Not So Lumbering: Toyota Land Speed Cruiser Hits 230 MPH

Toyota Land Speed Cruiser

When Bentley launched the Bentayga, there was a bit of an internecine spat with VW Group sibling Porsche over whose SUV could claim the title of World’s Fastest SUV. The Bentley eventually won, reaching 187 mph to the 186 mph for the Cayenne Turbo S. Now, both those figures have been blown away by an unlikely challenger: a Toyota Land Cruiser that hit 230 mph.

This, however, is not exactly a showroom-stock SUV, as given away by its name: Land Speed Cruiser. Originally built for last fall’s SEMA show, the big SUV underwent a few key modifications. First off, its engine was fortified. The stock 381-hp 5.7-liter V-8 was bumped up to 2000 horsepower, a quantum leap accomplished with two “volleyball-sized” Garrett turbochargers cranking out 55 psi of boost. This required further engine mods, including upgrades to the pistons, connecting rods, and intake manifold. The stock eight-speed automatic was binned in favor of a racing transmission from ATI. Oh, and the frame was narrowed by three inches to allow for wider, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and also to maintain suspension geometry despite a dramatically lower ride height.

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The record-setting run took place at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, with former Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards at the wheel. If you’d like to try to re-create that achievement, you’ll likely need a long, long downhill stretch and a serious tailwind—we estimate the standard Land Cruiser’s top speed at 130 mph.

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