ZF and Gator Tail Outboards have introduced a new air-cooled, heavy-duty, outboard with a customized ZF transmission.

The new Gator Tail GT-Z incorporates a patented transmission with custom gear ratio and U-drive shaft arrangement from ZF. 

This new product is designed to allow specialized aluminum boats to reliably traverse harsh swamp and marsh-type environments. The GT-Z is available for pre-sale, with deliveries beginning in the first quarter of 2024.

“ZF is pleased to establish a foothold in this demanding, action-packed market and to contribute additional durability and reliability to these incredible outboard engines,” Keith Stanley, senior manager, pleasure craft, for ZF’s industrial technology division — North America and Central America, said in a statement.

For Gator Tail, a manufacturer of air-cooled outboard motors for swamps and marshes with over 20 years of design and manufacturing experience, the collaboration achieves a long-held desire to propel their own product innovation.

“Gator Tail had a vision many years ago to incorporate ZF transmissions into our outboard design. Doing so gives our products additional robustness, simplicity and reliability. It’s a highly durable gear box,” said Kyle Broussard, Gator Tail’s founder.

With the GT-Z, boaters will have the ability to go up to 35 mph through waters of nearly any depth and condition. This includes shallow water, areas with dense vegetation, mud and even over stumps and logs. Its air-cooled engine eliminates overheating in these harsh environments.

The air-cooled 40-hp EFI engine, coupled with the specialized ZF gearbox and belt-driven drive leg, allows boaters to execute uninterrupted missions in extreme conditions.

Able to traverse shallow water with ease, the GT-Z is designed for both commercial anglers, government entities, search-and-rescue entities, hunters and more, the manufacturers said in their release.

ZF made the new transmission for the GT-Z possible by reconfiguring an existing model into a “U Drive” with a special gear ratio. Testing and validation have been underway for over three years to deliver durability and reliability.