In a world containing Yamaha’s mammoth V8s, Suzuki’s perennially tweaked Lean Burn series, Mercury’s supercharged Verados and Evinrude’s spectacular G2 range, Honda Marine’s stoic outboards can sometimes feel a little bit uninspired. But at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show, the launch of a new concept motor from Honda suggests that the future might be a much more exciting prospect.
The designers at Honda’s Advanced Design Group were given a blank canvas and asked to create a concept that could be applied to a variety of engines. They took inspiration from the brand’s full portfolio of automotive, marine and aeronautical creations and came up with what they call “a blue sky vision of how future marine engines could look”.
The new concept motor retains the traditional function-driven lines of the outboard engine but is noticeably taller and slimmer than most existing models. To aid the aerodynamics, the cowling includes a sculpted centre channel inlaid with a honeycomb mesh trim, allied to heat ducts with a black, interwoven design, reminiscent of the intakes on the 2017 Acura NSX supercar. The most striking part of the concept however is the floating winged blade. Again inspired by the Acura NSX, its angled, overlapping form is designed to streamline the aesthetic impact of the motor’s profile.
Will Walton, Assistant Vice President at Honda Marine, said: “The Honda Marine Design Concept Engine is a clear indicator that Honda is committed to the marine business, continuing its legacy of innovation and ground-breaking marine products with a vision of what future Honda Marine power could be. The inspiration for the design of this engine was driven by the feeling you get when at the helm of a powerful boat on the water – the rush of excitement, the exhilaration and freedom, the feeling that hits you with the boat at full throttle and the water and air all around you.”
Fine words and a fine looking engine – but sadly, Honda has stated that, for now, it has no intention of taking the concept through to the production stages. Instead, we will have to shelve our ambitions for a fresh, dynamic, rip-snorting new line of Honda outboards and content ourselves with the company’s super-smooth new single-cylinder portable outboards and its subtle redesigns of the BF40 and BF50. See Honda for more.