Toyota has claimed the title of World’s Fastest SUV after a Toyota Land Cruiser hit 230 miles an hour (370 km/h) on a long runway. But don’t try that with the Land Cruiser you might have parked in the driveway.
Toyota made a few changes to create the vehicle it’s cleverly dubbed the Land Speed Cruiser. While the engine started out as the Land Cruiser’s usual 381 horsepower 5.7-liter V8, engineers modified it by adding two big turbochargers, among other changes. Ultimately, the engine’s output was multiplied more than five times to 2,000 horsepower.
The hulking SUV required other tweaks to prepare it to push through the air at over 200 miles an hour. The suspension was lowered so that the truck hugged the ground, and was also modified to allow for wider tires.
Former NASCAR driver Carl Edwards drove the truck at Mojave Air and Space Port in California for the record run. That facility has a 2.5 mile runway on which the test was done.
The Land Speed Cruiser was heavily modified for its world record speed run, was lowered substantially to improve aerodynamics, stability, and, most importantly, controllability at high speeds. On the first run at Mojave Air and Space Port, Edwards was able to hit 211 mph – matching the previous record – before the SUV started running out of braking room. The engineers then upped the boost and the Land Speed Cruiser hit 230.02 mph. Toyota says it could go even faster with enough road.
However, Bentley still lays claim to the fastest unmodified production SUV with the Bentayga, which has a top speed of 187 miles an hour.