Yokohama, Japan - Tucked away and rarely discussed, the Nissan Engine Museum probably gets little foot traffic compared to the other automotive highlights around Yokohama and Tokyo area. However, after purchasing a car and getting into some hullabaloo, I began to appreciate the heart of the car a little bit more on what makes it tick
With little information about the museum in English, I had only chanced upon the Museum while I was in Yokohama.
Alighting at Keikyu-Shinkoyasu Station in Yokohama, the museum is a 1.5km (0.9mi) stroll from the station and the entrance to the museum is at the front of Nissan’s Yokohama Plant Number One where engine and suspension components are produced. Situated in one of the original buildings of Nissan Motors (Formerly known as Jitsuyo Jidosha Co Ltd) that was built in 1934, the Nissan Engine Museum showcases some 28 engines of historical or significant value along with some classic automobiles.
On entry (Free of charge), you are greeted by a teardown of one of the engines manufactured at the plant, showcasing its major components. Nissan endeavours to trim the weight of their engines through the reduction of the number of parts required while achieving lower emissions and noise but with higher power.
With electric cars being the future, Nissan has a display in the main hall with a pair of zero emissions Nissan Leaf along with a not-too-green Nissan X-Trail as a showcase of examples of car models with engines that were build there.
Probably more well known, the VR38DETT of the famed Nissan GT-R R35 is hand assembled in the Tochigi plant by highly skilled technicians. Perks of building the VR38DETT would be being to stamp your name on a metal plate that is welded onto the engine for all eternity.
The 3-litre Nissan ZD30DDTi diesel engine suited to EURO VI emission standards that can be found in the Nissan Patrol or the commercial NT400/NT500 series trucks.
The VQ series engine, similar to that found on the Nissan Skyline V35 series (We had one featured a few years ago - click here), this VQ37VHR was developed for the Infiniti G37 coupe with a maximum output of 330HP and 366Nm of torque. Fun fact – The VQ series took on Ward Autoworld’s Top 10 Best Engines for 14 consecutive years between 1995 and 2008, followed by two more wins in 2012 and 2016.
Before the unification of technical regulations of Super GT and DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) in 2014, the GT500 Nissan GT-Rs participating in the Super GT series ran some small and light 3.4-litre V8 DOHC VRH34B engines that pushed out over 440hp and over 400Nm of torque. See here in our archives from the Malaysian round of Super GT 2013.
The VRT35 – A naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V12 used in the Group C Nissan NP35 race car at the World Sports car Championship of 1992, it never found its way to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The GRX-II – 6.0-litres of wholesome V12 used in the Nissan R362 for the 1969 Japanese Grand Prix that eventually dominated the race, putting cars including the Porsche 917 and Toyota 7 at bay.
Not just engines on show, the museum sports a Datsun Type 15 Roadster. Not quite what you envisage of a roadster today, this Type 15 was manufactured in this Yokohama plant!
Needs no introduction – The RB26DETT of the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R. 280hp is all but a lie.
If staring at engine blocks after engine blocks is not enough for you, the museum dedicates a good portion to bring you through the production cycle of engine block from the smelting of aluminium ingots to become a cylinder block, to the forging of engine parts like the crankshaft and connecting rods, and finally through the assembly of them all.
Expect to spend some 2 hours in the museum to ravel in 80 years of Nissan’s history and we suggest that you can pair your visit with the Nismo Omori Factory some 15 minutes’ walk away.