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.
Due to the “gentlemans agreement” in Japan, the power of the RB26DETT is always 206KW/280HP on paper, though mechanically stock standard vehicles have consistently produced figures that place the power at 320HP plus. For the first series, peak output occurs @ 6800 RPM, with 353 N•m (260 ft•lb) available at 4400 RPM. The final series produces peak power also at 6800 RPM, and 392 N•m (289 ft•lb) at 4400 rpm.
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 Group A/Group N motorsport is believed capable of a maximum power exceeding 1900HP.
The Z2 series (designation RB26DETTZ2/RB28Z2), a stronger N1 block bored and stroked to 2.8L, produces 368KW (510BHP), with 540N•m of torque. The engine featured in the Skyline GT-R Z-tune.
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 the Ball Bearing type.
- 24 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
- Cast-iron engine block
- Aluminium cylinder heads
- Camshaft Duration: 240°in, 236°ex lift: 8.58mm in, 8.28mm ex (Standard). Camshaft duration 240°in, 236°ex lift: 8.58mm in, 8.28mm ex (N1)
- 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