Toyota set a staggering land-speed record this past month in a heavily modified Land Cruiser full-size SUV, which kissed 370 km/h along an airport runway whilst powered by a 2,000-horsepower turbocharged engine, reports Automotive News.
The record-setting Land Cruiser, which shares its frame with the Toyota Sequoia sold in Canada, was significantly lowered to reduce aerodynamic lift and had its suspension geometry narrowed 760 mm to accommodate wider Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, with both measures adding to the vehicle’s high-speed stability.
The outrageous power output came compliments of two “volley-ball sized” Garrett turbochargers, in conjunction with stronger pistons and connecting rods and a custom intake manifold designed to handle the prodigious air volume demands of those turbos.
To ensure reliability during the high-speed run, a custom racing transmission was designed and installed by Toyota.
As a point of pride for the Japanese brand, the standard-issue 5.7-litre V8 block – found in Toyota’s Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV – was able to handle the demanding performance without modification.
The record attempt was completed on a four-kilometer runway at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California with former NASCAR champion Carl Edwards behind the wheel.
Having hit a GPS-certified and video-documented top speed of 370 km/h during the record run, Toyota established itself as the king of fast SUVs, relegating BMW’s one-off V12-powered X5 LeMans to a distant contender in the speed records game, given its 309 km/h top-speed run on the Nurburgring back in 1999.
Toyota unveiled its high-speed Land Cruiser at the 2016 SEMA show held last November; at the time it claimed it could achieve a top speed of 354 km/h, which was clearly a conservative figure.
Any automaker keen to dethrone Toyota’s ballistic Land Cruiser should beware: engineers say they had more in it, but ran out of real estate.
We’d love to see what this fast-cruising Toyota would be capable of if fully unleashed on the wide-open salt flats of Utah.