The Nissan VR30DDTT engine was announced in December 2015 and made available to the Infiniti Q50 sports car later the following year. Its 3.0L twin-turbo V6 design offers stout power with performance that will leave your heart pumping and look for more.
All models are available, either 300 or 400 horsepower versions depending on what you’re looking for. These efficient engines were recently named Ward’s 10 Best Engines because they’ve always delivered reliable driveability, whether underpowered or overrepresented, without breaking a sweat.
What are Nissan VR30DDTT Engines?
If you’ve been keeping up with the automotive news recently, you’ve definitely heard about Nissan’s new engine, the VR30DDTT. If the naming system seems familiar, it’s because this engine includes design aspects from two very famous engines in Nissan’s history: the VR38DETT found in the R35 GT-R and the VG30DETT found in the Z32 TT and, if that counts, the Nissan Mid4 II.
The Nissan VR30DDTT is, or at least appears to be, very different from the two engines I previously mentioned. The 300 HP variant will produce less torque than what VQ37 offers but more power; meanwhile, 400 HP trims deliver about 350 lb-ft of instantaneously available torque in either RPM range between 1600 – 5200rpm with its peak figure being just over this value’s upper bound.
Like the VG, the VR30DDTT is a 3.0L V6 with parallel twin turbos. However, they share more than just their engine block design – there’s great potential for this car to not only be successful but also stand out among competitors on the market right now.
But if you want an answer as to what it will probably end up looking like once completed or how much power these new models produce, I’m afraid we can’t give any predictions until after testing has taken place.
Engine Specifications and Design:
- Production Run: 2015 – Present
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
- Configuration: V6
- Bore: 86.0mm
- Stroke: 86.0mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 3.0 L (2997 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 10.3
- Weight: 430 lbs.
- Maximum HP: 400 HP at 6,400 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 350 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,200 RPM
VR represents the Nissan engine family, while 30 stands for engines displacement of 3.0L, which are found in VR-focused vehicles like GTs or Skylines with this model number suffix.
The first D means DOHC and refers to direct cylinder fuel injection, while TT just puts it all together by representing a twin-turbo design shaped differently than its counterpart – 38DETT on a Nissan GTR because they’re not used exactly alike due to utilizing multi-port gas injections instead.
Modern high-performance engines typically have specs like the Nissan VR30DDTT has. A 3.0L twin-turbo engine, like the legendary N54 and 2jz before it, appears to be a recipe for success with aluminum being used in its design as well as variable cam timing (VCT), which helps produce plenty of power while also keeping the weight low because you don’t need heavy-duty parts slowing things down too much.
Some say that this engine can go from 0 – 60 mph in about 4 seconds flat.
The front-facing optical speed sensor on the compressor housing enables this model to spool 30% faster than its 300 HP counterpart and bring turbos up near or at approximately 40,000 RPM. It’s not clear why a sensor was necessary for that performance enhancement.
Electronic Wastegate Actuators
Those electronic wastegate actuators that we expect seeing those or similar designs make their way into aftermarket off-the-shelf configurations. The wastegates in a boost-controlled system are activated by a vacuum/boost signal. This can be difficult to control and inaccurate, as well as resulting in the complicated routing of vacuum hoses, boost control solenoids, and other components.
Twin Air-to-Air Intercooler
Twin water-to-air intercoolers are a novel concept, at least in the Nissan performance engine book. While having to keep an eye on additional liquid may be inconvenient, Z32 and R35 owners will enjoy how this streamlines the intake tract.
In the Z32, for example, air enters through the filter, passes through the MAF, under the headlights, down to the turbo inlets, out the turbo outlets, over the front of the engine bay, down by the radiator, across the intercooler, back up by the radiator, across the engine bay, and into the throttle bodies.
Integrated Exhaust Manifold
In the past, Nissan has dabbled in spoiling by tinkering with how turbos pair with heads. Unlike the VG, RB, and SR, the VR38 incorporated the exhaust manifold into the turbine housing. It enabled them to create a more compact arrangement while maintaining flow.
Nissan states in the press release that the VR30’s manifolds are incorporated into the head. They sort of are. The first part of the manifold is almost merged into the head, so it’s still all cast aluminum. The turbine then bolts directly to the head, just ahead of where a 4-bolt flange would typically be.
So, half of the manifold is incorporated into the head, while the other half is integrated into the turbine. I believe Ishikawajima Heavy Industries is delivering these unique turbines, as Nissan most likely asked them to repeat their role in the VR38’s design.
