Toyota Land Speed Cruiser Claims 'World's Fastest SUV' Title
Edwards piloted the Land Speed Cruiser to its jaw-dropping 230 mph record on his second run.
Land Cruiser, Toyota’s four-wheel-drive sport-utility vehicle, claims the title of “World’s Fastest SUV” thanks to a record speed of over 230 mph with former Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards at the helm. (Image: Toyota)
Land Cruiser, Toyota’s four-wheel-drive SUV claims the title of “World’s Fastest SUV” as it reached a record speed of over 230 mph, attained by the custom 2,000-horsepower Land Speed Cruiser.
With former Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards at the helm, the understated Land Speed Cruiser shattered the previous “World’s Fastest SUV” record by more than 19 mph.
The Land Speed Cruiser, which debuted at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, started life as a stock production model before being heavily modified by a team of engineers at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center (MTC).
“The World’s Fastest SUV record was at 211 mph. That’s extremely fast. Toyota thought, ‘Why don’t we make a really, ultra-powerful Land Cruiser, and let’s just see how fast we can make it go,’” said MTC Manager, Chuck Wade.
Using the Land Cruiser’s production 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 engine as a starting point, the team added a pair of volleyball-sized Garrett turbochargers that are capable of producing up to 55 PSI of boost. To cope with extreme force induction, the MTC team upgraded the engine’s internals with sturdier pistons and rods and a custom-made intake manifold, among other key items. This helped ensure the monstrous V8 could safely and reliably produce over 2,000 horsepower for its record-setting runs. The role of doling power was left to a custom racing transmission strong enough to withstand the stresses and abuses of high power and tremendous speeds.
However, its frame received some massaging in order to maintain optimal suspension geometry and was narrowed by 3 inches to accommodate wider Super Sports tires.
“I wanted the Land Speed Cruiser to provide the confidence you need, as a driver, to keep pushing even when the world around you becomes a high-speed blur,” said Carl Edwards. “We made some setup adjustments, and it not only accelerates and shifts more smoothly, but it also has enhanced stability.” he added.
Prior to Edward’s run, SUV was warmed up, moving it along at a hefty 198 mph. On his first run, Edwards was able to hit an awe-inspiring 211 mph, but found himself running out of pavement to slow the big SUV. More boost was then dialed in to up the power, and he tried again.
The next run proved to be the most impressive. Edwards put the hammer down, and piloted the Land Speed Cruiser to its jaw-dropping 230 mph record.
“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,” Edwards recounted 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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