At the Club BRP 2009 event earlier this week Fisho had a sneak peek at the new Icon fly-by-wire shift control for Evinrude E-TEC outboards.
Initially available as a standard feature on 2010 model 250 and 300hp models, the Icon throttle shift unit will be available for retrofit on 2008 and beyond 150hp and up models.
Controlling an electronic actuator under the engine cowling, Icon effectively does away with throttle/gear shift cables and linkages. Icon also incorporates an innovative push button engine start system.
Fisho had a play with an Icon unit on a 6700 Yellowfin centre console fitted with a 225 E-TEC. The smoothness and sensitivity offered by the digital controls matched that featured by Mercury’s revolutionary DTS system introduced a few years back.
An interesting aspect of E-TEC’s Icon is its “cruise control” function which allows the user to set the engine’s RPM up and down incrementally. Via a push of a button the engine rpm can be adjusted, roughly two per cent each time, for a maximum of five adjustments – the latter limit is a safety measure. The cruise control cancels out via the throttle lever. This feature should appeal to anglers who troll lures or baits for long periods.
The Icon control also makes shifting between forward, neutral and reverse gears easier with auditory and visual guides available via E-TEC’s iCommand system. Icon is also suited to dual engine applications and features automatic synchronisation via one lever. It is also suitable for side-mount applications.