More punch and less weight with Yamaha’s new flagship V8 outboard.

Yamaha’s launch of their new 5.6L XTO 450 is not too much of a surprise. The recent big-outboard race has likely had some bearing on the new XTO losing a few pounds, while gaining 25hp over the previous flagship XTO 425. The XTO, or ‘Extreme Thrust Output’, was the first production big-capacity naturally aspirated outboard engine and was aimed at providing a dependable broad spread of power for the bigger offshore powerboat.

Yamaha XTO 450

The new XTO 450 sits above the still current XTO 425, and a lower-powered XTO 400 has been introduced for those that need less power while still enjoying the middle-range grunt that only a big V8 can provide. The weight on both the XTO 450 and XTO 400 has dropped to 437kg in the lightest forms, while there have also been other improvements. Torque has been improved across the power spectrum, and thanks to a new ‘Thrust-enhancing exhaust system’ that expels the exhaust through three different routes, Yamaha claim to have improved thrust. There is a new ‘TotalTilt function with integrated tilt limit’ enabling the engine to be powered clear of the water at the touch of a button – which can be custom-set to each boat. The latest models also feature an integrated Helm Master EX functioning propeller light, and the outboards’ electric charging system has been upgraded. The new high-output alternator system enables batteries to charge faster and at lower RPM, allowing more electronics to be run at rest, including appliances like a cool box.


Yamaha XTO 450

The new engine features a redesigned cowling.

A noise reduction silencer has also been added to the new engines, providing quieter cruising at speed, while the in-water gear lubrication change system now allows for ‘on-water oil changing’. Both the XTO 450 and the XTO 400 have the advantage of direct fuel injection, which is beneficial for both economy and power delivery. The XTO 425 was the first outboard engine to employ direct fuel injection. Though it has been used in the automotive world for some years, Yamaha have proven this system’s reliability in the more demanding world of marine power.

The new Vetus Bow Pro bow thruster can be integrated into the Helm Master EX.

The new Vetus Bow Pro bow thruster can be integrated into the Helm Master EX.

Designed to be used with Yamaha’s Helm Master EX boat control system, it’s now easier than before to link the XTO 450 and XTO 400 to the Helm Master EX boat control system. Helm Master EX opens up joystick control from anywhere on the boat and features AutoPilot, FishPoint and SetPoint position control technology. Helm Master berthing and position control has now been enhanced by the integration of Vetus’s new Bow Pro bow thruster. Joystick control of a twin-outboard set-up, though easier than independently vectoring the engines, has its limitations, especially with longer boats. Manoeuvring response, turning circle and simple sideways movement are substantially improved by including a bow thruster in the equation. Bow Pro is a variable-control brushless bow thruster, so power delivery is both quiet and proportional to the needs dictated by the Helm Master joystick. Available later this year, the XTO 450 and XTO 400 come in pearlescent white, as well as traditional Yamaha grey, while both models feature a new cowling with improved ducting and air vents.

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