The Nissan VQ37VHR Engine - Everything You Need to Know

The Nissan VQ37VHR engine has earned a reputation as one of the most capable V6 engines available today. As the heart of many acclaimed Nissan and Infiniti models, this 3.7L power plant strikes an ideal balance between power, efficiency, and reliability. In this article, we’ll explore what makes the VQ37VHR so unique and why it has developed a cult following among enthusiasts.

Let’s Talk About The Nissan VQ37VHR

The VQ37VHR is a 3.7L V6 gasoline engine produced by Nissan since 2007. With its Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) technologies, it achieves an impressive combination of high horsepower, instant throttle response, and reasonable fuel economy.

This engine powers sports cars like the Nissan 370Z and luxury sedans and crossovers from Infiniti. It has received praise from critics and owners alike for its smooth power delivery and intoxicating exhaust note. We’ll cover all the key attributes that make the VQ37VHR a modern classic.

The Origins of The VQ Engine Family

Nissan VQ30DE Engine

To understand the VQ37VHR, you have to know about the VQ family that came before it. The VQ series of V6 engines debuted in 1994 with the VQ30DE. This 3.0L engine appeared in vehicles like the Maxima, Pathfinder, and Infiniti I30.

Over the years, Nissan gradually increased the displacement and improved the technology in the VQ lineup. The VQ35DE became renowned for its immense power potential when tuned. Next came the beefy VQ35HR used in 350Zs, followed by the advanced VQ37VHR.

The VQ37VHR represents the pinnacle of this engine family’s development. It takes the best attributes of prior VQ engines and optimizes them with cutting-edge technology like VVEL and DIG. The result is a 3.7L V6 that makes over 330 horsepower in stock form.

Key Specifications

Now let’s look at some key specs that make the VQ37VHR special:

  • Production Run: 2008 – Present
  • Cylinder Block Material: Cast Aluminum
  • Cylinder Head Material: Cast Aluminum
  • Configuration: V6
  • Valvetrain: DOHC – Four Valves per Cylinder – VVEL
  • Bore: 95.5mm
  • Stroke: 86mm
  • Displacement: 3696cc
  • Deck: Open Deck
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Horsepower: 330hp to 350hp
  • Torque: 270 ft-lbs to 276 ft-lbs

As you can see, this engine packs a punch with horsepower peaking at over 320 hp in most configurations. The DIG, CVTC, and VVEL technologies allow it to strike an impressive balance between power and efficiency.

Advanced Technologies in VQ37VHR

Let’s look deeper at the two stand-out technologies that help the VQ37VHR deliver phenomenal performance.

VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift)

The Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control system adjusts camshaft timing to optimize power and efficiency at all engine speeds. VVEL takes this a step further by enabling variable lift on the intake valves.

VVEL uses an ingenious rocker arm system with two profiles - one for low lift and one for high lift. Depending on conditions, it can switch valve lift between two settings on the fly. This allows a broad powerband and high redline while maintaining tractability off boost.

DIG (Direct Injection Gasoline)

In 2009, Nissan introduced gasoline direct injection to the VQ37VHR in vehicles like the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37. DIG injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber rather than the intake port. Along with the high 11:1 compression, this significantly improves power and efficiency.

DIG also cools the air charge, allowing more aggressive ignition timing. The result is a bump to 350 hp without hampering throttle response - the VQ37VHR offers the best of both worlds.

What Cars Came Equipped With The VQ37VHR?

Grey Nissan 370Z Nismo

Now let’s look at the most popular vehicles powered by the VQ37VHR:

Nissan 370Z

The Nissan 370Z is the quintessential sports car packing the VQ37VHR. It comes in coupé and roadster body styles, with power levels from 332 hp to 350 hp depending on the trim. With its rear-drive handling and slick manual or auto gearbox options, the 370Z remains one of the most engaging performers in the segment.

Infiniti G37

The G37 coupe and sedan markedly elevated Infiniti’s cred among driving enthusiasts. With curb weights reaching 3,600 pounds, the G37s remain shockingly quick thanks to the hearty VQ37VHR. Tuned versions can dip into the 12s in the quarter mile. The G37 represents an enticing blend of luxury and sinful power.

Other Models

The VQ37VHR also saw duty in numerous Nissan and Infiniti models including the Nissan Fuga luxury sedan, Infiniti EX35 crossover, and Infiniti Q60 coupe. It proved its versatility by powering sedans like the Infiniti M37, along with coupes such as the Infiniti Q50. Other vehicles utilizing the VQ37VHR engine include the Nissan Skyline, Nissan Fairlady Z, Infiniti Q70, Infiniti QX50, and Mitsubishi Proudia. The wide range of vehicles demonstrates the flexibility of this engine to deliver effortless power across different body styles.

Stock VQ37VHR Performance Specs

Now let’s look at some of the concrete performance metrics that make the VQ37VHR special:


In 370Z trim, the VQ37VHR allows 0-60 mph times of just 4.7 seconds when paired with the 6-speed manual. The late-model 370Z NISMO and Sport models, with 350 hp, can do 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Considering the curb weight exceeds 3,300 pounds, these times are seriously quick.

With forced induction, VQ37VHR engines can reach 60 mph in the low 3-second range. Even in stock form, the urgency under hard acceleration never fails to pin occupants against their seatbacks.

Top Speed

The top speed of a stock VQ37VHR falls between 145 and 155 mph depending on the vehicle. Unrestricted variants can exceed 160 mph. While not as stratospheric as some hypercar engines, this still provides more than enough velocity to satisfy speed demons.

