What is NeoVVL?
The NeoVVL engines are of the similar design of Nissan's most popular SR based engine. The difference being that using Variable Valve Lift and Timing technology the peak power output of these engines peak at around 187BHP on a stock 2 Litre engine whilst still offering reliability and fair fuel consumption. They are occasionally compared to Honda's V-Tec system but Nissan had a new ace up there sleeve. The SRxxVE engine has the addition of Variable Valve Lift and Timing rather than V-Tec's Variable Valve Timing system as well as the Exhaust and Intake Valves switching independently where as the V-Tec switched both camshafts together. The main big VE engine Nissan made was the N1 based engine which was a released in a limited number fashion, we believe there are only around 500 of these units made.
A lot of people wonder what NeoVVL is and what it stands for. First and foremost NeoVVL stands for "Nissan Ecology Orientated Variable Valve Lift and Timing". Although the "T" is not in the name. In a nut shell this means that on a given rev range the engine will change the lift and timing on the intake and exhaust cam independently. This means when the bottom cam profile runs out of power the timing changes and allows the engine to keep generating good power all the way to the red line. NeoVVL engines can generally rev to around 8200 RPM in stock form.
To generate the power on a non VVL engine to match that of the VVL engine, a lot of modification is required. First and most noticeably is the cam shafts. You can use a set of Lumpy Camshafts but with means the engine will have poor idle, can have starting issues when cold and generally not a great daily driver. With the NeoVVL system, you bottom cam profile will run perfectly with the engine for idle and general day to day driving as well as offering good fuel consumption. What you do notice however that the VVL engine is pretty responsive bottom end, the cam profile allows to generate the maximum performance of the engine on the low rev range but the down side is the power band starts to drop off around 4000 RPM. This is where the Cam changing makes the difference. The NeoVVL engine changes the cam profiles independently, the first cam to change is the Intake and then the Exhaust camshaft after. Most other manufactures like Honda's V-Tec and Toyota's VVTi switch both cams together. The benefit of the NeoVVL doing independent cam switching is that the exhaust cam will still generate good power more than the intake. Hence you get a power boost when the first cam kicks in and then when the exhaust cam kicks in. This makes the feeling of power gains feel so much smoother as well as a great sound at top end rev range.
There were a few variations of the VE engine, and were found in several vehicles but they were on only limited release on certain parts of the world. For more information please click the "What is NeoVVL" link where we provide information of where the engines were found and what vehicles they were in.The NeoVVL engine was developed by Nissan around 1997. It was limited release on some models of the car mostly around Asia and Australasia and some parts of Europe.
The SR20VE, SR16VE, and SR16VE.N1 are a lot more popular today and there are many modifications that can be done to this engine. One of the benefits of this engine is that its a modified version of Nissan's most popular engine the SR20DE engine. (The SR20DE engine was produced from 1990 - 2002). This means that if the bottom end of the engine was to go then a replacement DE engine bottom end can be used. The DE pistons, crank can also be used with this. There is however a slight modification needed for the oil feed which isn't too hard.
There are many suppliers supplying camshafts, replacement parts for the VE engine. So sourcing parts should not be too hard. One of the many recommended upgrades of the SR20VE engine is that you can use the SR16VE or SR16VE.N1 cams which provides a huge increase in power because of the aggressive camshaft profiles. With these modifications its been known that the SR20VE engine can produce 220 BHP still using Naturally Aspirated and still offers good fuel economy. To change the SR16VE engines to a 2 Litre displacement, this can be done by using a SR20DE or SR20VE crankshaft. You can use the old pistons but this will increase the compression ratio. either way the main down side to modifying any VE engine is that it requires a remap.