The mad geniuses’ at Toyota put NASCAR driver Carl Edwards behind the wheel of a heavily modified 2,000-hp Land Cruiser and gave him a airport landing strip to floor it on. The result was a run that hit 230.02 mph and earned Toyota bragging rights to the World’s Fastest SUV.
To pull it off the engineers at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center started with a stock Land Cruiser and a stock 5.7-liter V8 engine. Then they added a pair of turbochargers “capable of producing up to 55 PSI of boost.” To handle that force, the engine was upgraded with more robust pistons and rods and a purpose-built intake manifold. When they were done, they had an engine that they claim could pump out 2,000-hp, all delivered to a racing transmission that could handle the power.
But as Toyota explained, moving a large brick of a vehicle through air at that speed can be, um, challenging. To help, they slammed it down and somehow narrowed the frame by 3-inches to fit the fat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
After preliminary testing at Toyota’s Arizona Proving Ground, they brought the black beast to the Mojave Air and Space Port in California’s high desert to utilize its 2.5-mile paved runway. On a test run that saw Edwards hit 211 he could’ve gone faster, but ran out of pavement needed to slow the Land Cruiser down. After an adjustment to boost power, he tried again and hit 230 mph. According to Toyota’s press release, Edwards said the vehicle started to wander a bit at 225 mph, but he just kept his foot down until he scored the record.
Check out Nathan’s walk around of the World’s Fastest SUV at last year’s SEMA show to see that, yes, it was a stock Land Cruiser.