HOW THE DF350A CAME TO BE
It’s no secret that there is a growing demand for more powerful outboard motors.
These new outboards have, in turn, fueled a move to newer, larger boat designs that previously may have been powered by stern drive or inboard power.
So, as more powerful outboards are introduced, the boats get bigger and as the boats get bigger, outboards are getting more muscular. Suzuki embarked on a major engineering expedition to build the Ultimate 4-Stroke outboard.
Is The Sky The Limit?
Making more horsepower is no mystery. Increasing displacement, or the use of a turbocharger or supercharger, makes more horsepower. However, larger displacement engines typically burn more fuel, adding weight creates a wide range of problems for boats, and more complex mechanical components create reliability concerns.
On top of all this, boat speed is ultimately limited by hull design, the hydrodynamics of the lower unit and propellers, and how the outboards are mounted.
In developing our new DF350A, we started with a blank sheet of paper, and considered all these factors in our design and engineering.
First, we looked at the traditional single propeller design. A single propeller creates forward thrust, to be sure, but also produces a significant amount of rotational energy as a byproduct. Was there a way we could convert this wasted energy into productive power and improve propeller efficiency?
Secondly, the leading edge of the gear case disrupts the flow of water over the propeller. More power and torque require stronger, larger gears to transfer power from the driveshaft to the propeller shaft.
This typically results in a larger gear case – and consequently, more disruption of the flow of water to the propeller. Could we design a lower unit that could house stronger gears and yet minimize the disruption of the flow of water to the propellers?
Suzuki engineers labored mightily through years of computer simulations, trial and error, and on-water testing, to significantly improve the way an outboard converts engine power into underwater thrust.
They have succeeded in this quest – and the result is a revolution in innovation.