Cox Powertrain is a British design and engineering innovator of diesel engines developed for marine applications globally. Led by ex-Cosworth CEO, Tim Routsis, whose background lies in engine development in global automotive, aerospace and marine markets, the company’s mission was to deliver a completely new concept in diesel engines that has the potential to revolutionize the marine market. With a strong pedigree in Formula 1 racing and premium automotive design, Cox’s team of engineers has decades of experience in combustion engines and understands the many challenges customers face. Cox’s fi rst diesel outboard performance engine, the CXO300, delivers the same performance and packaging of a gasoline outboard but with the fuel effi ciency and reliability of a diesel inboard.
Charles Good, Cox Powertrain’s chairman, said the company has recently made a major step with the commencement of serial production of the CXO300 in Shoreham, U.K. at the end of May 2020. “We’ve transitioned from being an early stage startup—effectively a startup development business— to a full-blown manufacturer, supplying product to a truly global market. This has involved a big shift in culture, skillsets in our organization, as well as the development of a number of commercial relationships around the globe on the supply side, and even more extensively on the sales side, through our distributors, which we’ve amassed across fi ve continents.”
But the road from development to manufacturing and sales wasn’t an easy one, Good said. “Undoubtedly, the greatest single challenge was the powerhead—getting the weight down, the package size to something comparable with a petrol outboard.”
“Conceptually, we wanted the diesel outboard to be as interchangeable, both in terms of installation and use, as a gasoline outboard, and no more complex,” Good explained. “That was a big, big challenge getting the weight out and the package size down meant looking at every single component from a blank sheet of paper and seeing how we could maintain its strength, but to do it with a minimum weight.”
Cox now has hundreds of engines operational in 21 countries, across fi ve continents, with capacity to produce 4,000 units per annum. And in 2020, the engine achieved EPA Tier 3 approval, giving Cox Powertrain the green light to ship its production outboards to the U.S.