Honda, renowned for its Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) engines, has taken a bold step into the marine industry by introducing its very first production V8 engine. However, there’s a twist to this unveiling – this powerhouse isn’t destined for automobiles; instead, it’s designed for boats.
Termed the BF350, this 5-liter V8 outboard engine boasts an impressive peak output of 350 horsepower, promising a harmonious blend of power and fuel efficiency. Unveiled at the Genoa International Boat Show, this innovative V8 motor will join Honda’s existing marine engine lineup, which includes the BF250, BF225, BF150, and BF100 outboards, thereby enhancing its ability to cater to a broad spectrum of industry needs. The BF350 is positioned as an ideal choice for a range of vessels, from large pontoon boats to offshore craft.
One of the standout features of this engine is its BLAST (Boosted Low-Speed Torque) mode, which delivers rapid and potent acceleration. Activated by opening the throttle body, this mode optimizes the air-fuel ratio and advances ignition timing, generating increased torque and power at lower RPMs. To eThe engine seamlessly transitions into an economy mode toure optimal fuel consumption during steady-speed cruising, the engine seamlessly transitions into an economy mode.
Building on Honda’s VTEC technology, the BF350 adjusts the lift and duration of intake valves to amplify peak power, delivering a surge of acceleration that’s characteristic of Honda’s engineering prowess. According to the company, the BF350 is designed for “low noise and vibration while delivering a new distinctive, rich sound and exhilarating performance.”
Notably, each BF350 crankshaft is constructed with the same alloy and strength-tested as Acura’s esteemed NSX high-performance sports supercar. The engine’s finely balanced, 30° offset crankshaft eliminates the need for counterbalancing in the 60° engine design, resulting in a refined and smooth experience.
The BF350 introduces Honda’s innovative iST (Intelligent Shift and Throttle) control interface, allowing seamless management of up to four engines and two control stations, simplifying shifting and throttle control. This user-friendly system requires no programming or special equipment for installation, fostering enhanced docking and precise slow-speed maneuvering.
The control display of the BF350 features a Cruise Control function, enabling sailors to adjust speed and expand the adaptive speed range of conventional trolling control. Additionally, the Tilt Limit feature prevents manual trimming during docking, automatically adjusting to a predetermined height to protect the boat and motor. With the press of two buttons, Automatic Tilt provides an automatic complete tilt.
With three customizable presets, Trim Support automatically adjusts the engine to optimize fuel efficiency while allowing easy boarding. An inbuilt O2 sensor further enhances fuel consumption by detecting and improving combustion efficiency based on exhaust stream oxygen content.
While Honda has not confirmed plans to adapt this V8 engine for automotive use, it appears unlikely given the global shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). Nonetheless, the BF350 promises to revolutionize the world of boating with its exceptional performance, efficiency, and advanced technologies.