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Friday, January 27, 2023
StartcarsThese are why Nissan's VR38DETT V6 engine...

These are the reasons why Nissan's VR38DETT V6 engine is an engineering marvel.

From Toyota to Nissan, Japanese automakers have so far managed to build amazing cars that have won the hearts of not only local customers in Japan, but also in other parts of the world such as the United States and Europe.

One such car is the formidable Nissan GT-R, otherwise known as the 'Godzilla' supercar killer.

Over the decades since it was launched on the market, the GT-R has attracted thousands of fans and enthusiasts around the world. In fact, even when the current generation GT-R, the R35, is around 15 years old, people still want to buy the vehicle.

Nissan has discontinued the R35 GT-R in some markets, including Japan. In the United States, the GT-R lives for the 2023 model year.

However, the end is near for the R35 GT-R, and some fans are already wondering whether the next generation GT-R will have an all-new engine or an evolved version of its current twin-turbo engine.

After all, Nissan's engine of choice for the R35 GT-R, the VR38DETT is one of the key factors why the R35 GT-R remains a Godzilla among its modern competitors.

The VR38DETT twin-turbo engine is an engineering marvel, leading many to research why.

The powerful VR38DETT engine

The VR38DETT is one of Nissan's VR series engines, which are the successors to the equally successful VQ series.

The VR engine series powered other Nissan vehicles such as the Skyline and Z, as well as briefly in the nitro-nonsense Juke-R. These engines also equipped the Renault Sport RS01 and several luxury Infiniti models.

The clue to the wonder that is the VR38DETT engine is in its code or name. The 38 after the engine code refers to the displacement, which is 3.8 liters.

The 'D' represents the fact that the engine has dual overhead controls, while the 'E' represents the electronic fuel injection. On the other hand, the 'TT' refers to its twin-turbo booster scheme.

Interestingly, each VR38DETT engine comes to life thanks to the engineering expertise of Nissan's master craftsmen known to mankind as Takumi.

Led by Takumi Kurosawa, these exceptional master craftsmen ensure that every VR38DETT engine is in top working condition.

A Takumi manually checks and confirms the viability of each VR38DETT engine before the GT-R leaves the factory. Interestingly, one Takumi would proudly mount a plaque with his name on the engine, signifying that each mill is a masterpiece and an engineering marvel.

A thoughtful engineering feat from Nissan

Weighing in at just over 600 lbs, the VR38DETT twin-turbo V6 in the Nissan R35 GT-R delivers amazing reliability, consistency and power. Nissan ensured that the VR38DETT exhibited these characteristics, employing elements such as an enclosed cylinder block and a ladder-frame structure.

In fact, the VR38DETT engine features a cast aluminum block with cylinder liner holes sprayed with 0.0059 inches of low friction plasma. By spraying the cylinder bores with this material, the piston rings gain a protective layer to slide on as the piston goes through the power cycle.

The cylinder bore is 3.760 inches while the piston stroke is 3.48 inches.

In addition, the VR38DETT V6 engine employs dual overhead cams (two per cylinder head), a four-bearing crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods, as well as a micro-finished one-piece forged crankshaft.

The cams control all 24 valves using a continuously variable valve timing control system (CVTCS) on the intake valves.

Nissan's VR38DETT engine features multipoint fuel injection, fully symmetric dual intake, low backpressure exhaust system, pressurized lubrication system with thermostatically controlled cooling and magnesium oil pan.

Providing the boost are two IHI turbochargers integrated into the exhaust manifolds, which come with optimized turbo flange attachment points.

The power of this engine is impressive

The VR38DETT V6 engine also features a titanium exhaust for optimal cooling.
When it first appeared on the scene in 2007 under the hood of the Nissan R35 GT-R, the 3.8-liter VR38DETT V6 engine was already a potent machine, capable of delivering 480 hp of peak power and 430 lb-ft of peak torque. .

Nissan, however, knew that the engine could deliver more, and a few tweaks every now and then were needed.

As the years passed, Nissan was able to squeeze more out of the VR38DETT engine. In the final iterations of the standard GT-R, the VR38DETT V6 delivers 562 peak horsepower and 467 lb-ft of peak torque.

In the extra-hot GT-R Nismo model, this twin-turbo mill can deliver up to 591 hp of power and 481 lb-ft of torque.

The most powerful factory-straight Nissan GT-R so far is Italdesign's limited edition GT-R50, which is a celebration of the car's 50th anniversary in 2019 and the design house's 2018.

In this model, the VR38DETT V6 can deliver 710 hp of peak power and 575 lb-ft of peak torque.

Incredibly, the VR38DETT V6 engine is strong enough to take heavy tuning from more adventurous owners. In fact, tuners can easily squeeze over 1,000 hp out of the engine.

Extreme Turbo Systems prides itself on its drag turbo kit that can boost the GT-R VR38DETT V6 to 3,500 hp.

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