These pictures inspire us to get out and do so many things, except reduce fuel consumption. And yet, behind these dazzling engines is a remarkable movement to improve energy efficiency. The latest generations of oversize outboard motors are the perfect example of this paradox. Of course, that doesn’t include die-hard boaters who systematically add a unit whenever space permits.

Outboard engines with major displacement may not be overly popular in Canada, but they’re a hot-ticket item in the U.S. After all, super-sized outboard engines have a lot going for them—they’re smooth, easy to maintain and free up space inside the vessel.

The race to build the most powerful of the Titans has been going on strong for years. Seven Marine now offers more than 600 horsepower from a relatively small motor, and ironically, their goal was efficiency. By using one engine instead of two, or two instead of four, the savings come in the form of fewer engines, less space and reduced weight.

Mercury Marine sells two outboard engines with output reaching up to 400 horsepower. Weighing less than 670 lbs., these options offer a terrific power-to-weight ratio.

These days, engines come in a wide range of colours to ensure a perfect match with the rest of the boat. Sleek, aerodynamic shapes add to their brawny appeal.

There’s no doubt that these monsters are true technological and esthetic masterworks, if that’s your thing. These torque machines aren’t just fast, they’re specially designed to propel the massive centre-console boats that have become today’s stylish pleasure boats, combining performance and versatility. We’ve come a long way from the models designed just for fishing!

For more on the subject:

Seven Marine

Mercury Racing