The concept outboard was inspired in part by the Acura NSX supercar.

EngineLabs is rarely a fan of engine covers, and has expressed such beliefs when reviewing engines at SEMA. Engines are meant to be detailed and shown off in all their power-spawning glory, not covered up with some piece of plastic painted to match the body.

One obvious exception, however, is an outboard motor where the engine and prop-shaft housing can be designed to stimulate all the senses.

Two views of the concept engine.

To that end, Honda Marine showed off a concept engine without any mention of displacement or power levels — just a sensuous, forward-thinking shell that will make fishermen drool.

“The inspiration for the design of this engine was driven by the feeling you get when at the helm of a powerful boat on the water – the rush of excitement, the exhilaration and freedom, the feeling that hits you immediately with the boat at full throttle and the water and air around you,” says Will Walton, assistant VP of Honda Marine.

Closeup of the side view.

The concept was developed at Honda’s Advanced Design Group where designers were challenged to build a form that could be applied to a variety of engines. One of the inspirations was the new Acura NSX supercar, which is reflected in the black honeycomb mesh over the heat ducts that are reminiscent of the intakes on the car.

Designers started with the concept that this engine would be taller conventional outboards, then shaped and sculpted the lines to blend in with traditional marine engine functions. The most eye-catching feature is the floating winged blade — again inspired by the NSX. It’s all topped off with a sleek Nouvelle Blue Pearl paint.

Honda says there is no current production intent for the concept but could give an indication of the direction the marine division will pursue to meet the lifestyle demands in the future.

Honda Marine design sketches for the concept engine.