Toyota Sets the Land Speed SUV Record with its Land Cruiser
One of the last brands that you might expect achieved a top speed world record this year and they did it using a Toyota Land Cruiser. That’s right, an enhanced Land Cruiser managed to take the top SUV land speed record, by traveling well over 200 MPH down a nice flat runway. This was a pretty impressive feat, and should bring attention to Toyota SUVs, but what’s more impressive than getting the record is how well many of the stock Land Cruiser parts held up during this achievement. While Toyota did make some pretty serious modifications to the power train of the SUV, the actual chassis received less attention and it held together just fine for the test.
Not Your Average Land Cruiser
Toyota didn’t achieve this impressive feat by using a stock Land Cruiser, so don’t head out to your local air strip hopping to do the same with the model sitting in your garage. Pretty extensive modifications were made to the SUV in order to allow it to top over 200 MPH and get that speed record. For starters Toyota beefed up the powertrain with the addition of two huge turbochargers as well as some other enhancements. This bolstered the vehicle’s power from 381 HP to a massive 2,000 HP. That’s the change that largely made it possible for the Land Cruiser to hit 230 MPH, but it wasn’t the only enhancement that needed to be made.
Toyota also dropped down the Land Cruiser, making it lower to the pavement to reduce air resistance. The SUV also received modifications making it possible to attach wider wheels for improved traction and enhanced acceleration. Other than those major changes the Land Cruiser relied on most of the same parts to do the job.
Achieving the Record
Toyota brought the modified Land Cruiser out to the Mojave Air strip in California to take advantage of the 2.5 mile runway. This is where NASCAR driver Carl Edwards broke the record. He climbed behind the wheel and managed to get up to 211 MPH on his first attempt. After that first attempt engineers enhanced the turbocharger further for added boost and Edwards managed the 230 MPH top speed that beat the world record, putting the Land Cruiser at the top.
Bentley Holds the Unmodified Record
Even though Toyota nabbed the record for the top SUV speed overall, it didn’t manage to take the unmodified record. Bentley holds that with its Bentayga that has a total top speed of 187 MPH.
While the Toyota Land Cruiser is a very capable machine that’s obviously durable, it doesn’t sell that well for Toyota. With less than 4,000 models being sold throughout the US in 2016, there are many drivers missing out on this beast of an SUV. That’s probably due in large part to the $84,000 price tag attached, but you get what you pay for, and you get quite a lot with the Land Cruiser.