Mercruiser Bravo Four S Forward-Facing Drive


Watersports fans celebrated as Mercury Marine launched its brand new Mercruiser Bravo Four S forward-facing drive with Smart Tow controls in 2020. While every Mercruiser includes mechanical enhancements, the enhanced Smart Tow system was the star of the show for this launch.

Mercruiser sterndrive engines have long been a favorite of watersports lovers because nesting the engine inside the boat offers an unobstructed swim platform. Additionally, many water sports enthusiasts prefer the wakes generated by these Mercruiser sterndrives, and Smart Tow controls add further precision.

Mercruiser Smart Tow Smart Tow takes the guesswork out of pulling skiers, tubers, wakeboarders, and wake surfers. The system comes with five preset profiles or allows you to create up to eight custom profiles. Each profile specifies acceleration ramp rate, amount of overshoot, length of overshoot, and target speed.

In short, Smart Tow allows you to coordinate ballast, employ the perfect launch and speed every time based on the experience and skill level of the water sports enthusiast being towed. Without thought or planning, you can hit the throttle and go, time after time. “The popularity of water tow sports — and, particularly, wakesurfing and wakeboarding — has surged. We carefully studied all the refinements that go into optimizing a boat’s wake for each of the various tow sports and devised a system to make those settings easy for the boater,” said Tim Reid, Mercury vice president of product development and engineering. “Whether boaters are veteran wakesurfers or new to tow sports, the Bravo Four S forward-facing drive delivers the power to do it safely and reliably in combination with proven MerCruiser 4.5 liter V-6, 6.2 liter V-8, and 8.2 liter V-8 sterndrive engines ranging from 250hp to 430hp,” Reid continued.

Additional Mercruiser Bravo Four S Advantages


Forward-facing drives look unusual to a lot of boaters, but they were developed more than 70 years ago.

  • Forward-facing props offer extra “grip on the water,” resulting in enhanced maneuverability, particularly at lower speeds.

  • The SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift system offers precise control, which is really important when towing.

  • Mercury Marine has a long history of engineering the best-performing, most efficient props in the industry. They developed five new props specifically for the Bravo Four S drive. They’re designed to run in a dual contra-rotating configuration with a four-blade propeller in front of a three-blade propeller, which minimizes cavitation to reduce noise and increase efficiency. Of course, like every Mercury Marine prop, these new models were built for long-lasting performance.

While forward-facing drives look unusual to some boaters these days, Mercury built its first forward-facing drive in 1949 when it invented the reversible gearcase. The Bravo Four S drive builds on this rich legacy by incorporating mechanical and performance enhancements and technology integration. We can’t wait to see what is next!



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