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2014 Nissan Versa Note
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before anything, the short answer:
The HR is an economic engine meant to save you money. You're not going to make substantial power. However, at its best, you can make close to 200 (if you're feeling risky), or be at a safe 130-140. With that being said, you're looking at a solid $5000, give or take some. If you've got the money and time, modding a Versa/HR16 may just bring enough fun. Power mods are definitely in my to-do list when I've got the salary to support it.
For safety's sake, only do serious power mods on the manual transmission. Your CVT will explode. If you don't like manual, you may find a decent middle ground with the auto trans (discussed later), but you'll have a cap on potential power.

Understanding the Engine
The reality is that the HR series has close to no aftermarket support. Most mods come from taking pieces of its many variants and lowering the restrictions on it, giving just enough power before things go kaboom.
The HR series' most notable engines are the HR12 and HR16 - there are some other variants out there like the HR15.

HR12
The HR12 is found in many foreign (out of U.S.) models, typically Asia. In the Versa's case, the HR12 is the engine used in the Nismo and e-Power models, which come with a supercharger or hybrid motor, respectively. To my knowledge, these models pump out 120-130 hp with one less cylinder [than the HR16] off the assembly line. Unfortunately, these specs were only produced in Japan, so parts would have to be imported. On the bright side, everything would, for the most part, be bolt-on. If you want to have some fun, try jerryrigging the 3-cyl designed supercharger to work on the 4-cyl HR16, or the same for the hybrid motor (I'd say you could make maybe 135-140 hp with either one).​

HR16
The HR16 gets its fun in other cars carrying the same engine. Also known as the Renault H4M, the HR16 is found in Micras, Jukes, Kicks, and some Renault models. The most important model is the Micra. The Micra, also referred to as a Nissan March, has a Nismo spec. To my understanding, this Nismo spec comes with a full turbo kit off the assembly line. Of course, this being Nissan, it's not making much power (I believe 115-120?), however this shouldn't bring your hopes down. The point of the Micra's kit is proof that the HR16 can in fact be turbo'd, and that there is already an existing starting point for it. The Micra community has done their own work, most of it in languages I don't speak. Regardless, numbers close to 200 have been pumped out: how they got here, I'm not sure-perhaps an upgraded turbo or some riskier tuning, point is they made 200 HP at only about 7.5 psi.​
* While writing this, I came across proof of the HR16 being turbo'd in the Almera. I couldn't find any numbers, but this helps prove that there is plenty of potential regarding turboing an HR16.​
With all this being said, how exactly can you make power? Furthermore-what actually makes power?
* These will be updated as I learn more about the HR platform. Maybe it's TMI, but as I write this I'm only 16 and can only spend so long researching stuff that I won't be able to attempt for years. I'm also no mechanical genius so I may be wrong in some areas: if I am, feel free to correct me.

Air Intakes
Maybe the cheapest method is Air Intakes. As far as the Versa goes, the best option is an Injen SRI Intake (about $220). From what I've heard, this makes plenty of induction noise but no noticeable power diff. (as expected). I've not heard of anyone tuning a naturally aspirated HR so I don't know how much-if any-power this makes. For the sake of this thread we'll say 3-5 hp.
If you truly care about the specs, it is an SRI: you're pulling in hot air. I've seen a lot of debate of whether or not hot vs cold air makes any power difference, but if you lean towards the "yes it does" side, look into a custom CAI. I'd follow the same path the stock intake takes (under the driver side headlight) but of course with more open piping.

Camshaft, Internals, etc.
The harsh reality is that there is [to my knowledge] nothing you can do inside the HR. All I can tell you is that the HR16 does utilize VVT (variable valve timing)...do with that as you will. Again, remember this is an economic engine. Nobody's looking to make 200-300 HP on forged internals on an engine designed to make 30 MPG. With that being said, to anyone making progress with their build: please do not go past...let's say 150 HP...without serious caution.

Exhausts
Much like air intakes, the most an exhaust will do is give you a new sound, for better or for worse. Should you be lucky, a tuned car may make 3-5 HP on some highly unrestrictive exhaust. However, you guys should definitely experiment on Versa exhausts. I've been trying to compile my own guide (thread coming soon).

ECU/ECM Modding?
Tread VERY lightly when it comes to this as nobody seems to truly document how well these work-just that they do. Also to note is that these are applicable to of course the Micra and Almera and other models: I don't know how different-if any at all-the ECU for a Versa is compared to an older gen Micra. With that being said, some Micra/Almera builders have managed to get some standalones and piggybacks to work, which does open up the opportunity for tuning and safer forced induction. From what I know (which is solely what other builds have listed), you can use a KKT Compact 32 Piggyback, or a MaxxECU Mini Standalone. Again, I can't find anyone who's messed around with tuning a naturally aspirated HR, so I don't know how much freedom this gives you

Forced Induction
As far as turbos and superchargers go, I covered most of it when explaining the HR12 and HR16 applications. For the thread's sake, it's been copy and pasted here as well.
Also to note is this thread regarding turbo kits on the Micra: pricing, part specifics, etc. Feel free to dig through this thread, it's very helpful and informative.
Supercharger/Hybrid
"-the HR12 is the engine used in the Nismo and e-Power models, which come with a supercharger or hybrid motor, respectively. To my knowledge, these models pump out 120-130 hp with one less cylinder [than the HR16] off the assembly line. Unfortunately, these specs were only produced in Japan, so parts would have to be imported. On the bright side, everything would, for the most part, be bolt-on. If you want to have some fun, try jerryrigging the 3-cyl designed supercharger to work on the 4-cyl HR16, or the same for the hybrid motor (I'd say you could make maybe 135-140 hp with either one)."​
Turbocharger
"-this Nismo spec comes with a full turbo kit off the assembly line. Of course, this being Nissan, it's not making much power (I believe 115-120?), however this shouldn't bring your hopes down. The point of the Micra's kit is proof that the HR16 can in fact be turbo'd, and that there is already an existing starting point for it. The Micra community has done their own work, most of it in languages I don't speak. Regardless, numbers close to 200 have been pumped out: how they got here, I'm not sure-perhaps an upgraded turbo or some riskier tuning, point is they made 200 HP at only about 7.5 psi.​
* While writing this, I came across proof of the HR16 being turbo'd in the Almera. I couldn't find any numbers, but this helps prove that there is plenty of potential regarding turboing an HR16."​
Regarding that automatic transmission listed earlier: they are not found in the Versa. The most notable one is the 4AT found in the K13 Micra. There may be others present in the numerous other models, whether they be paired to an HR12 or 15 or 16. Personally, I'd do your own research with this. I don't know how much power they can handle, only that it's undoubtedly more than the CVT but less than the 5MT. Even if you aren't looking to make power, this may be an interesting swap for drivability's sake: I f'ing hate the CVT.

Should anything anyone else finds not be listed here, feel free to reply w/ it and I'll tack it on. This thread will be ever changing as I learn more and do more research.
 
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