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Nissan 350Z VQ35DE Engine - Castrol Top Shop Challenge

The All-Motor VQ35DE
Part 4: Digging Up Dirt

Sep 1, 2008
0809_impp_01_z+nissan_350z_vq35de_engine+top_shop_logo Photo 1/1   |   Nissan 350Z VQ35DE Engine - Castrol Top Shop Challenge

If you've read any of our recent issues, you are no doubt familiar with the Syntec Top Shop Challenge. Six other magazines within our company are hard at work scrounging up parts in an attempt to beat the VQ35 motor that Cosworth Engineering is building for us. Meanwhile we get to sit back and let our guys do their thing. We like to consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable when it comes to engines but sometimes you just need to just back off and let mechanics do their thing. As Cosworth updates us with progress reports we'll pass the info straight on to you. We are as eager as anyone to see what they'll come up with next.

In the meantime the powers that be have encouraged us to publicly humiliate our competitors. But honestly it just doesn't seem fair. They've been going at each other for a while but everyone is pretty reserved when it comes to taking shots at the Cosworth SCC team. Here are a few examples:

"These guys crack us up! First, they decide to enter a VQ35DE in the competition. Not a rev-up engine, but still not an entirely bad choice. Then they go to Cosworth to build it. Very good choice; Cosworth wrenches on F1 cars for bet they know what they're doing, but here's where things go genuinely SCC--they decide to go naturally aspirated at 3.5L, they're practically at the same displacement as our built SR20 with the forced induction penalty. This means that, pound-for-pound, they'd have to churn out about 770 horses to even be competitive. Isn't gonna happen."
- Import Tuner

Actually you guys will be glad to know that our VQ has been bored and stroked to 3796cc. You've got nothing to be concerned about. Don't worry that the power per liter test is only worth 30 out of 190 points. Still we can't be mad at them. That was about the harshest criticism that anyone dared to print. And it's nothing compared to what they had to say about eurotuner's engine that 034 Motorsports is building.

"Everyone knows that euros and horsepower go together about as well as oil and water. It's a fundamental law of automotive science, right up there with the Venturi Effect and Murphy's Law. Yes, we know the Bugatti Veyron is European. And the badass LP640 hails from Italy. But Volkswagen manufactures neither car, and eurotuner thinks they can win this thing with a 7A Quattro engine. What's that? You're laughing? So are we!"
- Import Tuner

Yes, but we're not laughing with you. I hate to break it to you but Bugatti is owned by VW. And if that's the Lamborghini you're talking about and not a body kit or something. Um, they're part of Audi now, which is also a subsidiary of Volkswagen. Time to un-pimp zee auto boys.

Here's eurotuner's response, "...In the meantime we'll be doing our part, standing guard outside 034's shop, armed with an arsenal of water balloon launchers and Roman candles to counteract any form of espionage. These other rags are playing dirty."

Then there's the team at Modified Magazine. They seem to be tip-toeing around like they know they'll be eating their words later.

"One of the bigger names in the competition is Cosworth who's building the motor for Sport Compact Car. They are using a VQ35DE out of a Nissan 350Z and interestingly enough they are going the naturally aspirated route. They have plenty of racing heritage especially with their F1 and Champ Car programs but we're not sure if that's going to have what it takes."

Finally we hear from Bisi Ezerioha from Bisimoto who's building an F23 Accord motor for Super Street. He almost sounds like he's rooting for us.

"A lot of the teams are taking the easy way out with turbocharged applications. If the other companies wanted to show-off their work and their merit, they should be doing what Cosworth and I are doing, which is to build an N.A. engine because it's really challenging to build an N.A. power plant."

"Anyone can put together an engine, throw some boost at it and make power. It takes a special team of people to get power naturally aspirated. That's what I have to say to my peers at the other magazines."

"When it comes to Cosworth and what they're doing, it's really a David versus Goliath [situation]. I have some technology up my sleeve that I'm going to put out there that should give them a very hard run for their money. But Cosworth is a respectable company; I really like what they're doing. But big-bore engines are pretty nice, but are easier to make power from. It would be nice if they used a smaller bore engine to see what kind of power they could extract from it, but I guess that's our job!"
- Bisi Ezerioha

Thanks Bisi! We expect both of the NA motors to surprise people with their performance and reliability. Unlike the boosted motors that will scare everyone with shrapnel.

For more information on the competition, you can visit There you can see videos of the Cosworth engineers in action. That's been good enough to keep us satisfied for the last month. While you're there you can register to win the winning motor. In our next update we'll dive back into the technical aspects of our qualifying spec VQ35.



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