The SUV craze just got a little, well, crazier. A 2,000-hp (2,000 hp!) Toyota Land Cruiser, with former NASCAR champ Carl Edwards piloting, set a 230-mph speed record. The big fella actually went a GPS-certified and video-documented 230.02 mph. Toyota said it could have gone even faster but ran out of usable space.
Toyota calls this particular truck the Land Speed Cruiser. Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center built it, and it was first shown at the SEMA show last fall.
It uses the Land Cruiser’s production, 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 –- but that’s just a starting point
It uses the Land Cruiser’s production, 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 –- but that’s just a starting point, of course. To help ensure the wicked thing could reliably produce more than 2,000 hp, the MTC crew added two Garrett turbochargers — volleyball-sized, according to Toyota — spinning up to 55 PSI of boost. Engineers also added stronger pistons and rods and a custom intake manifold. How to distribute all the power reliably? Toyota built a custom racing transmission strong enough to handle the abuse
The master of understatement, Edwards said that at 225 mph, “the thing was wandering a little bit.” We can only imagine. To help counter that, Toyota lowered the truck to reduce the turbulent air passing underneath. It also narrowed the suspension geometry 3 inches to accommodate some wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Edwards made his record attempt at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California. Besides being one of the few places in the States where supersonic flight is allowed, Mojave has a 2.5-mile paved runway. Edwards went 211 mph on his first run but found himself without enough pavement to slow the big SUV. The solution was more boost, of course. TMC turned it up, and his next run produced the 230-mph record.
We tip our hats to Toyota for this bonkers project — gotta love the sense of humor. If Toyota put this crazy, wonderful monster into production, we vow to never call the company dull again.