Big speed is not what comes to mind when talking about the Toyota Land Cruiser. It is the Japanese brand's most iconic off-roader, and has just recorded a top speed higher than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk's 290 kmph. The Trackhawk was recently introduced when it boasted of a tiny 0-100 kmph figure at 3.6 seconds. This particular Land Cruiser, or Land Speed Cruiser, has risen the bar to 368 kmph, and on top of that Toyota say it would've gone faster had there been more road ahead of it.
The SUV was run on the 4-km Mojave Air and Space Port at Mojave in California. Edwards did two trial runs clocking 317 kmph and 338 kmph, before the boost was wound for the final run.
The SUV was driven by retired NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. It did, however, require some additional tinkering to be able to go that fast. Under the bonnet it had a 2000 hp from the standard 5.7-litre petrol V8 engine, which was fitted with two 'volleyball-sized' Garrett turbochargers producing upto 55 PSI of boost.
The internals of the engine had to be strengthened to withstand the extra power, including pistons, rods and a custom-made inlet manifold. The standard transmission was replaced with a racing version. The suspension had to be lowered for maintaining stability on higher speed. The frame was modified so as to accommodate fat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
The SUV was first showcased at the 2016 SEMA show, and last week it was driven to a top speed of 368 kmph - the highest recorded speed for an SUV. The record isn’t one for Guinness World Records, but it’s impressive all the same.