By: Scott Way
Formula Boats is growing, both literally and figuratively. The legendary brand launched their largest model ever in December, the 500 Super Sport Crossover (SSC). With their longstanding reputation for high performance craftsmanship it stands to reason they were a natural fit to help Mercury Marine introduce the world's largest outboard motor. The all-new 7.6 L V12 Mercury Verado is the highest output engine ever built by Mercury, and the surge surrounding its launch made waves industry-wide. With a stable of noteworthy brands like Sea Ray and Boston Whaler already under the Brunswick umbrella it's no surprise they were part of the unveiling. Formula was invited, too, and made the perfect compliment to the launch with four V12 powerplants attached to the already impressive 500 SSC.
As for the new V12 Verado, the engine includes a host of industry-first technology. To start, the engine has an independent gearcase that allows the engine to remain stationary while the lower unit rotates. This maximizes transom space and gives manufacturers new options for stern design and multi-engine rigging. Other major features include the first-ever automatic two-speed transmission and a contra-rotating dual propeller case with 45 degrees of rotation rather than the standard 30 degrees. Combined, these features create an extremely versatile high-output power option for mid-large size recreational boats.
Given the V12's performance capabilities, it seems natural its capabilities would be tested aboard a large high performance offshore capable boat like the 500 SSC. The 500 SSC is Formula's largest offering to date and was outfitted with quad Verado engines for the launch. The boat itself is a wide-open single level bowrider with an LOA of 53'4" (50' to transom) and carries a host of luxury amenities up top including a full bow lounge, a full width motorized glass salon, an aft lounge bar, and an extended swim platform. Below deck it hosts a complete galley, convertible U-luonge forward, a head with Corian surfacing, full size shower, a complete entertainment suite, and an aft stateroom with queen-size berth.
The hull bears Formula's staple double-step FAS3TECH® contours which has an undeniable track record as one of boating's most revered designs. It has a 51" draft (1.3m), 19 degree deadrise, and a total weight of roughly 43,000 lbs (19,500 kg). We spoke briefly to marketing manager Scott Smith about the 500 SSC / Mercury combo and after taking a test ride he stated the combination has "great acceleration, smooth handling, and the shifting... I had no idea the thing had a two-speed transmission until I got some boilerplate on the engine from Mercury last week! It is a great, innovative engine." No official word on top speed for the 500 SSC with quad Mercury power, but unofficial tests place it over 65 mph depending on weather and water conditions.
You can check out the potential of the 500 SSC with quad Mercury V12's in the video below: