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Nissan Develops New-Generation V6 Engines; 10% Improvement in Fuel Efficiency

Nissan’s new 3.5-liter V6.

Nissan Motor has developed two new-generation six-cylinder V-type gasoline engines for front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

The 3.5-liter VQ35HR and 2.5-liter VQ25HR engines offer a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to vehicles equipped with the existing VQ engine as well as Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (Japan) emissions. SULEVs have 75% or less NOx and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions than those stipulated by Japan’s 2005 exhaust emission standards.

Nissan will build the engines in its Iwaki Plant in Fukushima Prefecture and will apply them in the all-new Skyline to be released this autumn in Japan, as well as the US where the model is sold as the Infiniti G35.

Improved fuel economy comes partly from reduced friction—the cylinders use the world’s first hydrogen-free, diamond-like carbon coating, according to Nissan. Adoption of a catalyst substrate with ultra-low heat mass, use of iridium spark plugs, and a fast light-off O2 sensors control contribute to the SULEV emissions rating.

The engines feature a top speed of 7,500 rpm. Nissan reduced weight and friction through the use of an asymmetrical piston skirt configuration. Lengthening the connecting rod reduces the piston side force. And a rudder-frame, newly designed cylinder block provides improved rigidity.

The engines use continuously variable valve timing control (CVTC) for intake side and electromagnetic valve timing control (e-VTC) for exhaust side.



Just what we need! An energy efficient 3.5 liter engine!
(said the 1.5 liter Prius driver)


"Just what we need! An energy efficient 3.5 liter engine!"

So you're saying that the vehicles most people buy should burn 10% MORE fuel? :)


Nissan already sells a great V-6 here; looks like these will be even better.

And lower fuel consumption and lower emissions? Great.

fyi CO2

SULEV is nice, but the touted 10% improvement brings the oversized 3.5l engine Infiniti G35 from combined 21mpg to 23 - WOW

Bike Commuter Dude

Prius: Economy Car
Infiniti FX35: Performance SUV
Nissan Z350/Infiniti G35: Two seat sports car

They use this motor in heavy SUV's, and fast little cars. They wouldn't be able to power such vehicles (which provide the majority of Nissan's profits) with a 1.5liter Atkinson engine. So, any increase in the efficiency of the engines, no matter what the application, is a good thing. I just kind of wish Nissan had the resources to field a hybrid or a clean diesel for the US market. Hell, you could probably save a lot of money by using a hydraulic hybrid on the Armada/QX56!

Bike Commuter Dude

Wait a second, maybe we couldn't see the forest for the trees. e-VTC? Electromagnetic valve timing control? On a street car? No Atkinson engine (or any other production engine, as far as I am aware, at least Stateside) has THAT feature.

Michael G. Richard

It's good news, but I'll be happier on the day that it becomes commercially acceptable for automakers to reduce the weight of their cars and downsize their engines.


I love how everybody seems to think that smaller engine automatically means better fuel economy. So much miss information out there. I love it. The whole "my engine is smaller than your's and therefore I'm a better human being" attitude is just the iceing on the cake.

Fyi CO2, what are you talking about? G35 gets 21mpg combined? Lets see here?
G35 base sedan is rated at 19 city, 26 highway. Thats 22.5 combined. Increase that by 15% and you get 25.8mpg combined. Check your math.

Bud Johns

Nissans Altima hybrid will be out soon. They bought into Toyota's technology (smart move). It will use thier non-atkinson 4 cylinder, so it will be a real performer but not get the Prius' stratospheric mileage. But very good nontheless.

Nissan Doubts

Recall that when they announced the Versa, they said the combined mpg would be 38 mpg with the CVT, but later had to admit it would only be rated at 33 mpg combined. That 13% difference is bigger than the 10% improvement they're claiming here. I have no faith in Nissan claims.

Tim Russell

Bike Commuter Dude, I read in Popular Mechanics that Mercedes will have an all electronic valve train in a 2008 model. Thats some really cool tech that can remove many compromises in IC engines. How long will it take to filter down to lower priced cars?


