenses. Certainly this meets the criterion mentioned by Brunswick: "cost-effective architecture."

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:40 am

The introduction of the 175, 200, and 225-HP engines also finally ends speculation about higher power models of the original FOURSTROKE 150-HP engine.

About five minutes after the 150-HP FOURSTROKE was introduced, pundits were predicting that this engine would soon be enhanced to produce 200-HP. Now, five years later, we see this did not happen. There is a clear reason why.

The approach to creating horsepower with the FOURSTROKE line is by using large displacement. Looking at all FOURSTROKE models from 75-HP to 150-HP, those engines produce an average of about 55-HP-per-liter. If the 150-HP engine needed 3.0-liter displacement to make 150-HP, the ratio of horsepower to displacement was thus 50-HP-per-liter, a bit below the family average. In order to get 200-HP from a 3.0-liter engine, a Mercury FOURSTROKE engine would need to produce 67-HP-per-liter.

The new 3.4-liter V6 FOURSTROKE can produce 175, 200, and 225-HP from 3.4-liter, a family average of about 59-HP-per-liter. This is slightly higher (4-HP) than the earlier FOURSTROKE family average.

In the new 225-HP model the ratio is 66-HP-per-liter. The 225-HP engine can achieve this ratio of power-to-displacement because it has four valves per cylinder; the older 150-HP engine has only two valves per cylinder. But we can already see that the HP-per-displacement ratio is being pushed upwards from the 150-HP model. To evolve the FOURSTROKE line to 225-HP, three things were needed: more displacement, more cams, and more valves-per-cylinder.

Curiously, we again see the same pundits promising a 250-HP version of the 3.4-liter V6. To reach 250-HP would mean 73.5-HP-per-liter production. This is the sort of horsepower produced per liter by the two-stroke-power-cycle E-TEC 3.4-liter 250 (legacy model) or the four-stroke-power-cycle Yamaha 250 3.3-liter.

Some informants also cite insider information revealed to them by dealers that a 250-HP model is in development for release in a few months. There is history in marketing with the Mercury line in which the model designators "Pro" or "XS" or "ProXS" are applied, horsepower is raised or implied to be raised, price is raised, and certain types of customers are willing to buy.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:33 am

The image (from Jeff, above) seems to show a perfect match between Boston Whaler hull gel coat color and Mercury FOURSTROKE V6 engine color.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:58 am

I have not seen any mention of this, but I presume that across the three models, 175, 200, and 225-HP, there are likely no mechanical changes in the engine. The horsepower differences are probably due to the engine control unit having different fuel map data, rev-limits, or other non-mechanical changes.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby dtmackey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:21 pm

Nice to see a 4 stroke in a lighter weight, but I'd like to know where they removed metal to hit that weight number. As with any new motor, give it a couple years in the real world and see how it does before plunking down big $$ for it. Warranty wasn't detailed, but probably falls inline with the 1 - 3 years of other Mercs.

Seems they got their styling from an old SNL skit.

Image

Image



D-

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby Mambo Minnow » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:06 pm

I like the look of these new Mercury motors much more than the Evinrude E-Tec G2 motors.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:53 pm

I like cooked carrots much more than raw carrots.

As they say in Spanish, "Sobre gustas no hay disputa."

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:30 pm

In BOATING for April 2018 on page 74 there is an article with 14 color illustrations that runs across six pages of the magazine with the title "Mercury's New Trajectory." Initially I thought the article might be about some perturbation in the orbit of the planet Mercury, but, as it turned out, it is a puff-piece about the new V6 FOURSTROKE engines, with a brief aside about the not-so-secret Lake-X facility thrown in.

Randy Vance was the author and was apparently one of what he describes as the "select group of America's boating press" invited to Lake-X for the revealing of the new engines. It is unfortunate that the article appeared on my doorstep seven-weeks after I had already become informed about the new engines. I carefully read the article looking for any new information.

Among the many very positive comments made by Randy Vance about the new engines, I found these to be previously unmentioned features that Randy found:

  • these new engines "redefine boater expectations when it comes to marine power"
  • these new engines surprised the author by their "blastoff" (I am wondering here if use of "blastoff" is supposed to be a word-use linkage to the title using "trajectory")
  • these new engines are designed to alter market competition away from horsepower and toward more elegance in design, away from supercharging toward natural aspiration, and away from inferior-handling toward superior-handling
  • these new engines were designed to eliminate liabilities on older four-stroke-power-cycle marine engines that needed to be overcome
  • older four-stroke-power-cycle marine engines are said to have been "fat and slow"
  • these new engines are lighter than all comparable four-stroke outboards
  • these new engine "dispose of maintenance liabilities inherent with four strokes," which include "messy oil changes," valve trains that need adjustment or shimming, and oil checks that are "ordeals" because of difficulty in removing the cowling
  • these new engines eliminate "multiple awkward cowling latches"
  • these new engine eliminate "the treasure hunt for the dipstick and oil-fill cap buried deep in the motor's guts"
  • these new engines extinguish or remove "the demand for pricier digital throttle and shift controls" (but here "demand" is not from the consumer but instead tries to describe digital controls that are mandatory)
  • these new engines operate on "coveted but expensive digital throttle systems" that actually operate "cable-capable controls inside" the engine and thus allow cable-linked controls to also be used
  • because the trim panel can be purchased with primer-only paint, the number of color combinations is "unlimited"
  • the "24-valve system" is said to be "ultra-responsive", to provide "rewarding power", and to provide "smooth idling"
  • the new controls are "silky" and cause the "boating experience" to become "enhanced" because they operate "so easily" and allow handle friction to "be adjusted to just the right amount"
  • these new engines "manage" noise in an "impressive" way, but no actual measured data about noise is given
  • these new engine provide "adaptive speed control" which tries to maintain engine speed at a constant for a given throttle setting
  • these new engines have an "ambidextrous ability" to use both analog instrumentation or digital instrumentation and this will make "repowering any boat as simple as unbolting the old [engine} and bolting on this new Mercury engine"
  • these new engines have an effect on boating that "is as important today as that of those [engines] developed in the early days of Mercury's history at this secret facility [Lake-X]"


