Yamaha XTO V8 450 horsepower. The outboard for XXL boats


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yahama 450 hp xto v8

Larger boats require more powerful engines. Yamaha has understood this for some time, the European powerboat market, like the American market, is also going through a growth phase in terms of size, and as a result more and more powerful engines are needed. Therefore, after launching the first 425-hp direct-injected four-stroke outboard in 2018, this year Yamaha has upgraded it and made it not only more powerful but much quieter to satisfy an increasingly demanding customer base. Last month we went to Montpellier to try it out.


The new 450-horsepower Yamaha XTO V8s on a Capelli Tempest T44
The new 450-horsepower Yamaha XTO V8s on a Capelli Tempest T44

Yamaha XTO V8: the XXL engine boom.

In the past 5 years there has been a real boom in XXL outboard engines, which are preferred over inboards because they are lighter, do not take up valuable space on board, and have a propeller that can be raised to better approach the shore. The sales data confirm this. The market for engines between 115 and 200 horsepower has increased by +31% while the market for engines over 225 horsepower has increased by +130% in the past 5 years. Yamaha this year chose to update its flagship model, XTO V8, offering it in two declinations: 400 and 450 horsepower. This series, called XTO which stands for Xtreme Thrust Output, features more torque and thrust than any other product ever brought to market by the Japanese manufacturer. It is a 5.6-liter naturally aspirated engine designed for large boats.

Large boats today prefer outboard motors
Large boats today prefer outboard motors

A silent engine

The new XTO is much quieter than the old model. At low engine speeds the noise is lower than that of a 200-horsepower and the gear shift Has been made more fluid thanks to a software update in which the time between changes was increased. “Less gearbox, less noise” Yamaha engineers tell us during the press test in Montpellier. Effectively the effect is to no longer hear the shifting noise unless you pay special attention to the stern. Also for this reason, as we will see later, LED lights that show us the gear engaged have been integrated into the throttle.

Yamaha XTO V8 450 horsepower
Yamaha XTO V8 450 horsepower

Yamaha XTO V8 with 450 horsepower: more power on board

The innovations did not end there, however: while it is true that the boats are bigger, there is also a lot more space on board. At least part of this space is assumed to be used to place energy-intensive devices, such as gyro stabilizers, air conditioning, refrigerators, and sound systems. For this reason, on the 450-horsepower model, the alternator was changed from 70 amps, of the old version, to 100. More than enough energy to power all on-board amenities.

Helm Master EX now also controls the bow thruster

Always on the subject of comfort, on Yamaha XTO V8, in addition to being equipped with integrated digital electronic steering (Steer by Wire), so there is no need for hoses, pumps, power packs, and no need for hydraulic fluids, relief valves, or cleaning, the Helm Master EX system has been updated and is now integrated with the bow thruster. An innovation that greatly simplifies mooring operations and allows anyone, with the use of a single simple and intuitive joystick, to make a complete revolution of the boat around a point.

Mooring is now much easier. The Helm Master EX system has been upgraded and is now integrated with the bow thruster.
Mooring is now much easier. The Helm Master EX system has been upgraded and is now integrated with the bow thruster.

New controls and TotalTilt

Throttle and controls on the console have been revised, now simpler and more intuitive, and the LED strips now change color depending on which gear is engaged. This simple and seemingly trivial function actually helps so much, especially those with less handle and experience behind the wheel, to understand in which direction the engines are pushing. Finally, the TotalTilt function, already available on V6 engines from 225 to 300 horsepower, has also been integrated on the new XTO. This function allows a full lift of the engine, up and down, to contact with the trim piston, from any position with a simple double press of the lift button, located on the remote control box.

The new Drive-by-Wire handcuff DEC 6X9
The new Drive-by-Wire handcuff DEC 6X9

Our sea trial

In the next few days we will publish our sea trials of Yamaha XTO V8 aboard Capelli Tempest T44, Lomac Granturismo 12.5, White Shark 28 and Tempest 900 Luxe, as well as trials of Yamaha’s new 200-horsepower High Power range.

White Shark 28 with Yamaha XTO V8 400 hp
White Shark 28 with Yamaha XTO V8 400 hp

James Barbaro



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