VQ35 Engine Specifications

by Richard Rowe

The Nissan VQ series of engines are near the top of a very short list of V-6s that even hard-core muscle car buffs have grown to respect, rivaled primarily by the Buick 231 Turbo Six. The VQ35 -- so called for its 3.5-liter displacement -- wasn't the most powerful of the family, but that it's so closely related to the 470 horsepower VQ30DETT used in some Japanese Grand Touring Skyline race cars should be some measure of its potential.

Description and Applications

This engine came in two basic varieties, the base VQ35DE and newer and higher-performing VQ34HR -- the HR stands for "high rpm". All VQ engines use an aluminum engine block with 95-mm bores and an 81-mm stroke, and aluminum, dual overhead cam cylinder heads. VQ35 engines utilized a four-valve-per-cylinder arrangement. The DE first went into production in 2000, and as of 2010 was still used in the Nissan Murano, Altima and Maxima. The HR was first available in 2007 Skylines, 350Zs and Infiniti G35s. As of 2010 it was still used in Infiniti's EX35 and FX35 crossovers.


Power for most DE engines ranges from between 228 horsepower and 246 foot-pounds of torque to 300 horsepower and 268 foot-pounds of torque, depending on the application. The Nissan Quest got the least powerful 235 horsepower model, newer Altimas got the 270 horsepower version, and 350Z sports cars got the high-end 300 horsepower DE. Nissan's 350Z GT-S concept car got a supercharged version of this engine making 377 horsepower, but it never saw production. All HR engines produced between 306 and 311 horsepower.

Induction and Valvetrain

VQ35DEs have one of the most high-tech induction systems out there, with a nylon and variable valve timing -- very similar to Honda's VTEC system, though Nissan actually began development on the technology before Honda did. The HR version uses a dual-channel intake with a flap in it that gives air a straighter shot into the combustion chambers at high rpm than at low. These technologies combine to make for an engine that drives like an economy-car powerplant most of the time but retains the ability to scream to high rpm like a race engine when called for.

About the Author

Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.

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