Nissan’s VQ series of engines are workhorses. The VQ engine has been in production since 1994 and is still going strong today. The engine lands on Ward’s 10 Best Engines nearly every year even with a yearly refresh. This V6 with its aluminum block and heads have displacements available from 2.0 to 4.0 liters. The last few years of configurations have improved on Nissan’s variable valve timing technology and the direct fuel injection. Predecessors to the VQ line were the VE and VG engines. Today we are talking about the VQ37VHR which is the engine found under the hood of Nissan’s very popular 370Z.
Nissan VQ37VHR: Engine Basics and Specifications
Arriving in 2008, the VQ37VHR was the successor to the VQ35 which was the engine found inside the 350Z, G35, M35, and various other Nissan/Infiniti vehicles. Nissan first introduced the Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) technology on the VQ37VHR as a way to increase horsepower to keep up with the competition such as the Ford Mustang. On top of increasing power, the VVEL system also improved fuel economy which had to be done to meet the EPA’s restrictions.
Compared the VQ35 before it, the VQ37 has a larger displacement which results in more torque and more power. Like all other VQ engine, the VQ37 uses an all aluminum construction keeping the weight very low. The VQ37 uses an over-bore design, meaning the bore is larger than the stroke, which helps the engine rev higher and make more peak horsepower at the cost of slightly less low-end torque, but this trade-off is well worth it. Interestingly enough, the VQ37VHR has the same amount of bore as the VQ35 but with more stroke.
- Production Run: 2008 – Present
- Cylinder Block Material: Cast Aluminum
- Cylinder Head Material: Cast Aluminum
- Configuration: V6
- Valvetrain: DOHC – Four Valves per Cylinder – VVEL
- Bore: 95.5mm
- Stroke: 86mm
- Displacement: 3696cc
- Deck: Open Deck
- Compression Ratio: 11:1
- Horsepower: 330hp to 350hp
- Torque: 270 ft-lbs to 276 ft-lbs
- Related Engines: VQ35DE
Vehicles That Came With The Nissan VQ37VHR Engine
The VQ37VHR is the latest variation of this long line of solid VQ engines. Nissan employs this engine, in varied configurations, with the majority of their best-selling cars and SUVs. For the most part the VQ37VHR is unchanged throughout all the different vehicles it was used in, other than the Nismo.
- 2008 – 2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe, Sedan, and Convertible
- 2008 – present Nissan Skyline V36 370 GT Coupe and Sedan
- 2009 – present Nissan Fuga 370GT
- 2009 – 2013 Infiniti FX37 and EX37
- 2009 – present Nissan 370Z/Fairlady Z and Nismo 370Z
- 2011 – 2013 Infiniti M37
- 2011 – 2016 Infiniti IPL G37 Coupe
- 2012 – present Mitsubishi Proudia 370GT
- 2013 Infiniti IPL G37 Convertible
- 2014 – 2016 Infiniti Q50 Coupe, Sedan, and Convertible
- 2014 – present Infiniti Q70
- 2014 – 2017 Infiniti QX50 and QX70
Nissan VQ37VHR: Performance Potential
Most automotive manufacturers will state horsepower to the flywheel. Nissan advertises 333HP for the VQ37VHR coming off the production line. A lot of testing facilities have given the horsepower rating at 280 to the rear wheels. This being consistent with Nissan’s 15% power loss. If you are considering upgrades to the engine, use this 15% number. Vendors will dyno the engine to find a base output. If you want 340 horsepower to the rear wheels, you need to supply about 400HP. Basic engine tuning such as cold air intakes and maybe a better tuning chip can increase engine output to around 360HP. Of course, naturally aspirated builds can only go so far, so forced induction is very a popular option.
Barring any cost considerations, the VQ37VHR can be equipped with a supercharger to add almost 500HP. The Stillen supercharger kit for the VQ37 is a Vortech V3 supercharger with added internals. Maximum boost for this configuration is seven psi, increase the boost to 11.5 and you can squeeze up to 550HP or more. The Greddy twin-turbocharger kit (2X TD06-20G) will give you about the same amount of performance improvement. Consider adding name brand low compression pistons and better rods to any of these types of add-ons. Keep in mind these can be expensive additions.
Custom engine configurations are plentiful for the 300Z line and Infinity cars. The VQ37VHR engine with modified internals can get well above the 1000HP mark. Of course, with big horsepower comes an entirely built bottom end, possibly a sleeved block, and more. Even with a built engine, making 1000 horsepower isn’t sustainable, as in parts will always break.
Once again barring cost considerations, the VQ37VHR can be adapted to the track with either bolt-on packages, which would include a new crank, rod and racing pistons. For the serious racing enthusiast or sponsored racing teams, custom packages would require machining the block and installation of all new internals. The great news, the engine has been around for quite some time now, and the custom shops have a good feel for the upgrade path.
Nissan VQ37VHR: Racing History
In 2007, the racing aspirations of Nissan changed. They wanted to be more competitive on the world stage. Nissan has been a significant player on the racing scene since the 1967 Nissan 380-II. The GR8 engine was impressive at the time. The inline 6 DOHC engine had the max horsepower of 217. Todays Nissan racing is propelled by the GT-R, Juke, and ever-popular 370Z.
Any racing configurations can be made to the VQ37VHR engine. The manufacturer has committed itself to an improved racing performance, offering full custom racing cars with engine and chassis refinements from its website. An impressive package available for purchase is the Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO RC. Nissan has involved itself for years with prestigious racing circuits including the Super GT Series, Blancpain GT Series, and the Pirelli World Challenge.
The foundation for this renewed sense of urgency was the VQ38HR block. The larger displacement allowed for higher horsepower and can be tuned to an impressive 100HP to a liter.