May 8, 2008

Nissan RB26DETT Engine

The Nissan RB26DETT is a 2.6L straight-6 four-stroke engine best known for being the power plant for Nissan’s premier sports car the Skyline. The “D” indicates a double overhead cam, the “E” stands for electronically fuel-injected, and the “TT” means the engine has twin turbochargers.

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Originally, the R32 Skyline GT-R was planned to have a 2.4L RB24DET (single turbo) in order to compete in the 4000cc class of Group A. But when Nismo engineers added the AWD system to the R32 Skyline it made the car heavy and less competitive. At that point, Nissan made the decision to add twin turbochargers to the now 2.6L engine and compete in the 4500cc class. The resulting engine would be known as the RB26DETT that is popular today.

The first 2.6L RB26DETT engine featured in the Nissan R32 Skyline produced around 276HP (206 kW) @ 6800 rpm and 260 ft lbs (353 N·m) @ 4400 rpm. The last series of the RB26DETT present in the R34 Skyline produced 280 PS (206 kW) @ 6800 rpm but increased torque to 289 ft·lb (392 N·m) @ 4400 rpm.

These horsepower numbers appear modest at first but stock RB26DETT engines have been dyno tested close to the 320 horsepower mark. The reason some RB26DETT engines put out 320HP and others don’t is due to environmental restrictions. In Japan, every production car is restricted to 276HP. Therefore, Japanese versions of the engine put out 276HP and unrestricted or non-Japanese versions put out 320HP.

Aftermarket performance companies like HKS and Tomei sell parts like variable cams and pulleys for the RB26 that increase its tuning and performance potential. With extreme modification, the RB26 engine is capable of horsepower in excess of 1 megawatt or 1,340 horsepower.

The RB26DETT engine can be found in the following cars:

Nissan Skyline GT-R R32
Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
Nissan Stagea 260RS
Tommy Kaira ZZ II

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