Late summer is not typically when Mercury Racing unveils its new engine models, but that’s exactly what the company did with its new 520, which will replace the once-popular and now-outgoing 525 EFI engine. Asked about the timing of the 520-hp engine’s release during the late August Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri, Kevin Skiba, the national sales manager of Mercury Racing, said simply, “It was ready.”
And in many ways, the market has never been more ready for the 520. With its big-buck, quad-overhead cam 1,100-, 1,350- and 1,650-hp engines in hot demand, both Mercury Racing and the consumer market needed something on the more-affordable, less-powerful entry-level side.
List price for the new powerplant, which has a two-year factory warranty and comes with Mercury Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS), is $44,745 with a Bravo One XR drive and stock exhaust. That compares favorably to the $56,178 list price of the 525-hp EFI mill with a Bravo One XR, and $29,555 for a MerCruiser-brand 8.2L Mag HO engine with the same drive.
"This is the first engine for us on the stern drive side to ever be offered with a two-year warranty," said Rick Mackie of Mercury Racing. "The combination of the valve train and the enhanced displacement working together at that lower power rating gives us the confidence to offer that kind of warranty."
According to a press release from the engine builder, the 520 produces more torque than its 525 EFI sibling and shares the same CNC-machined cylinder block used on its Mag HO cousin and Mercury Racing 525 EFI. To make the rated horsepower and additional torque for the 520, Mercury Racing increased the cylinder bore size for an additional 21 cubic inches. Total displacement for the 520 engine is 523 cubic inches (8.6 litres).
The larger displacement, combined with Mercury Racing cylinder heads, multiport fuel injection, and an electronic throttle body results in nearly 100 additional horsepower over the 430-hp MAG HO. The engine runs on 87-octane fuel and meets Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions standards.
The 520 engine is available in 10 colors in addition to the signature Mercury Racing metallic blue. The first pair will be installed in a new 36-foot V-bottom from Outerlimits that's going to Performance Boat Center, its dealer in Camdenton, Mo.