Yamaha unveils new WaveRunner SVHO engine
Available on FX and FZ models, it’s the OEM’s most powerful ever
When more than 300 dealers descended upon Cancun in August — tough job — for Yamaha’s 2014 WaveRunner model launch, they could not have anticipated what awaited them behind the curtain.
Two new flagship luxury performance models and the debut of the most powerful marine engine ever in a Yamaha WaveRunner — the Yamaha Super Vortex High Output (SVHO).
That wasn’t all, though, as Yamaha announced that its FZ Series of high-performance, race inspired watercraft that will feature the new SVHO engine. Making the trip even more enjoyable for dealers was news that the value-focused VX Series, which will now come with Yamaha’s proprietary nanotechnology-engineered NanoXcel hulls and decks, which shed 65 pounds compared to 2013 models.
“This is a huge year for Yamaha WaveRunners with the introduction of the most powerful, highest performing engine we’ve ever placed in a WaveRunner,” said Scott Watkins, Yamaha’s product manager. “And we didn’t just stop at the engine. We enhanced every single performance component surrounding this new engine to get the absolute most performance and dialed in handling we could get. The models featuring our new SVHO engine deliver race ready performance right out of the box.”
The new SVHO engine is a 1,812cc, four-stroke, four-cylinder, supercharged and intercooled Yamaha Marine engine. All models featuring the SVHO engine will also come with a new 160mm, eight-vein jet pump for maximum thrust volume and hook up.
The engine’s performance data is hard to overlook. Cooling efficiency has been increased by 25 percent, the supercharger air intake is up 20 percent with a larger diameter supercharger impeller, and Yamaha increased supercharger boost by 60 percent. Yamaha increased oil cooling efficiency by 110 percent with an all new oil cooling system, and the SVHO engine features an advanced fuel injection system to increase fuel flow and added high-performance forged pistons to deliver peak power.
“Any time we work with Japan on something like this, it’s a big deal,” said Andrew Cullen, digital marketing and communications manager for the WaterCraft Group, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. “It’s the same 1.8-liter block we’ve been using for a few years on the WaveRunners, but everything’s been revamped to be bigger, better, faster, more efficient. It’s already the largest displacement engine in the industry, but we’ve done a lot to it to crank up the power. The main performance parts have been maxed out. Now that performance is coming straight out of the box, and you can keep your warranty instead of trying to hop it.”
The 160mm pump — up from 155mm — accounts for the 60 percent increase in boost.
“You can try to unhook it from water, but you can’t,” Cullen said. “The handling is going to be the biggest surprise for riders. The engine is fast as can be, but you ride and you feel the pump; you feel the suction.”
Luxury performance flagship
Two all-new luxury performance models — FX Cruiser SVHO and FX SVHO — add extravagance to the high-powered engine.
“The hulls are different than the FZ, which is like a riding-on-rails, high-speed turn hull. This FX Series is about stability. You can be on one side and I can be on the other, and we wouldn’t be able to flip it. It’s geared for getting the kids out and tubing, having some running around when the kids are ready for a break. It’s like the dad who was really into powersports before he got married and had kids. Now the kids want to go on shore and have a picnic, and dad wants to tear it up. You can do all that.”
The flagship FX Cruiser SVHO cruiser, with two-tone Hydro-Turf, offers all the amenities, including Yamaha’s proprietary NanoXcel hull and deck.
“It’s for the buyer who comes in and says ‘Give me the most expensive thing you have,’” Cullen said. “It doesn’t make a difference if it’s $2,000 more. We wanted to give him even more.”
The FZR and FZS have always been known for their race-inspired performance, and they get a double-digit power boost from the SVHO engine. The new 160mm, eight-vein pump, new sponsons, new ride plate and new top loader intake grate combine to keep them glued to the water during high speed turns.
Even more value
For the value-oriented buyer, the VX line now includes the NanoXcel hull and deck. The VX Cruiser and VX Deluxe are 65 pounds lighter, and the OEM claims it makes them the lightest three-person watercraft available today. The VX Sport, which doesn’t have the NanoXcel hull, takes a price decrease to $7,999 MSRP.
“We are pushing new boundaries with this lineup in 2014. We are upping what was already the largest displacement engine in the industry, and taking it to a whole new level. And with nanotech engineered hulls and decks on our VX models, entry level buyers will have amazing experiences on the water,” said Bryan Seti, Yamaha’s national marketing manager.
The VX Cruiser and VX Deluxe, by shedding the weight, is now in the high-600 pounds thanks to the addition of NanoXcel.
“That 65 pounds is like the difference between having a person on the back and one that just came off,” Cullen said. “It’s a mile or two better on the top end, and the mid-range is better. The focus you will see from us in the coming years is lighter, lighter, lighter.”
The 2014 Yamaha WaveRunner line is Yamaha’s largest ever with 14 distinct models when including the competition-only Yamaha SuperJet.
With a theme of lightweight, power and luxury, Cullen said Yamaha’s 2014 models “have it all. Dealers will know they have an option for every type of rider.”
View a photo gallery of the new Yamaha WaveRunner lineup and engine CAD drawings in the Powersports Business digital edition.
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