The Nissan RB26DETT

The Invincible RB26DETT: Heart of Godzilla!


Few Japanese engines are held in as high esteem as the venerable Nissan RB26DETT. The engine was first fitted in 1989 to the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R, and immediately caused upsets in motorsport and tuning circles, including it’s iconic debut at Bathurst in Australia using the N1 designation (more on the RB26DETT N1 down the page). Here we present a few pertinent facts about the powerhouse of the later model Godzillas.

The unit is from the RB family of engines, a 2.6L dual overhead cam, electronically fuel injected, twin turbo (RB26DETT) charged inline six cylinder. It uses a cast-iron block at it’s core, with aluminium cylinder heads, 24 valves (4 valves per cylinder) and uses 6 throttle bodies, unique amongst the RB family.

Mechanical Specifications

Power & Torque

However, the motor is recognized as being over-engineered, much like Toyota’s 2JZ, and power up to and exceeding 600HP on mechanically stock internals is common in tuning circles. Some highly modified vehicles carrying extensively modified RB26DETT’s produce well over 1000HP.

The N1 series RB26DETT, produced by NISMO for GroupA/Group N motorsport is believed capable of a maximum power exceeding 1900HP.


All models except the N1 and Z2 (itself a modified N1) versions of the RB26DETT use twin, parallel ceramic turbochargers, utilizing 3 cylinders per turbo and running at 10PSI (restricted by boost restrictor to 14PSI). The N1 and Z2 versions use Garret T25 steel turbochargers due to issues with the N1’s higher boost rating, with the R32, R33 using Journal Bearing versions, and the R34 using Ball Bearing.

Engine specifics

  • 24 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Cast-iron engine block
  • Aluminium cylinder heads
  • 6 throttle bodies

Cars using the RB26DETT

  • R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R
  • R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R
  • R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R
  • Nissan Skyline GT-R Z-tune
  • Nissan Stagea 260RS