Nissan VR38DETT Engine

  1. Specifications
  2. Overview, problems
  3. Performance tuning

Nissan VR38DETT engine specs

Manufacturer Yokohama Plant
Also called Nissan VR38
Production 2007-present
Cylinder block alloy Aluminum
Configuration V6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 88.4 (3.48)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 95.5 (3.76)
Compression ratio 9.0
Displacement 3799 cc (231.8 cu in)
Power output 353 kW (480 HP) at 6,400 rpm
357 kW (485 HP) at 6,400 rpm
390 kW (530 HP) at 6,400 rpm
405 kW (545 HP) at 6,400 rpm
416 kW (565 HP) at 6,800 rpm
441 kW (600 HP) at 6,800 rpm
Torque output 588 Nm (434 lb·ft) at 3,200-5,200 rpm
588 Nm (434 lb·ft) at 3,200-5,200 rpm
612 Nm (451 lb·ft) at 3,200-6,000 rpm
632 Nm (466 lb·ft) at 3,200-5,800 rpm
633 Nm (467 lb·ft) at 3,300-5,800 rpm
652 Nm (481 lb·ft) at 3,600-5,600 rpm
Redline 7,000
HP per liter 126.3
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs) 276 (608)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)

for GTR R35
16.9 (14)
8.8 (27)

11.7 (20)
Turbocharger  2x IHI RHF55
Oil consumption , L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 600 miles)
Recommended engine oil 0W-40
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 5.0 (5.3) 2007-2011
5.5 (5.8) 2011+
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

200,000+ (120,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


The engine is installed in Nissan GTR R35
Nissan Juke R

Nissan VR38DETT engine reliability, problems and repair

In 2007 Nissan GTR became a successor of famous Nissan Skyline GTR. In this car sport twin turbo VR38DETT was installed, instead of RB26DETT. This engine is assembled manually by specially qualified staff at Yokohama Plant. It was developed on basis of VQ37VHR, but the cylinder block was completely remade.
Below we will tell about the main differences between VR38 and VQ37.
VR38DETT cylinder block has remained aluminium 60° V6, as before, but instead of cast-iron liners, plasma coating of low-carbon steel layer is used (0.15 mm thick). GTR R35 has 244 mm cylinder block. Inside camshaft with 88.4mm piston stroke is installed, 165 mm connecting rods, pistons compression height is 34,3 mm, and compression ratio is 9. All these mods made possible gaining 3,8L displacement.
Cylinder block is covered with two aluminium heads with four valves per cylinder and continuous variable valve timing CVTCS on intake camshafts.
VR38DETT cams: duration 238/248 deg, lift 9.56/9.88 mm. The diameter of intake valves is 37 mm, the exhaust – 32.2 mm, and the stem is 6 mm in diameter.
Intake cams are set in motion with help of timing chain. Then thanks to two small chains intake cams set in motion the exhaust ones. VR38 timing chain is quite reliable, but after 60,000 miles of mileage (100,000 km) it is advisable to check its state.
VR38DETT uses two IHI RHF55 turbochargers. Boost pressure on stock engine is 11 psi (0.75 bar).
It is enough to get 485 HP at 6,400 RPM and torque 588 NM at 3,200-5,200 RPM.
In the middle of November, 2010, restyled Nissan GTR was represented. Its engine developed 530 HP at 6,400 RPM, and torque was 612 NM at 3,200-6,000 RPM. This engine VR38DETT mainly differed with increased boost pressure up to 13 psi (0.9 bar) and also somewhat improved intake system, and the exhaust system of bigger diameter.
In the end of November, 2011, Nissan GTR was upgraded. More efficient fuel injectors were installed, new oil pan, BOV, intake manifold and ECU reflash were updated. It increased the power to 545 HP at 6,400 RPM, and torque to 632 NM at 3,200-5,800 RPM.
In the end of 2013 Nissan GTR Nismo was introduced. Its engine developed 600 HP at 6,800 RPM, and torque reached 652 NM at 3,600-5,600 RPM. That VR38DETT was equipped with turbochargers IHI from Nissan GTR Nismo GT3, and also it used new fuel pump and improved ignition system.
In 2016 VR38DETT was restyled again. Boost pressure was increased to 13.5 psi (0.94 bar), ignition system was modified, titanic exhaust system was installed. It let gaining 565 HP at 6,800 RPM and torque 633 NM at 3,300-5,800 RPM.
Along with VR38DETT, the version VR30DDTT is produced. It has smaller displacement and direct injection system.

Nissan VR38DETT engine problems and malfunctions

Stock VR38DETT engines are very reliable and will not give you any troubles. They can drive 100,000-120,000 miles of mileage (150,000-200,000 km) or even more. This is the perfect index for a powerful sport car. Unfortunately, for now it is impossible to know the lifespan limit, Nissan GTR with really high mileage probably does not exist.

Nissan VR38DETT engine tuning

Stage 1-2

GTR R35 has good potential to increase power with help of OEM turbochargers.
The cheapest and most simple variant is usual aggressive ECU reflash. You should purchase Cobb AccessPORT, and changing the maps you will gain about 570-580 horsepower. If your GTR was produced till the end of 2010, then the power will be about 540-550 horsepower. If you add downpipe, then you will get about 600 horsepower. On early GTR it will be about 560-570 HP.
Buy 3.5 inch performance exhaust system, 3 inch intake system, cold air intake, fuel injectors 1100 cc/min and two Walbro 255 lph fuel pumps. Then you will gain 650 horsepower, and on race fuel your Nissan GTR will show about 700-720 horsepower.
This is the limit both for stock turbochargers and for your car to stay reliable and comfortable for everyday driving. Besides, at greater power you should reinforce transmission, therefore 700 HP for Nissan GTR is the best option. The modified Nissan GTR like this can drive ¼ miles per low 10 seconds.
Besides Cobb, you can use Ecutek, this is also the perfect and very fast variant.
For gaining reliable 800 horsepower, it is better to use reputable HKS GT800 turbo kit, big intercoolers, and also forged pistons, H-beam rods, performance cams, etc. It is expensive, but extremely fast.