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by Tim Beissmann

Nissan has unveiled the engine that will power the Nissan Altima race car in the 2013 V8 Supercars championship.

The VK56DE engine, manufactured in Decherd, Tennessee in the US, will become the only production engine in the V8 Supercars series, and will be available in Australia in the all-new Nissan Patrol from early next year.

Racing director and foundation driver for the newly formed Nissan Motorsport, Todd Kelly, described the unveiling of the VK56DE engine as a key milestone in Nissan’s journey to the 2013 V8 Supercars grid.

“A huge amount of time and effort has gone into getting the first VK56DE completed and the result is a spectacular looking engine,” Kelly said.

“There is still a lot of work to do but we’re proud to unveil our Nissan engine technology today at our team’s facility.”

The engine was unveiled in Melbourne today at the team’s engine department, which is housed in the extension to the Kelly Racing facility. The upgraded facility will incorporate all 19 departments of the team by January 1 when it is rebranded as Nissan Motorsport. The expanded facility also includes a new dyno cell, and designated CNC machining, carbonfibre and composite, paint and spray booth areas.

The VK56DE engine – also used to power the Nissan Titan, Armada, Pathfinder and Infiniti QX in North America – features an all-aluminium block and heads and a 32-valve, double overhead cam configuration.

The 90-degree powerplant uses electronic fuel injection and a MoTeC electronic control unit.

The engine has been sleaved and the bore and stroke adjusted to fit within the V8 Supercar championship series’ regulations, reducing its capacity from 5.6- to 5.0-litres.

While the VK56DE has a different appearance and unique specifications to the race engines currently used by Ford and Holden, Nissan Motorsport says it is working closely with V8 Supercars to achieve a fair playing field in 2013.

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Nissan Motorsport VK56DE specifications:

Block: Cast aluminium 90-degree V8
Heads: Quad cam, four valves per cylinder
Capacity: 4990cc
Bore x Stroke: 102.69mm x 75.31mm
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Maximum rpm: 7500
Fuel: E85
Liners: Dry cast iron
Ignition: Direct fire coil on plug




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