It is nice to see some one is finally using a carbon-carbon "NFC" (near frictionless coating). These coatings are almost as slick in a dry state (coating on coating) as is two objects lubricated with an oil and the coating is hard enough to cause a wear test machine's bearing to fail before the coating does.

fyi CO2

Justin, I got my figures from
which indicates models between low end 17/24 and 19/26, I used median 18/25, combined EPA city/highway mpg number is based on 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway
= 21.15 mpg and the increase touted by Nissan in this article is 10% not 15.

Joseph Willemssen

Fyi CO2, what are you talking about? G35 gets 21mpg combined?

According to fueleconomy.gov, there are four trims available, with combined mileage running from a low of 20 (17 cty/24 hwy) to a high of 22 (19 cty/26 hwy). The two other trims are rated at 21 mpg combined. So both the average and the mean of the four trims is 21 mpg.

Check your math.

Well, the formula for calculating combined fuel economy is this:
FEcomb = 1 / (( .55 / city FE) + (.45 / hwy FE))

Taking your 19/26 numbers, FEcomb=21.62, not 22.5.

Combined fuel economy is not the simple average of the highway and city fuel economy.

Increase that by 15% and you get 25.8mpg combined.

Actually, the increase stated in this post and reiterated by fyiCO2 is 10%, not 15%, so you should "check your math" there as well. A 10% increase over 21.62 is 23.78, or 2.14 mpg. Rounded that's 2 mpg, or exactly as fyiCO2 stated.

The average of the four trims is 20.59 mpg, and a 10% increase from that is 22.65 mpg -- rounded that's an increase from 21 mpg to 23 mpg -- again, exactly as fyi CO2 stated.

fyi CO2

Thanks for the numbers validation Joseph.

Justin, I hope you drive more responsibly than you post (math, spelling, reading).

Sid Hoffman

Considering 80% of Nissans sold pack a VQ35 engine, this is good news. That's a 10% improvement in FE for some 600,000 vehicles a year. Perhaps for their V8 engines they'll implement cylinder deactivation too for a similar improvement in FE.

fyi CO2

Perhaps Nissan could work on an efficient 4 cylinder ICE in the 21st century

Joseph Willemssen

So both the average and the mean

Doy. I obviously meant "both the average and the MEDIAN".


Perhaps they could greatly increase the mileage if they dropped this sulev thing.All that math was great but isnt super ultra low emissions the key point?

Sulev was scoffed at not to long ago.Now Nissan is building cars people want with emissions that ecologists dreamed of.

If Gm teams with Nissan, as they are being pushed to do,perhaps it would help clean up the emissions of a much wider fleet.

Is this a bad thing? Im confused.

fyi CO2

SULEV = good
combined MPG > 30mpg = good
It is not that confusing to accomplish both.
Perhaps NISSAN could greatly increase the mileage if they opted for an efficient, less thirsty 4 cylinder engine, but they won't get that from teaming up with GM

Bike Commuter Dude

Tim: Thanks for the heads up. I remember when electromagnetic valve actuation was just beginning to be seen in (Ferrari) Formula race cars in lieu of pneumatic systems. Now it's being brazed on to a highly produced "workhorse" engine for a major manufacturer. I would expect this kind of stuff from Mercedes Benz, but I am very enthusiastic about seeing it in something like a Maxima.


Calm down everybody! This is valve timing control not valve lift control done by electromagnetics. That simply means the camshaft gear at the end of the camshaft is controlled electronically rather than with solenoids controlling the high pressure oil off the engine. This is still far off from electromagnetic valve trains.

Valeo (probably Mercedes' supplier) demonstrated a fully functional prototype electromagnetic valvetrain & head more than a year ago...it requires 42V systems though (and most hybrid systems would have no problem providing 42V or more).

Sid Hoffman

No, it says magnetic valve timing, not activation. I think they are saying it performs cam phasing (rotation of a fixed cam clockwise and counter clockwise along it's standard rotational axis) via an electromagnetic mechanism rather than DC servos. Valve activation is still probably 10-30 years off unfortunately and will most likely appear first in low revving applications, such as diesel engines.


Sid, you just repeated exactly what I said except you believe a full electromagnetic head is far off in the future...well it is ready now and just needs 42V systems in place.


The what is Mercedes debuting in it's next-generation C-Class then? That is scheduled for 2008 model year.

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