Caudwell Marine’s ‘Axis’ diesel outboard
The UK’s Caudwell Marine has stepped into the burgeoning diesel outboard market with an innovative 300 horsepower powerplant.
With another competitor now emerging, it appears the diesel outboard will continue to be a dark horse candidate within the larger outboard segment for increased market share. Diesel outboards, much like their diesel automotive variants, offer a strong blend of performance, efficiency, and reliability that continues to push their evolution.
As for the Caudwell design, their ‘Axis’ diesel outboard will feature a 300 horsepower V6 turbo charged high-performance engine. While still under development, the company is currently receiving its final accreditation in the UK before beginning large-scale distribution.
“We know that the market is desperate for a solid and reliable diesel outboard, which delivers the highest level of performance,” says Peter Ordway, Caudwell’s commercial director.
“We are completing our programme of very challenging product testing, so that we are sure to deliver a market ready product that will perform ‘out of the box’, succeeding where others have failed.”
The concept engine also includes an integrated steering system — a key addition that will simplify installations and minimize the intermixing of brands and parts.
According to Caudwell, their ‘Axis Drive’ system rotates the lower unit only while keeping the upper segment stationary, an emerging trend that was well-received on Mercury’s recent 600 hp Verado gas outboard. By keeping the upper unit fixed and only rotating components below the waterline, transom space remains more readily available for multi-engine configurations. It also generally creates a tighter turning radius for vessels since there is no obstruction potential with the transom.
The Caudwell platform will likely compete against another European company – Sweden’s OXE Marine, who have led the push in diesel outboard technology thanks to a partnership with BMW. OXE also recently unveiled a 450 horsepower diesel-electric hybrid that’s also in the development phase.
The company says the outboard is aimed primarily towards the commercial and military markets which demand high-performance outboards for all conditions. However, they’re also open to expanding into the recreational market once final testing is complete.
Caudwell Marine is backed by billionaire entrepreneur John Caudwell who rose to prominence in the UK by founding the now defunct mobile phone retailer Phones 4u. Opening in 1996, Phone 4u had over 600 stores before being purchased and restructured by Vodaphone in 2014.
Caudwell himself has had a longstanding interesting in boating, having previously owned an F1 Powerboat racing team which competed under the name Caudwell Racing from 2012-2014.
You can get a glimpse of the Axis outboard and its stationary upper unit in the video below: