Infiniti introduces new VR30DDTT 3-liter twin-turbo V-6

Infiniti has introduced an all-new VR30DDTT 3-liter twin-turbo V-6 for the upcoming Q60 and as an upgrade to the existing Q50. Technically, the new VR30DDTT 3-liter twin-turbo V-6 is state-of-the-art and has several interesting features. We’re looking forward to seeing something along the lines of an SAE paper to learn more about this engine, but in the meantime we have final specifications and it will be available starting late this spring in both cars in North America.

We’ve been looking forward to the introduction of this engine. As the owner of a supercharged Infiniti G37S, we know that the Nissan/Infiniti V-6 engine family likes to breathe… and the 500HP at the crank we achieved in our Stillen-modified engine certainly attests to the inherent strengths of this engine family. And of course in 3.8 liter form in the GT-R, this engine family has certainly reached the pinnacle.

And that raises our first question. The new VR30DDTT engine is classified as a “VR” family member, as is the Nissan GT-R VR38DETT engine. The GT-R engine is basically a Nissan/Infiniti VQ engine, minus the excellent VVEL system, with spray-bore cylinder treatment (licensed from Ford Motor Company), and lots of VQ architectural commonality (even the front engine cover and pulleys are carryover, as is the timing chain design and more). But clearly this new engine is even more farther removed from it’s VQ heritage, so why is classified in the VR engine family? Apparently solely because it shares bore centers and the fact that it is twin turbocharged (with entirely unrelated turbo design and parts). There isn’t anything else in common. We’d rather see the engine get its own designation since it’s clearly a generation ahead of the VQ family and the very closely related VR38DETT.

Also note that there are two versions of the VR30DDTT: a low output 300-HP version and a higher output 400HP version. The  higher output VR30DDTT has twin water pumps – an interesting feature since the VQ family is known to run hot – a problem that has plagued enthusiasts using VQ engines for track events. Further note that the torque output of both VR30DDTT engines is rather disappointing: only 295 lb-ft for the low output version and only 350 lb-ft for the higher output version. 350 lb-ft is not competitive when the 3 liter twin-turbo V-6 engines from both Cadillac and Lincoln both make over 400 lb-ft. And it’s not a question of power: Nissan/Infiniti has a transmission easily capable of handling this amount of torque (in fact it’s basically the same 7-speed automatic that has been used for years), so we’re confused as to the low torque numbers. In fact the lower output VR30DDTT seems rather pointless when a well-tuned 4-cylinder turbo can produce the same output or more with better fuel economy and less weight. Look at the Cadillac 2 liter or the Lincoln 2.3 liter 4 cylinder turbos for the perfect examples, then consider Infiniti’s new 2 liter 4-cylinder turbo with its lackluster 208HP engine (taken directly from partner Mercedes) and you’ll have to agree that something is wrong with this picture.

Finally there is the press release made on December 19, 2012 by former Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen, explaining his new all-Q naming convention, in which he revealed the existence of a new 550+ HP V-6 engine: “Our new advanced technology engines under development will be smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient yet more powerful. And we will introduce some exhilarating performance machines in the future. I’m sure you will agree, it would be a bit odd to have a powerful, luxurious and refined V8 powered Infiniti M56, then position a new high-tech 550+ horsepower performance flagship for the Infiniti M range above it, using a potent charged induction V6, but then call it Infiniti M30, which we would be obliged to do, following our current naming logic.”

So where is the new 550+ horsepower V-6 engine? Or was he speaking of the cancelled Q50 Eau Rouge project? We’re sorely disappointed in Infiniti for cancelling that project, but we do understand that it was based on Nissan GT-R components which themselves are becoming dated and in need of replacement. So perhaps this new 3 liter VR engine will grow to become the basis for the next GT-R in a few years?

In any case, in our humble opinion (and as the pilot of a considerably more powerful G37S), the Q50/Q60 (still built on the existing FM platform) is worthy and fully capable of considerably more power, so the 400HP version should be the minimum V-6 engine offered in this product line. We’ll have to see how Infiniti positions these once they get closer to release late this spring. And keep in mind that the Q50/Q60 share their platform with the Nissan 370Z – itself a few years away from replacement and in the meantime very much in need of this new turbo engine.

Infiniti Press Release, Specifications and Images follow:


Infiniti announces new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine – the most advanced V6 ever offered by Infiniti

  • New VR-series engine becomes the lightest, most powerful, cleanest and most fuel-efficient V6 engine that Infiniti has ever offered
  • Two power outputs available: 400 or 300 horsepower
  • Series of technical innovations enhance drivability and performance
  • Compact layout features new integrated exhaust manifold
  • The 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine family will first be available in the 2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan

NASHVILLE – Infiniti’s new compact, lightweight 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine is the most advanced V6 engine that the brand has ever offered, striking an ideal balance between drivability, efficiency, and performance.

The 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo is an all-new engine from the new and exclusive VR-series powertrain family, born out of the brand’s longstanding heritage of V6 powertrain production. The new engine has been engineered to empower the driver and offer increased power and torque and higher levels of efficiency than any comparable predecessors from the company.

The engine’s reduced weight and contained size is credited, in part, to a lighter and more compact cylinder block. The result is greater mechanical efficiency, while a series of new features and in-house innovations secure superior performance.

Selected Infiniti models will be equipped with the all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo from 2016 onwards, with the engine available in two performance levels – 300 or 400 horsepower. Both engines share the same technologies and offer the same unrivaled sensation of potent and immediate power delivery.

The most advanced V6 engine Infiniti has ever offered
The all-new VR-series 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engines deliver a compelling combination of drivability, efficiency, and performance. The VR engines will be used in new Infiniti models that have been engineered to satisfy every Infiniti market worldwide, signaling the growing presence of the brand globally.

The all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine was created through extensive in-house experience of six-cylinder powertrain development and backed up by a strong history of V6 engine production. The VQ-series V6 powertrain family, predecessor to VR, has been a long-established and multi-award winning series of engines that has appeared in Infiniti models since 1994. For fourteen years, from 1995 to 2008, this VQ engine was listed as one of “Ward’s 10 Best Engines,” an unrivaled achievement.

New technologies for class-leading power output and efficiency
The all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine has been developed to deliver optimal power and torque for an engine of its size, together with optimized fuel efficiency. The high-output version of the power unit delivers 400 horsepower (298kW) at 6400 rpm and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) maximum torque at 1600-5200 rpm; while the standard output version produces 300 horsepower (224kW) at 6400 rpm and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) torque at 1600-5200 rpm.

While the 300 horsepower version is fitted with a single water pump, the 400 horsepower engine uses two water pumps for more effective management of heat when under operating at higher loads. In addition, for the 400 horsepower variant an optical turbo speed sensor gives a 30 percent power boost to the turbo system by allowing the blades to spin faster.

These outputs have been achieved while ensuring an improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 6.7 percent. This represents a best-in-class power-to-efficiency ratio for the 400 horsepower unit.

This power-to-efficiency performance was made possible thanks to a set of newly developed features. Advanced timing control ensures improved responsiveness, enabling quicker reactions to driver inputs.

A new electric motor is fitted to the valve timing system, increasing the speed of the throttle for enhanced response times. Not only does this have a positive impact on performance but also efficiency, with the engine able to operate more efficiently through closer control of cylinder combustion.

Power delivery is enhanced through an advanced new twin-turbo system enabling smooth and immediate responses under acceleration, while aiding efficiency. An optimized turbine blade design helps the engine generate greater overall performance, with faster turbine revolution speeds allowing for an immediate response from the twin-turbo system.

In addition, the V6 engine features a new turbine speed sensor, which allows for the twin-turbo system to perform at up to 220,000 rpm – at steady condition and 240,000 rpm at transient condition – higher than ever before for a V6 power unit. With greater capacity for faster revolutions, the twin turbochargers boost the higher-powered version of the engine to deliver higher power and torque. The turbo speed sensor on the 400 horsepower version allows for up to 30 percent more power output.

The engineers have developed a water-cooled intercooler system to further improve performance and efficiency. The system rapidly cools air as it enters the twin-turbo system, reducing turbo lag and allowing for more immediate acceleration. The secondary result is a cooling system that is more compact – meaning a shorter flow path for air entering the turbocharger to enable quicker engine response.

A new electronic wastegate actuator allows closer control of exhaust gas flow away from the turbocharger, restricting the amount of exhaust gas flowing through the unit to improve overall engine efficiency.

Lower weight, greater mechanical efficiency, more engaging drive
The core structure of the 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine weighs 429.5 pounds (194.8 kg) – 39.1 pounds (14.1 kg) less than the engine it replaces. The new turbocharger and advanced intercooler (or CAC) system componentry adds just an extra 56.9 pounds (25.8 kg), for 486.3 pounds (220.6 kg) total.

The all-new power unit is 19 percent (0.7-liter) smaller in capacity than earlier V6 engines offered by Infiniti. It builds on the company’s legacy of embracing new engineering solutions and technologies. Just as these earlier engines have always been respected for their lightweight aluminum construction and low mechanical friction – making them smooth, durable and highly responsive – the 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine follows its performance-oriented predecessors with a more compact and lightweight design, while maintaining a performance focus.

Chief among the new weight-saving elements is the adoption of spray bore coating for the engine block and integrated exhaust manifold for cylinder heads. Not only does this make the engine lighter, but this also aids cooling as heat can dissipate more effectively through the aluminum alloy bore wall, a process boosted further by its physical design, which encourages faster engine heat management.

The lower weight throughout the engine contributes to greater mechanical efficiency, with lower inertia from its lightweight aluminum components, while this added efficiency adds to the drivability and overall performance of the V6 engine.

The engineers have adopted a series of innovation technologies for application in the new V6 to deliver a more engaging driving experience. Chief among these is a new direct-injection gasoline (DIG) fueling system. The high-pressure DIG system allows for more precise injection of fuel into the combustion chamber, delivering the exact amount required for smooth engine acceleration, depending on throttle position and engine speed. This system makes the new V6 the cleanest and most fuel-efficient engine of its type that Infiniti has ever offered, contributing towards the 6.7 percent improvement in fuel economy.

The advanced valve timing control allows for more precise regulation of the fuel and air mix in the combustion chamber, helping the engine to operate more efficiently and improving fuel economy under all conditions.

The new cylinder-bore coating process further boosts mechanical efficiency. The new low-friction “mirror bore coating” technology allows the pistons to move more freely in the cylinders by reducing levels of mechanical friction by 40 percent compared to the previous V6 engines. This mirror bore coating process involves cylinder walls getting treated with a thermal arc spray coating after which the coating is hardened. The “mirror-smooth” cylinder wall reduces piston friction and boosts performance.

The mirror bore coating process saves the 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine 3.8 pounds (1.7 kg) in weight, when compared to previous V6 engines, owing to the hardened tolerance that the spray system gives to lighter metals.

One of the most significant features in the all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine is the adoption of a new integrated exhaust manifold, built into the cylinder head, enabling engineers to position the catalytic converter closer to the exhaust point. This results in a shorter flow path for the hot exhaust gases, allowing the catalytic converter to heat up almost instantly – twice as fast as previous V6 engines – and reducing emissions from a cold start.

Moving the catalytic converter closer to the exhaust point saves weight by making the engine more compact than before. This design accounts for an 11.7-pound (5.3 kg) reduction in weight.

The new aluminum engine block has been constructed as a “square” engine, with equal cylinder bore and stroke dimensions (86.0 x 86.0 mm). As a result, the 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine combines low mechanical friction and fast-revving response. Power and torque are accessed across a broader spread of mid-range engine speeds, in which drivers typically spend most of their time. The result is, the ideal balance between drivability, efficiency, and performance.

New V6 engine to enter production in 2016
The all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is due to enter production during 2016 and will be manufactured at the powertrain plant in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan. The first application of the engine family will be in the 2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan, which will be in Infiniti showrooms in North America beginning in late winter.

About Infiniti
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.

Infiniti design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi, near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.

Infiniti is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its iconic design and innovative driver-assistance technologies.

More information about Infiniti and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infiniti.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

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VR30DDTT Specifications

Engine 300 HP 400 HP
Construction V6 configuration, aluminium block with arc sprayed mirror coating to cylinder bores, aluminium cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold, lightweight resin and lower oil pan, compact twin direct-mount turbos, twin-intercoolers
Displacement 3.0-liter (2997 cc)
Bore & stroke 86.0 x 86.0 mm
Cylinder Angle 60 degree
Compression ratio 10.3:1
Cylinders 6
Valves 24 (four per cylinder)
Valve control Intake; electronic variable Valve Timing Control (VTC) Exhaust; hydraulic continuously variable VTC
Turbos 2x turbo chargers with electronic wastegate actuator
Turbo control Optical speed sensor
Turbo chargecooling Twin water-to-air charge coolers with one water pump Twin water-to-air charge coolers with two water pumps
Oil system 0W-20 low viscosity oil. Electronically controlled variable displacement oil pump
Fuel system High pressure multi-split direct injection gasoline (DIG), one injector per cylinder
Engine weight 486.4 lb

220.6 kg

Power 300 hp

224 kW

304 PS

@ 6,400 rpm

400 hp

298 kW

405 PS

@ 6,400 rpm

Torque 295 lb-ft/400 Nm

@ 1,600-5,200 rpm

350 lb-ft/475 Nm

@ 1,600-5,200 rpm

 

VR30DDTT Images

Infiniti Q50-Q60 twin-turbo 3-liter V-6 VR30DDTT

Infiniti Q50-Q60 twin-turbo 3-liter V-6 VR30DDTT