The Suzuki Marine and Groupama Team France outboards, between image and technique.

Semi-rigid equipped with Suzuki engines according to AC45 Groupama © Eloi Stichelbaut

Suzuki Marine is Groupama Team France's partner engine manufacturer for the America's Cup. A gain of image for the Japanese industrialist, but also a technical challenge...

Objective Bermuda 2017

Suzuki Marine joins the French team for the America's Cup 2017. The Japanese outboard manufacturer will equip all Groupama Team France assistance boats until the Bermuda Cup in May 2017.

A gain of image

The operation consists of a material exchange against image. In return for the availability of outboard engines, Suzuki Marine benefits from the prestigious image of the America's Cup and a visibility of its engines on the many photo supports of the event.

A technical challenge

The assistance boats must be able to follow, or even overtake the sailboats during races and training sessions. The speeds now reached by the hydrofoil catamarans of the America's Cup therefore require the engines to ensure high performance. Groupama Team France requires in its specifications to ensure a speed of 50 knots on semi-rigid boats of around ten metres. Suzuki Marine's technical teams and the French team worked together to optimize the installations to achieve the required speeds, while limiting wear and consumption.

A full-scale reliability test

For Suzuki, the partnership with Groupama Team France is an opportunity to test its outboard engines in real conditions, with demanding use profiles. While more than 90% of Suzuki engines are used for recreational purposes, those supplied to Groupama often run at full speed. Philippe Vassas, Marine Business Director at Suzuki France insists:"These engines are taken at random out of the factory. There are no special modifications made to it."

The beginning of a long story?

The Team France wishes to be in the long term. When asked about the next step after Bermuda in 2017, Philippe Vassas leaves the door open. "The commitment is until the America's Cup 2017 and more if affinities. As always in the Cup, it will be necessary to see the evolution of the boats according to the future winner..."

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