Real-World Performance

The VQ37VHR shines in real-world driving with its broad powerband. Peak torque kicks in at a low 5,200 rpm, giving it incredible responsiveness even from a dig. It also feels comfortable and smooth at highway speeds thanks to the even power delivery.

Whether carving canyons or merging onto the freeway, the VQ37VHR always feels ready and willing with ample reserves on tap. The high 7,500 rpm redline means thrilling high-rpm power for aggressive driving.

VQ37VHR Tuning Potential

One alluring aspect of the VQ37VHR is its immense tuning potential. Here are some popular modification paths:

Forced Induction

Turbocharger and supercharger kits are ubiquitous for the VQ37VHR. With some supporting mods and a tune, forced induction can boost output to 500+ horsepower. The stout internals and components give it great reinforcement for significant power gains.

Intakes, Exhausts, and Tunes

Simple bolt-ons like intakes, high-flow exhausts, and ECU tunes can crank up rear-wheel horsepower over 400. VQ specialists like Z1 Motorsports and Specialty Z offer tons of off-the-shelf parts to unlock more power.

Internal Components

For those chasing huge numbers, built internals open the door to 600+ horsepower. Forged pistons, rods, cams, valves, and ported heads turn the VQ37VHR into a fire-breathing monster. The potential is there for 1500+ horsepower in all-out drag builds.

Reliability and Longevity

Nissan VQ37VHR Engine Short Block

For the amount of power and performance it offers, the VQ37VHR proves remarkably reliable and durable:

Service Life

With proper maintenance, it’s not uncommon for the VQ37VHR to exceed 200,000 miles. Many examples have crossed 300,000+ miles while still running strong.

Common Issues

Oil consumption is one known issue, often traced to stuck piston rings. Premature clutch wear can occur in manual gearbox cars. Other occasional faults include ignition coil or crank/cam sensor failures.

Overall, the VQ37VHR avoids chronic weaknesses when maintained diligently. Following the factory service schedule and using quality oils go a long way to maximize longevity.

How Does The VQ37VHR Sound?

A vital part of the VQ37VHR’s appeal lies within its characteristic exhaust note:

Stock Exhaust Note

The engine serves up a pleasing tone even with the stock exhaust system. It has a refined bassy pitch at idle, building to an aggressive metallic snarl at higher rpms. For a stock exhaust, it still offers plenty of audible character.

Aftermarket Exhausts

The potential opens up with aftermarket exhausts. Systems from Tanabe, Motordyne, and HKS emit a guttural, exotic tone. Bellowing VQ37VHRs are music to enthusiasts' ears, especially with high-flow intakes accentuating induction noise. The engine begs to be uncorked.

Cost of Ownership

Modified White Nissan 370Z Parked
"370z 4" by Ali Al-Emadi is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The VQ37VHR offers a lot of value when you consider the purchase price and operating costs:

Purchase Price

Used examples of VQ37VHR-powered vehicles generally range from $15,000 to $25,000. Considering the balance of luxury and power, that represents substantial value compared to rivals. This engine is an accessible way to get world-class capability.

Maintenance Costs

Apart from consumables, the VQ37VHR doesn’t call for many major maintenance items under 100,000 miles. With DIY wrenching, it’s possible to keep annual costs under $1000 including tires, brakes, fluids, plugs, and filters.

Fuel Costs

Fuel mileage lands in the low 20s, which is quite reasonable for the performance. Required premium fuel does cost a bit more, but remains within the bounds of other sports car engines. Driven gently, 30+ mpg is attainable on the highway.

OverRev’s VQ37VHR Engine Breakdown

Nissan VQ37VHR Engine

In summary, the Nissan VQ37VHR stands out as one of the best-engineered V6 engines of the modern era. It extracts a fantastic balance of power, efficiency, smoothness, and sound quality. This engine helped redefine Nissan and Infiniti as legitimate players in the performance realm.

Whether experienced in the Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37, or a different vehicle, the VQ37VHR offers an intoxicating driving experience. It establishes a rare harmony between technology and driver engagement. For these reasons, the VQ37VHR has rightfully earned its status as a contemporary legend among Japanese performance engines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the VQ37VHR engine best known for?

The VQ37VHR is most acclaimed for its immense tuning potential. With the right modifications, it can reliably achieve over 500 horsepower. It delivers an irresistible blend of power and soundtrack even in stock form.

How does it compare to other engines in its class?

The VQ37VHR stands tall against rivals like the 4.6L V8 in the Mustang GT. It matches or exceeds the Mustang in horsepower while offering higher efficiency and fewer issues when modified. It again shines in reliability and affordability against foreign competitors from BMW and Audi.

Is it a reliable engine?

Yes, the VQ37VHR has proven to be very stout across hundreds of thousands of road miles. Simple maintenance and conservative tuning help it last over 200,000 miles in many cases. These engines continue running smoothly even at extremely high mileage.

What cars commonly use this engine?

The most popular vehicles are the Nissan 370Z, Infiniti G37, and Infiniti Q60. But the VQ37VHR has also appeared in sedans like the Nissan Fuga overseas. It’s a versatile engine that has adapted across body styles.

Are there any known issues with this engine?

Overall, this engine has minimal design flaws and enjoys an excellent reputation. However, oil burning can be a concern on higher-mileage units. Other sporadic faults include premature clutch wear, ignition coils, and various sensors. But overall, it is solidly engineered.

Latest POSTS