Honda has built a new V-8 outboard engine for boats called the BF350.
It's a 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 350 horsepower at 5500 rpm.
It's intended for boats 25 feet and longer; pricing isn't yet available but the BF350 will go on sale next year.
Well, it finally happened: Honda built a V-8. Unfortunately, it won't be showing up in a Ridgeline or a Pilot or an exceptionally boisterous Civic. No, the BF350 is an outboard engine, so if you want to rock Honda V-8 power, you'll need a boat—and not a small one. Intended for boats 25 feet and longer, the BF350 makes an easy 350 horsepower at 5500 rpm. We'd guess that's the least amount of power it'll ever make, since that rating is on bunker-fuel 86 octane and the full throttle range extends to 6000 rpm. (Outboard manufacturers are allowed a 10 percent fudge factor on rated horsepower to account for production variances, which leads to some hilariously underrated motors like the Mercury 200 ProXS—a 4.6-liter V-8 that's rated at 200 horsepower.)
Honda's new V-8 will please Fox-body Mustang fans with its 302 cubic-inch displacement and rowdy Civic stans with its VTEC variable valve timing and lift (there's a single cam running those 32 valves). The engine also includes the extremely cool-sounding BLAST system, which stands for Boosted Low Speed Torque and advances ignition timing when the throttle is rapidly opened. That throttle-by-wire system enables cruise control that holds speed regardless of load or sea conditions, and the BF350 is compatible with joystick controls that allow multi-engine boats to basically sidle up to a dock sideways. Honda says the BF350's 30-degree offset crankshaft is built to the same specifications as the crank in the Acura NSX.
The BF350 is a little bit chunky, weighing in at 765 pounds in its lightest guise. Mercury's 350 Verado weighs in at 695 pounds, and that's a 5.7-liter V-10. As for pricing, well...Honda says it won't release pricing until next year, but an inadvertent leak indicated that around $46,000 might be a relevant base price. Outboard pricing is notoriously opaque, but that would make it about the same price as a pair of four-cylinder Yamaha 200s. Thus, as with most engines this size, it's more likely that the BF350 will end up on big, multi-engine boats rather than on single-engine boats designed for 350 to 400 horsepower.
If you dream of driving a V-8 Honda on terra firma, there is a precedent for Honda debuting street-bound technology on the water. In 2002, Honda was all-in on naturally aspirated engines for its cars, but its AquaTrax F12X personal watercraft was powered by a dry-sump, turbocharged 1.2-liter four-cylinder that cranked out 163 hp. Did the AquaTrax lead directly to today's Civic Type R? We'd argue that it certainly didn't hurt.
But even if Honda never gives us a factory V-8 for the street, sooner or later a BF350 will undergo a dunking that results in an insurance write-off. And then, just imagine the Copart possibilities. There aren't any Honda V-8s on the highway just yet, but if some day in the distant future you see an Insight wearing 5.0 badges, there'll be an outside chance it's not a joke.
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