Applications of Nissan VR30DDTT Engine:
- 2016 – Present Infiniti Q50
- 2017 – Present Infiniti Q60
- 2019 – Present Nissan Skyline (Outside US)
- 2022 Nissan Z Proto
The twin-turbo engine is a gem. It has the potential for more power, and with upgrades, it will be able to deliver that in spades. The VR30DDTT twin-turbo three-liter engine has more potential than you may think. It can be tuned for quicker response times and boost pressure, meaning that it will perform better at any rpm level with just some basic mods like fuelling changes or an exhaust system upgrade.
Time will tell whether the engine can manage the extra power given that it is so new. More research and development are also needed to determine their long-term viability. The maximum power and torque of the VR30 engine may be enhanced with tune and aftermarket upgrades.
Problems Surrounding Nissan VR30DDTT Engine:
The Nissan VR30DDTT engine is proving to be a pretty reliable one so far. Like any new technology, there were some kinks in the early days following its release that needed working out, but as of right now, long term reliability cannot really say anything about it considering how new this product still is and all other engines have had their fair share problems too by no means perfect nor exempt from them just like anyone else.
1. Fuel Injector Issues
One of the typical issues with the Nissan VR30DDT 3.0 V6 engine is fuel injector failure. A service bulletin is also available to handle fuel injector issues. Some attribute this to modifications, tunes, and the use of E85 fuel mixtures. However, multiple failures have occurred on entirely factory VR30 twin-turbo engines.
Failures appear to be caused by metallic debris from the OEM fuel rail. This suggests that the fuel rail might still produce similar issues with VR30DDTT aftermarket injectors. As a result, the fundamental fuel rail problems must be addressed.
2. Drive Belt Issues
A drive belt is sometimes referred to as an auxiliary belt or a serpentine belt. It’s one of the most prevalent Nissan VR30DDTT engine troubles. However, these difficulties should have been rectified in the long run by now.
Infiniti did publish a service bulletin in response to this VR30 failure, and it does not appear to be a widespread issue on current engines. It mostly affects Infiniti Q50 and Q60 cars from 2016 and 2017.
We usually avoid mentioning these kinds of problems since all-new engines have minor design issues. Fortunately, Nissan and Infiniti responded quickly to the VR30DDTT drive belt issues. It’s nevertheless worth mentioning because serpentine belt failure may lead to a slew of other problems.
The major issue is that the drive belts are sliding off the pulley. When this happens, you’ll notice a decrease in power, engine lights, and so on. It can also cause the engine to overheat, resulting in further damage.
Again, 2018+ VR30DDTT machines should not have drive belt problems, although it is not impossible. If you have a 2016 or 2017 engine and the drive belt has not been replaced, it is a good idea to look into it.
3. Carbon Buildup Issues
Natural oil blow-by occurs in all engines. This oil then enters the intake ports, where it can adhere to intake valves and generate carbon deposits. Because gasoline is going via the intake ports and valves, there isn’t an issue with port injection.
Many contemporary engines, such as the VR30 twin-turbo, employ direct injection. Because fuel enters the cylinder directly, there is no flow across the valves.
Since the Nissan VR30 engines are still relatively new, this is unlikely to be a prevalent issue. Almost all direct injection engine, however, is susceptible to carbon buildup at some time. It’s something to think about in the long run for the VR30DDTT 3.0L V6 engine.
This causes carbon buildup on intake valves and ports over time. Otherwise, DI (Direct Injection) is a fantastic technology, and we’ll gladly accept the trade-off of improved fuel efficiency, emissions, and performance. In any case, expect carbon buildup to become a concern on the VR30DDTT sometime between 80,000 and 120,000 miles.
The Nissan VR30DDTT is a dependable engine. However, it’s difficult to judge the performance of brand-new engines like this one which has only been around for five years and may have some kinks in its system yet.
The 3.0L twin-turbo V6 also needs plenty more time before customers can judge whether or not they prefer how their car drives with that extra power underfoot. But, I agree entirely – there are always imperfections when something new comes out.
The VR30DDTT’s elderly age really works to its advantage in terms of dependability. Some typical problems do not manifest themselves until engines are 6-8 years old and have driven 100,000 miles or more. When an engine reaches that age and mileage level, it is unavoidable that it will fail.
Despite this, the VR30 has proven to be a durable engine throughout the course of its life. Use high-quality oils, make fluid changes on time, and deal with problems as soon as they arise. If you follow these procedures, the Nissan VR30DDTT engine should provide you a pleasant and dependable driving experience.