Nissan VK56DE racing V-8 engineEnlarge Photo
Unlike the engines found in the rival Falcon and Commodore, which rely on pushrod cam technology and only two valves per cylinder, the Nissan powerplant benefits from a double overhead cam design with four valves per cylinder. The engine, whose performance has already been proven in the Nissan GT-R GT1 racer, also features electronic fuel injection and a MoTeC ECU.
Note, due to the benefits of its engine design, Nissan will work closely with V8 Supercars on achieving a fair playing field. In addition to the 5.0-liter displacement limit, the engine also must have an rpm limit of between 7,000 and 7,500 revs, an output of around 650 horsepower and a torque curve that’s in parity with its rival units from Ford and Holden.
Fielding the Nissan Altima powered by the new V-8 engine will be Kelly Racing, which will campaign four separate cars under a factory-backed program. Engineers are currently fine-tuning the aerodynamics of the Altima-bodied race cars and expect to complete their design by the end of the year.
While the exterior of the race car will closely resemble the production Nissan Altima, the chassis underneath will be nothing like its production cousin. In fact, the current V8 Supercars regulations call for a single ‘control’ chassis common to all teams--no matter which car they’re fielding.
First tests of the engine in the Altima race car should start in October, ahead of the car’s competition debut next March.