Nissan VG30DETT

Nissan released VG30DETT in 1989 to be solely used in its supercar, the 300ZX (JDM version was called Fairlady Z). VG30DETT was based on the non-turbo VG30DE engine, however cast iron 60 degree V6 block received some serious attention before being placed in 300ZX’s engine bay. The engine capacity stayed as 2960cc with 87mm bore x 83mm stroke but nearly all internal components were revised. Connecting rods and crankshaft were replaced with higher quality steel ones. Connecting rod bearings were casted from a high strenght copper/lead alloy called Kelmet. VG30DETT’s fully floating aluminum alloy pistons had 8.5:1 compression ratio. These pistons were cast with internal cooling channels near their crowns. To reduce the heat generated during combustion, piston oil squirters sprayed oil to these channels through openings underside the piston.

All aluminum four cam 24 valve head was equipped with Nissan Valve Timing Control System (NVCS) on the intake cams. Electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated, NVCS was retarding or advancing valve overlap according to engine speed and load. Pent roof combustion chambers and distributorless ignition system was chosen for increased combustion efficiency. Instead of a combined intake, each engine bank had its own intake track for better air flow. Exhaust manifold was also redesigned for improved flow capabilities.

The most important part of the engine, the twin turbochargers were developed exclusively for VG30DETT by Garrett. Each bank of the engine had its own turbocharger coupled with an individual front mounted intercooler. The turbochargers were hybrids constructed by using T25 compressor housings and T2 turbines which could easily spool up to avoid turbo lag. Besides the regular oil cooling system, turbocharger units were also cooled by water. Water was circulated around the turbochargers until the turbos temperatures’ were below coolant heat of vaporization.


VG30DETT was one of the most powerful and sophisticated engines of its time. It was delivering 300 hp at 6400RPM and 384 Nm at 3600RPM. Nissan ended the production of 300ZX in 1996 however JDM version, Fairlady Z, continued to be produced until 1999. Along with Fairlady Z, production of VG30DETT was also ended.

Model: VG30DETT
Displacement (cc): 2960
Power Output (hp): 280 – 300
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Bore (mm): 87.0
Stroke (mm): 83.0
Years Produced: 1989 – 1999


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