Way back in 2006 and 2007 we wrote about the Neander turbo diesel engine and the motorcycle built around it. The engine’s design was unique due to its counter rotating crankshafts with a pair of connecting rods, one from each crank joining together to drive a single piston. It was a great way to eliminate the vibration normally associated with diesels and it looked like a fine design overall, but the motorcycle industry didn’t respond in any measurable way and Neander faded from the spotlight, but as a company they kept working on the engine looking for other applications. It looks like they found a winner, the Neander Dtorque 111 outboard engine. Neander-Shark announced it will be built by Steyr Motors of Austria and distributed by Yanmar Marine.
As configured for outboard duty, the engine is an 804cc, 50 horsepower, 111 Newton Meter (82 pound feet) twin cylinder turbo diesel. The engine’s crankshafts are oriented vertically and at the centerline of the engine the rotational forces are balanced eliminating torque steer and the expected vibration of a small diesel engine. It uses about 35 percent less fuel than a comparable gasoline engine and has as much as two times the expected engine operating lifetime. It’s smooth and quiet and it has lower CO2 emissions.
It’s good to see this engine developed and now being manufactured in significant numbers. When smaller engineering firms come up with promising designs, it can be a long road from initial concept to commercial production. The motorcycle market may not have been the best fit, but this outboard engine seems to be the perfect application for a great idea. I hope they see huge success.