The Japanese builder launched the new Suzuki DF200A, a four-cylinder outboard engine which promises to be light, frugal and powerful. We tested on Lake Geneva: here’s how it works
When looking for top performance, you don’t necessarily have to go for more cylinders. At least, not anymore. So Suzuki follows the trend and introduces this 200 HP unit as an evolution from the same block of DF175: four pots, 2.8 liters. So, the new DF200A claims to be super: super powerful, super light, super efficient, super quiet and even super stylish. Super everything, “the Super” according to the Japanese technicians that introduced it in a world press conference on Lake Geneva.
Beside and beyond official words, the main principle for this new Suzuki DF200A is very simple: power-to-weight ratio. Or, why looking for so many horsepower when the engine is too heavy. This is the first reason why four inline cylinders have been preferred to six on a V. When compared to the previous unit, this Suzuki engine delivers the same 200 HP with two pots, one liter and 31 Kg less. The “old” DF 200 V6 is still on the market, but we’re sure customers will prefer this new DF 200A.
“A” is the difference in the name. But there’s also the DF 200AP, to indicate the model with Selective Rotation, the feature that allows to use the same engine and chose a clock- or anticlock-wise rotation.
Exclusive for this AP unit, the Keyless Start System for stress-free starts, the immobilizer to prevent thefts and the Precision Control for an accurate and linear management of the power.
The four cylinders of DF 200A displace a total of 2867 cc (175 cubic inches) with perfectly square bore and stroke (97×97 mm or 3.82 in). The high compression ratio of 10,2:1 grants a good torque at low revs, therefore fast acceleration. The aesthetic restyling comes also from the need of changing the air intake flow: the shape of the cowling lets fresh air in, while the cooling system can work in the best conditions all the time. The exhaust line has been redesigned as well, for maximizing efficiency and lower noise emissions. Needless to say, the engine features the Suzuki Lean Burn system completed with multi-point injection and variable valve timing (VVT) for the 16 valves on a double overhead camshaft (DOHC).
All in one gauge, and goodbye starting key
The launch of DF200A has been the chance to introduce a new multi-function instrument: it’s a 3.5” touch screen that clusters in a very clear graphics all the data about rpm, speed, fuel consumption, trim position, gearbox, hour-counter, alarms.
The top version DF200AP boasts also the Keyless Start System with a proximity transponder to send a confirmation code to the engine: it’s enough to keep the device within a one-meter range from the dash, insert the secret code, then turn the switch and push a button: easy but also secure, as the engine doesn’t start without the code.
The test of Suzuki DF200A
It’e then time to put on test the new Suzuki DF200A. We pick a boat and a rib: it’s a Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck and the Nuova Jolly Prince 21. Similar crafts according to size, but very different on the scale (the Flyer reads almost 400 extra kilos) and for the propellers: 21” for the Beneteau and 23” for the Nuova Jolly. Same for both, the passengers and the water conditions (smooth, with 10-20 cms waves due to the wind).
The Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck feels perfectly at ease with the new engine on the transom. Progression is great and performance second to none. The engine proves to be very quiet as well, trespassing 80 dB only at top speed when surely wind has its great share of noise. Fuel consumption is below the average reckoned in previous tests (with the older engine): 30 liters per hour at 25 knots which is a reasonable cruise, dropping down to 12 lph at 2800 rpm and 8 knots, the minimum planing speed.
Acceleration is as fast as you can think of: less than 4 seconds to be planing, up to 40 knots and 6000 rpm with a little help from the trim. And all of this, without ever getting the feeling of forcing the pace. It’s indeed a first, strong confirmation of what the Suzuki guys said during the press conference: the new DF200A is exuberant yet cheap.
Time to get back to harbor, and straight away get out with the Nuova Jolly Prince 21. In this case, acceleration is even quicker, maybe too much: as our rib doesn’t feature anchor winch (and chain), and the water tank abow is empty, there’s no weight in the front so the sensation at top speed is of being quite unsteady. We are passing 6000 rpm and 46 knots, but as we slow down a bit the feeling is good again. Still, I believe that 200 HP maybe even too many for this rib. To confirm that, we reckon a planing time of less than three seconds: isn’t it racing performance?
