The SUV craze just got a little 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 faster but ran out of usable space.
Toyota calls this 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 V-8. To help ensure it could reliably produce more than 2,000 hp, the MTC crew added two Garrett turbochargers — volleyball-sized, according to Toyota. Engineers also added stronger pistons and rods and a custom intake manifold. To distribute all the power reliably, Toyota built a custom racing transmission.
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 turbulent air passing underneath. It also narrowed the suspension geometry 3 inches to accommodate Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Edwards made his record attempt at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif., which 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. MTC turned it up, and his next run produced the 230-mph record.