Compared: Evinrude E-TEC 200HO G1 VS G2

By: John Willis

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Was there a difference comparing a 200hp E-TEC G1 with a G2? The results may astound you.

Let’s face it, any company that claims its new technology delivers 20 per cent more torque, up to 15 per cent better fuel efficiency and up to 75 per cent less total regulated emissions than leading competitors’ four-stroke engines is putting its balls on the line. Naturally, it’s going to be tested – by us.

 

Evinrude G2 performance claims

Video 200hp E-TEC G1 vs G2 outboard motors comparison

BRP is making these massive claims for the all-new 200hp to 300hp G2 Evinrude E-TEC outboard motors. And you know what? They’re right. In fact, our engine reviews have indicated that they are doing even better than boasted.

Now it’d be easy to improve if the previous offerings weren’t competitive but that’s not the case with the E-TECs. The fuel-injected two-stroke G1 Evinrude E-TEC outboard motor models actually rivalled many four-stroke marine engine competitors for efficiency, claiming all the two-stroke gutsy torque and power benefits yet delivering the fuel consumption of a four-stroke. But now they’ve gone one better, and it’s no little step – it’s quite a dramatic leap.

200hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard motor on fishing boat

We’ve heard all sorts of manufacturer claims over the years – many true, others more creative – so we decided to put the new E-TEC outboards to the test by emulating a typical day’s fishing.

Launch the boat, motor slowly out of the pen, marina or river past the farewell markers then generally get to your favourite mark as fast as you possibly can allowing for the conditions. In our local Port Phillip Bay you invariably meet with some short sharp chop or worse, particularly in the height of the spring snapper season when the wind blows icy daggers. So an ideal site for real-time testing.

 

E-TEC G1 vs T-TEC G2

200hp E-TEC G1 outboard motor on fishing boat

The two boats chosen were as near as possible identical – a pair of Tournament 2000 fibreglass fishing boats, supplied by local Evinrude E-TEC dealer Cranbourne Boating Centre.

Cranbourne Boating is one of Australia’s longest-serving Evinrude dealers; it’s now looking at three generations, although patriarch and industry stalwart Rod Avard has recently officially (but not realistically) retired. The business is now carried on by his very experienced son Dave who presented a beautifully prepared boat for testing.

The package had the new G2 200hp Evinrude E-TEC High Output engine with a 17in three-blade stainless steel Rebel propeller. The new Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard motors with the power steering option need to be set up higher than normal due to the longer distance created by the thicker mounting mechanism that places the drive around 60mm further back from the transom than is traditional. It has the same basic effect as mounting the unit on a pod or jacking plate, so the engine must be mounted higher on the transom to compensate. In this case the cavitation plate (the planing plate above the propeller) is mounted around 100mm above the keel line, which is around 80mm higher than a standard fit-up.

The second boat was supplied by an old mate and Cranbourne Boating customer – Peter Ferguson. Peter’s a local fishing guru and his boat is quite familiar to me as I’ve fished with him many times. Peter swears by his Evinrude E-TEC engines and is always good for a high-speed drag to prove a package’s overall gutsy performance. His boat has an Evinrude E-TEC G1 200hp High Output powerplant.

It’s the second such engine on the boat; his first was traded after an impressive 860 hours of successful use and boasted compression figures still within new factory specifications at the time. His engine was fitted with a matching Rebel 17in stainless steel prop for the test.

Peter’s rig was fitted as standard with the cavitation plate around 20mm above the line of the keel. Both engines have a 1.85:1 gearbox, although the Gen2 gearcase has been redesigned for greater efficiency.

We know skeptics will say that the higher the propeller mounting the more efficient the boat may be at high speed. However, the higher the propeller the worse the manoeuvrability and bite you get. You’ll have to take my word for it that both boats felt perfect on the water, with great holeshots, excellent acceleration, terrific turning with low cavitation, and both reaching the desired rev range. The different fit-up height is common to all Gen 2 Evinrude E-TEC outboards, including our Trade-A-Boat project boat, the Haines V19R.

 

Engine weight

E-TEC G2 engine

We were very careful to fill both boats to maximum fuel capacity before we left and then again on return and the gauges were used to confirm the results at the end of the day. We were also extremely careful to ensure both boats did close to identical distances and speeds, spent similar time at the same speeds, and that both were loaded evenly and trimmed correctly, with similar windage.

The engine weights are comparable, the E-TEC Generation 1 engine weighing in at 238kg but needing the hydraulic steering as an accessory fit-up to match the E-TEC Gen 2. The new E-TEC is negligibly heavier at 244kg including steering, so the weights are comparable. All other test components were equal – as wave resistance, hull design, hull slippage vs speed and wind resistance.

Our test had us run a total distance of 34.1 kilometres in just over one hour total running time, including idling during filming and so on. Our average speed was 34.2km/h but we did have a bit of a drag race, peaking at the magical 80km/h (50mph).

We ran out of the Patterson River launching area and north into a 10-15kt headwind. We then turned the corner at Black Rock and headed back with a following sea. Both skippers were keen to give their engines a bit more throttle and – boys being boys – a considerable amount of airtime ensued as we passed inside the relative shelter of Beaumaris Bay.

 

Holeshot

Two fishing boats racing ahead on rough water

From a standing start it was abundantly clear that the Evinrude E-TEC G2 simply left its predecessor wanting for more – from holeshot right through the mid-range and up to wide-open throttle. These results were difficult to measure precisely in the choppy conditions but it appeared that the Evinrude E-TEC G1 accelerated from 4km/h to 70km/h in 12 seconds whilst the Evinrude E-TEC G2 took only nine seconds. That’s a huge difference from a standing start, and it was most apparent as we planted the throttles that the Evinrude G2 was vastly quicker off the mark.

You can feel the superior torque of the E-TEC Gen 2 outboard quite quickly and the overall package seemed to have better balance, perhaps enhanced with the offset drive of the new engine. A quotable top speed was impossible to achieve due to the choppy conditions but both packages are able to achieve speeds in excess of 80km/h – it’s getting there and how much effort and fuel that requires that was the question. Top speed may be fun but unless you’re into racing, it’s almost pointless. The active speeds for most boating applications are in the working range around 3500-4500rpm. Most people simply won’t travel at WOT (wide-open throttle) for vast distances at sea whether for economy, wear or comfort, especially in large waterways, offshore swells and the like.

 

Fuel economy

The big test on the day was to confirm that the new Evinrude G2 was in fact 15 per cent more fuel efficient and we found the figure to be quite pleasingly understated! Even allowing for slight inconsistencies, the refill at the bowser told the final tale. To complete the day the G1 E-TEC 200HO used a total of 26.66 litres – a whopping 7.86 litres more than the new G2 200HO, which used a miserly 18.8 litres. That is a massive reduction in fuel consumption over a distance of 34.1 kilometres at varying revs. To put it another way, the G1 averaged 1.28 kilometres per litre whereas the new Gen 2 travelled a very impressive 1.82 kilometres per litre. Just imagine the savings on a big run to the Continental Shelf chasing pelagics day after day!

 

We can express the difference two ways:

  • The Evinrude G2 E-TEC is 29.48 per cent more fuel efficient than the E-TEC G1 (in simple terms you can go almost 30 per cent further with a G2 over a G1 on the same amount of gas). Or...
  • The G1 uses a massive 41.8 per cent more fuel than a new G2.

 

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