The minimum plane speed is 8 knots as on the Beneteau, but in this case 2300 revs give a fuel consumption under 10 liters per hour. The cruising pace (25 knots) is obtained with the engine revving at 4000, 500 less than on the Flyer, with 25 liters burnt every hour. Stunning indeed, still leaving us the feeling that some horsepower less or a meter more would give the best match.
Technical features Suzuki DF200A
Power200 HP (147 Kw)
Full-throttle operating range 5500/6100 rpm
Cylindersinline 4, 16 valves
Displacement 2867 cc (174.9 cu in)
Gear ratio 2.50:1
Weight 226 Kg (498 lbs.)
Pricefrom around € 16000 + VAT
Technical features Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck
Length overall 6.43 mt (21 ft 1 in)
Beam 2.50 mt (8ft 2 in)
Weight with no engine 1207 Kg
Fuel tank 170 lt (44.9 US gal)
Water tank 100 lt (26.4 US gal)
Engine power 200 HP
CE certification C
Price€ 16.500 + VAT, excluding engine
Technical features Nuova Jolly Prince 21
Length 6.20 (20 ft 4 in)
Beam 2.70 (8 ft 10 in)
Internal length 5.60 (18 ft 4 in)
Internal beam 1.52 (5 ft)
Tubular diameter 60/42 cm (2 ft / 1 ft 4 in)
Fuel tank 240 lt (63.4 US gal)
Dry displacement 950 Kg
Max output 200 HP
CE certification B
Price€ 26.600 + VAT, excluding engine
Performance Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck
1000 rpm 3,7 knots 4.3 mph 2,2 lph 0.6 gph 60 db
1500 rpm 5,1 knots 5.9 mph 4,3 lph 1.1 gph 63 db
2000 rpm 6,2 knots 7.1 mph 7,0 lph 1.8 gph 66 db
2500 rpm 7,1 knots 8.2 mph 11,0 lph 2.9 gph 70 db
3000 rpm 9,0 knots 10.4 mph 16,6 lph 4.4 gph 72 db
3500 rpm 16,9 knots 19.5 mph 20,0 lph 5.3 gph 76 db
4000 rpm 22,0 knots 25.3 mph 25,0 lph 6.6 gph 78 db
4500 rpm 25,2 knots 29.0 mph 30,4 lph 8.0 gph 78 db
5000 rpm 29,3 knots 33.7 mph 41,8 lph 11.0 gph 80 db
5500 rpm 32,2 knots 37.1 mph 64,0 lph 16.9 gph 81 db
6000 rpm 39,6 knots 45.6 mph 72,5 lph 19.1 gph 83 db
Prestazioni del Nuova Jolly Prince 21
1000 rpm 4,0 knots 4.6 mph 2,5 lph 0.7 gph 62 db
1500 rpm 5,1 knots 5.9 mph 5,0 lph 1.3 gph 64 db
2000 rpm 7,3 knots 8.4 mph 7,2 lph 1.9 gph 67 db
2500 rpm 8,2 knots 9.4 mph 12,6 lph 3.33 gph 71 db
3000 rpm1 4,4 knots1 6.6 mph 14,0 lph 3.7 gph 73 db
3500 rpm 21,2 knots 24.4 mph 16,4 lph 4.3 gph 77 db
4000 rpm 25,0 knots 28.8 mph 24,4 lph 6.4 gph 80 db
4500 rpm 31,1 knots 35.8 mph 30,6 lph 8.1 gph 81 db
5000 rpm 35,2 knots 40.5 mph 37,5 lph 9.9 gph 81 db
5500 rpm 38,3 knots 44.1 mph 58,5 lph 15.5 gph 82 db
6200 rpm 46,0 knots 52.9 mph 74,0 lph 19.5 gph 83 db
Calm lake, temperature 12° C (54° F), full tank of fuel, no water, passengers 4, clean hull