The Nissan VR engine is expanding its portfolio, which isn’t terribly difficult because to this point it’s mainly been offered in the GT-R. And the Juke R, but mostly the GT-R.
Ironically, the latest VR will make it into the 2016 Infiniti Q50 sedan. Although it is expected to bore its way deeper into the Infiniti stable, which isn’t really surprising considering its predecessor — the VQ series — was used extensively by Infiniti since 1994.
The lightweight compact 3.0-litre twin turbo V-6 offers increased power (a choice of 300 hp or 400 hp) and torque, as well as better efficiency, despite its smaller size (a direct result of a more compact block). The higher output version makes 400 hp at 6400 rpm (and generates peak torque of 350 lb-ft between 1600 and 5200 rpm), while the 300 hp version makes 295 lb-ft over the same rev range.
The change in power is accomplished through an optical turbo speed sensor that allows the new-design turbocharger blades to spin faster — steadily up to 220,000 rpm, and 240,000 rpm in transient condition.
Meanwhile fuel efficiency is improved by 6.7%, achieved through advanced timing control that aids responsiveness for quicker reactions to driver inputs. Response times are further improved by an electric motor that increases throttle speed. That is also aided by a new direct injection systems and advanced valve timing control.
To keep engine temperatures under control, the higher output engine also uses two water pumps, which is used to cool the air as it enters the turbocharger system to help reduce turbo lag. A new electronic wastegate restricts the exhaust air flow, which also aids efficiency.
A new integrated exhaust manifold not only makes for a smaller engine package, but enabled engineers to put the catalytic converter closer to the engine, which means it heats up almost instantaneously to reduce emissions significantly from a cold start.
And when you add it all up, it all ads up to a 25.8 kg increase over the outgoing engine (220.6 kg, versus 194.8) thanks to reduction in weight (14.1 kg less) for the engine, although the new turbocharger and extra componentry adds an extra 25.8 kg.
Engine production starts in 2016 in Japan, with the first iteration in the 2016 Q50 that is due in showrooms before the end of winter 2016.