Toyota engineers took one of their go-anywhere Land Cruiser SUVs and added a massive amount of horsepower. Enough power to make their Land Speed Cruiser what Toyota calls the “World’s Fastest SUV.”
So how much power does it take, and how fast do you have to go to be the world’s fastest SUV? Somewhere north of 2,000 hp and 372.6 km/h. Engineers at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center took a stock Land Cruiser’s 5.7L V8 and added “a pair of volleyball-sized Garrett turbochargers.” The turbos are capable of pushing a massive 55 psi of boost. Compare that with a 2017 Subaru WRX STI that makes 14.5 psi, or a Ford F-250 diesel at around 19 psi.
To cope with all that extra pressure, the Toyota team added stronger pistons and rods, along with a new intake. Toyota says that they have built an engine that can “safely and reliably produce over 2,000 horsepower.” Unlike the stock engine block, the stock transmission can’t handle that much power and torque, so a racing gearbox was installed that could.
Some suspension changes were needed as well. The Land Speed Cruiser was lowered for stability and aerodynamics and had the frame narrowed by 75mm to let wider Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires to fit in the wheel wells.
With former NASCAR driver Carl Edwards behind the wheel, the first run managed just 342 km/h before running out of asphalt on the 4.1km runway at Mojave Air and Space Port in California. That wasn’t enough, so they turned up the boost for more power and sent Edwards for another run.
About the second run, Edwards said that “all I could think was that Craig (test driver Craig Stanton) said, ‘No matter what, just keep your foot in it.'” So he did, and they reached the record-setting 372 km/h speed.
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