2000bhp Toyota Land Cruiser becomes world's fastest SUV

The massively turbocharged off-roader hits a top speed of 230mph

Toyota’s barge-like off-roader, the Land Cruiser, is usually found doing battle with Land Rover Discoverys and Mitsubishi Shoguns in muddy bogs or cresting dunes in the Middle East.

You won't typically find it blasting down runways at speeds a Jaguar XJ220 or Bugatti EB110 could only hope for. But that’s exactly what this ‘Cruiser is has been designed to do, and it has claimed the title of the world’s fastest SUV with a top speed of 230mph. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The first task in transforming the huge SUV into one with a top speed capable of shaming the current trio of hybrid hypercars was to give it more power. A lot more power. Toyota’s LA based Motorsport Technical Centre (MTC) started with an American-spec Land Cruiser with a naturally-aspirated 5.7-litre V8 that puts out 381bhp.

> Read about the McLaren F1's top speed world record attempt

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Toyota kept the same basic engine but added two huge ‘volleyball-sized’ Garret turbochargers to help push peak power to over 2000bhp. The engine’s internals were also suitably upgraded to cope with the turbos’ 55psi maximum boost.

The Land Cruiser’s eight-speed all-wheel drive transmission was scrapped in favour of a three-speed drag racing gearbox with an overdrive sending power to rear wheels only.

The MTC engineers also took on the not insubstantial task of making the Land Cruiser scythe through the air with a little more grace. The entire body was lowered by around 130mm to reduce the amount of air passing under the car, while the underbody was made smooth with a flat panels and a diffuser to reduce the turbulence of any air that does find its way under the car. The wing mirrors were replaced by small cameras to reduce the SUV’s frontal area and a rear spoiler with a sizable gurney flap helps push the driven rear wheels into the tarmac.

To pilot the vast (and vastly powerful) off-roader to its ludicrous top speed, Toyota called upon ex-Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. He performed the runs in California at the 2.5 mile long runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Just during the warm-up session the Land Cruiser hit 198mph. Then on the first proper attempt Edwards hit 211mph, enough to match the Brabus Bi-Turbo V12 GLK – the previous SUV top speed record holder.

After cranking up the boost slightly another attempt was made and Edwards blasted up to the record-breaking top speed of 230.02mph. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/corolla/ae86
Toyota

Toyota Corolla AE86: review, history, prices and specs

5 Jul 2020
Visit/toyota/6431/toyota-mr2-mk3-review-history-prices-and-specs
Toyota

Toyota MR2 Mk3 – review, history, prices and specs

28 May 2020
Visit/toyota/201996/ac-schnitzer-reveals-styling-and-power-upgrades-for-toyota-gr-supra
Toyota

AC Schnitzer reveals styling and power upgrades for Toyota GR Supra

27 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/201837/next-generation-toyota-mirai-revealed-as-hydrogen-flagship
Toyota

Next generation Toyota Mirai revealed as hydrogen flagship

11 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/202872/porsche-911-carrera-s-vs-rivals-r8-vantage-570gt-and-evora-face-off
Porsche

Porsche 911 Carrera S vs rivals: R8, Vantage, 570GT and Evora face off

The question is simple. Does the 992-generation 911 Carrera S still have the edge on its core rivals?
11 Jul 2020
Visit/news/21596/ares-panther-progettouno-reborn-de-tomaso-pantera-hits-the-road
News

Ares Panther ProgettoUno – reborn De Tomaso Pantera hits the road

5.2-litre V10 and pop-up headlights for Dany Bahar’s reimagined supercar
9 Jul 2020
Visit/porsche/18843/car-pictures-of-the-week
Porsche

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 276, we look at the highlights from our time with the first and latest Porsche Turbos
10 Jul 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202829/tecnomar-launches-4000hp-v12-lamborghini-yacht
Lamborghini

Tecnomar launches 4000hp V12 Lamborghini yacht

The V12-powered yacht is Tecnomar’s most capable offering yet, and takes inspiration from Lamborghini’s most recent models
30 Jun 2020