The Toyota Land Cruiser now holds the official title of “World’s Fastest SUV.”
SEMA projects are notorious for being strictly show cars, but Toyota wanted to prove that its heavily modified Land Cruiser that debuted at the 2016 SEMA Show doesn’t just belong on a trailer. The custom 2,000-horsepower Toyota Land Cruiser made a surprising debut in Las Vegas last year, but skeptics dismissed it as somewhat of an empty promise. Toyota has put all that power from the 5.7-liter V8 engine to good use, however, and has set a record speed of 230.02 mph.
Hopping behind the wheel of the record-setting attempt was former Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who beat the previous record by more than 19 mph. The Japanese automaker said the GPS-verified and video-documented run shows the Land Cruiser actually ran out of usable pavement, and if there was enough track head, the modified SUV could be expected to go even faster.
Helping generate all that horsepower is a pair of “volleyball-sized” Garrett turbochargers, capable of producing up to 55 psi of boost. The V8 engine was, of course, overhauled to make sure it could withstand 2,000 hp for its record-setting runs. Changes were also made to the vehicle’s aerodynamics and suspension to keep it stable at over 200 mph, with test driver and championship road racer Craig Stanton lending a helping hand in fine-tuning the Land Cruiser’s setup.
“At 225 mph, 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 230 mph,” said Edwards, recalling from behind a huge grin after setting the record. “It’s safe to say that this is the fastest SUV on the planet.”
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