Toyota Land Speed Cruiser

Toyota Land Speed Cruiser World’s Fastest SUV


Modded Toyota LandCruiser, Toyota Land Speed Cruiser clocks 370km/h!

THE Land Cruiser has quite a reputation for its offroad abilities, but the big mama with its brick-like aerodynamics and double-storey suspension never has been one for threatening to break the sound barrier.

However, a special one has been built by the lads at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Centre, and after a run at Mojave, California, it can lay claim to being the world’s fastest SUV.

Former Toyota Nascar driver Carl Edwards drove the black machine, appropriately rebranded as a Land Speed Cruiser, to a top speed of 370.1km/h — the highest ever for an SUV.

The standard Land Cruiser’s 5.7-litre V-8 gained a pair of big-bore Garrett turbochargers capable of 55 psi boost, forged pistons and conrods, custom-made manifolds and a custom racing transmission to handle the monstrous output of about 1490kW.

To aid stability, the vehicle’s suspension was pared down to go-kart levels – well, figuratively speaking – and its frame was narrowed by 76mm so the lads could fit wider wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.

Despite all the aero mods, the Cruiser seemed keen to become a Flier once the speed approached the 350km/h mark, and driver Edwards was quoted as saying  “the thing was wandering a little bit.”

Toyota reckons its Land Speed Cruiser can reach higher speeds given more space to stretch its legs.

The airport runway at Mojave is just 4km long.

Toyota Land Speed Cruiser

Bruiser motor: Under the bonnet, things are a little different from a standard Land Cruiser. This one produced 1490kW!

Bill Buys fell in love with cars at age 8, when he saw one of his relatives racing in a Bugatti in South Africa. He has driven, raced and/or rallied just about every vehicle from Autobianchi to Zundapp since he was first published in the UK’s Motor Sport magazine, in 1956. He is now probably Australia’s oldest (or, if you prefer, most experienced) motoring writer.