When you think of an SUV, the last thing that comes to mind is how fast it will go, exclusively for a mammoth like the Toyota Land Cruiser. These big beasts are built to tackle the harshest of terrains at moderate speeds at best, but Toyota has managed to pull a bunny out of its racing hat. With all its racing heritage in play, the Japanese brand has built a custom 2000-horsepower Land Speed Cruiser which has now claimed the title of the ‘World’s Fastest SUV’. The Land Speed Cruiser clocked a speed of over 230.02-mph, which translates to 370.18-kmph.
The Land Speed Cruiser’s engine is based on the stock 5.7-litre petrol V8 from the production car. The team of engineers from Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Centre (MTC) then added two gigantic turbochargers to it so it could gulp in air faster. The engine was also modified slightly with stronger pistons, rods and a custom-made intake manifold to help it take the punishment of producing over 2000 horsepower. The engineers then added a custom racing transmission which was strong and reliable enough to handle all those horses at high speeds.
In terms of the exterior design, the Land Speed Cruiser was lowered and given an aerodynamic body kit. The engineers even managed to make the frame narrower by 3-inches to accommodate wider and stickier Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Driven by former Toyota NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards, the Land Speed Cruiser broke the previous record by 30kmph on the 4km stretch at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Toyota claims that on a longer piece of tarmac, the SUV will go even faster. The first glimpse of the Land Speed Cruiser was seen at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, where a stock Land Cruiser heavily modified by the MTC team was showcased. On the first warm-up run, this beast of an SUV touched 318kmph.
On the second run, Edwards manages to reach 339.5kmph. For the third stint, the engineers allowed, more boost to reach the engine and this resulted in the record-breaking run where the SUV managed to set a top speed of 370.18kmph. After the record, Edwards said, “At 225mph (362.1kmph), the thing was wandering a little bit. All I could think was that Craig said, ‘No matter what, just keep your foot in it,’ and we got 230mph (370.18kmph).” “It’s safe to say that this is the fastest SUV on the planet.” Records are meant to be broken, and hence we have a new SUV sitting on top of the mountain with a new speed record. It would be very interesting to see when and who will challenge the Land Speed Cruiser to snatch the crown. While Toyota Land Speed Cruiser may have claimed the title of the ‘World’s Fastest SUV’, the Bentley Bentayga still holds the record for the fastest unmodified production SUV when it touched 301kmph during its testing phase prior to its launch in September 2015.