I reread the article looking for remarks that were less than completely positive and enthusiastic about the new Mercury V6 FOURSTOKE engines, but I did not find any. It is not clear if the simple introduction of these engines is sufficient to cause the many changes in the market and market competition that are predicted to occur, or if these engines--which won't be in full production for a month or so--must actually be purchased and operated by boaters to cause all of the predicted outcomes to occur in the outboard engine marketplace. I believe we must wait for time to tell, or for Mr. Vance to write a follow-on article to inform us. His insight into the future of outboard engine market sales is much keener than mine.

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NEW MERC V-6 ENGINES

Postby Dutchman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:35 am

BOATING magazine gives the new Mercury V6 engines a good review and shows all their advantages.

See https://www.boatingmag.com/mercurys-new-v-6-34l-outboards?cmpid=enewsh041218#page-6

[Editor's note: the article linked above appears to the the on-line version of the article mentioned earlier in the thread from the print edition of BOATING magazine--jimh]

[Changed topic and gave a review on the article itself. It is best to begin a new thread if you want to discuss magazine articles and offer criticism of them. Best to stick to the engine, not the magazine--jimh]

I assume we will see these on the larger Boston Whalers, but with cable-ready a good choice for re-power when not wanting to spend the extra for digital.
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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:08 pm

The engines were first revealed about two months ago. Have any of the predicted changes in the outboard engine marketplace occurred?

Let me ask: as a result of this engine being introduced, have your expectations about outboard engines been redefined?

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:45 am

Mercury introduced these new engines in mid-February. It is now mid-April, about eight weeks later.

On the Boston Whaler website, I don't see any of these new engines offered as options on Boston Whaler boats. That's a surprise.

The introduction of these engines was supposed to produce enormous effects on the outboard engine market, but apparently it has not yet convinced Boston Whaler to offer them as options. That is very unusual, considering that Boston Whaler only offers Mercury engines, is owned by Brunswick, and was showing their boats at the same boat show with these engines installed on them.

One inference that can be made is these new engines are just not in production and are not available yet, even to Brunswick boat builders.

Another inference is that Brunswick boat builders want to clear out their inventory of the FOURSTROKE engines they have on hand, like the VERADO FOURSTROKE four-cylinder engines, before prospective customers realize that four-stroke-power-cycle engines other than these new models are "fat and slow", have "maintenance liabilities", have "awkward cowling latches", require oil changes that are "ordeals" and "messy", and the many other problems "inherent" in them that are now overcome with this new model.

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:14 pm

I mentioned very early in this thread that the production of these new V6 FOURSTROKE engines was being done on an entirely new production line built just to make these engines. That the volume of production of just these three models of a V6 FOURSTROKE would be so high that an entirely new production line must be dedicated to making them seems hard to grasp, particularly in view of modern manufacturing methods which tend to permit one production line to produce a variety of models of similar products.

The construction of a new production line suggests there will be more than just these three models made on that line. I think we should prepare for more announcements of related products from Mercury which will be in the same family as these 3.4-liter V6 engines. The most natural evolution would be an engine with more displacement. Could there be a V8 engine coming?

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Re: Mercury Introduces a V6 FOURSTROKE in 175, 200, and 225-HP

Postby jimh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:46 pm

Another interesting aspect of these new 3.4-liter V6 FOURSTROKE engines: all the engines use electrical actuators to operate their throttle and shift mechanisms. When you choose to rig the engines with conventional mechanical cable-linked remote controls, the cable linkages connect to electrical potentiometers at the engine. The mechanical cables move the potentiometers, creating electrical signals, which then connect to the electrical control interface, which actuates the real throttle and shift mechanisms. Thus even with the conventional mechanically linked remote controls, the actual engine throttle and engine shift will really be actuated through an electrical interface and not by a direct linkage to the mechanical cables.

If you choose the digital throttle and shift (DTS) remote controls, those controls interface electrically with the engine, and control the electrical actuators via digital signals. The same DTS controls as used on the VERADO FOURSTROKE will be used with the V6 FOURSTROKE, and the same rigging components. Re-rigging these new V6 FOURSTROKE engine on a boat already rigged for DTS and VERADO will reuse all those rigging components.

Also, apparently ALL the engines have the potentiometers on them for being linked to mechanical controls.

I confirmed this with a high-volume Mercury dealer. The dealer has yet to actually receive any of the new engines, but expects them to be available in about a month, in mid-May.