The VQ engine, which offers high combustion efficiency, high output, and impressive torque in a lightweight and compact package, is highly suitable for motor sports. Ken'ichi Sasaki, president of Nismo and currently serving as Nissan's Global Motorsports Officer, was involved in the design of this engine during his period as leader of Nissan's Engine Development Department. Mr. Sasaki said: "In fact at the development stage, we did not envisage that this engine would be used for motor sports. However, during product planning we knew that it would become our main power unit so we designed a number of different kinds of pistons, con rods, and other components for different levels of output and prepared a menu of options. Our pursuit of the issues required by this engine, such as fuel efficiency, quietness, and durability, proved ultimately effective for motor sports use. Such issues as reducing the friction of sliding parts, going all out to lighten moving parts, and compact packaging are very much the basic issues of motor sports too."
The VQ was used for the pickup trucks entered in the Dakar Rally, the Skyline GTR twin-turbo engine cars raced in the All-Japan GT Championship (GT500), the Fairlady Z naturally aspirated vehicles entered in the All-Japan GT Championship (GT300), and the World Series by Nissan Series raced in Europe. The British privateer team also mounted the VQ in its roller chassis in the Le Mans 24-Hour race, and development of the unit is steadily continuing. The V6 engines used in the Formula Renault are also VQs.

The following are some of the motor sports categories where Nissan's excellent VQ engine is used.
All-Japan GT Championship: Skyline GT-R
Nissan mounted a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine (VQ30DETT) in the Skyline GT-R entered in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), a popular event in Japan. Aspiration restrictions, based on a restricter, were imposed. Entered in the top category, the GT-R demonstrated outstanding reliability and stability for the second year. From the very first race of the 2003 season, GT-R had five consecutive podium finishes.

Capacity: 2987 cc
Maximum output: 485 ps (min) / 5600 rpm
Maximum torque: 75 Kgm (min) / 4000 rpm
Fuel/ignition system: ECCS/NDIS
Turbo charger: Twin turbo

All-Japan GT Championship: Fairlady Z
Nissan used a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated (NA) VQ35DE in its Fairlady Z entered this year in the GT300 class of the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship. All eyes were on the Fairlady Z, which entered this demanding race for the first time this year. The vehicle is fitted with an airflow restrictor. A feature of the Fairlady Z is the high-pitched note of its exhaust, characteristic of naturally aspirated engines. With 2003 our debut year, in the future we are likely to see various performance enhancements and an improved menu.

Capacity: 3572 cc
Maximum output: 300 ps (min) / 8000 rpm
Maximum torque: 43 Kgm (min) / 7000 rpm
Fuel/ignition system: ECCS/NDIS

Dakar Rally: Pickup
From 2002, the Nissan works' Nissan Rally Raid team began participating in the Dakar Rally. The team demonstrated its potential by securing fifth place on its first attempt and chalking up five best times out of a total of 17 special stages. Nissan's pickup was powered by a VQ35DE engine. The vehicle is fitted with an airflow restrictor. Engine development and tuning was by Nissan South Africa.

Capacity: 3572 cc
Maximum output: 280 ps (min) / 5000 rpm
Maximum torque: 37 Kgm (min) / 4700 rpm
Control system: Pectel T6 ECM

South Africa Off-Road Championship: Pickup
The South Africa Nissan team entered the pickup for the Dakar Rally in a local off-road race and further refined its battle-readiness. The engine used in this pickup was the same 3500-cc VQ35DE engine used in the Dakar Rally. But in South Africa, air restricters are not mandatory, and the engine developed at least 450 ps.
World Series by Nissan
This is a popular intermediate formula series staged in Europe, centering on Spain, and South America. Today, this event is developing into the quickest route to F1 racing. This is a single-make formula in which all the cars were powered by VQ30DE engines; the chassis were made by Dallara of Italy.
Up until 2001, this series used the SR engine, but from 2002 switched to the VQ engine to gain both better performance and save costs. The engine is tuned to develop 450 ps, but long overhauling sites help reduce teams' operating costs.
Le Mans 24-Hour Race
A British private team participated in the LMP675 class using an open vehicle powered by a VQ34 engine (a 3400-cc unit was selected because of vehicle regulations) in a Lola chassis. The team's successes include a win in this class in 2000. Their vehicle used an original rebuilt block teamed with a highly reliable mass-production engine head.