The Toyota Land Cruiser is popular for a lot of things like its durability and toughness. Unfortunately, speed is not one of the sports utility vehicle's main attributes. Until most recently, that is.
As a matter of fact, the Toyota Land Cruiser was always more of a land trudger and not a land cruiser because of its typical full time four wheel driving system, 27.6 inches of fording depth, and 8.9 inches of ground clearance. The SUV weighs almost three tons and is actually most excellent at passing through the world's toughest terrains at a slogging pace.
Toyota went to Las Vegas for the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, bringing its somewhat special version of the Land Cruiser called the Land Speed Cruiser. As the name implies, its revamped Land Speed Cruiser is insanely fast with a top speed of 220 mph and more than 2,000 horsepower.
According to the carmaker, the Land Speed Cruiser will have a max speed of 220 mph, which would best many of today's super cars. But getting a behemoth vehicle to move at this speed was not an easy task as it required significant modifications to the car's suspension and chassis setup.
How The Land Speed Cruiser Was Built
Bringing a large car up to speed may not have been a walk in the park, but Toyota carried out a couple of alterations to help the Land Speed Cruiser live up to its name and hit the 2,000 horsepower mark.
Two massive Garrett turbochargers, each one the size of a volleyball, were fitted to the standard Land Cruiser's 5.7L V8 engine under the hood. This resulted to more than 2,000 horsepower that was then routed over a special racing transmission created by ATI.
Helping the driving system was a much more sleek and aerodynamic body that has been fitted and lowered with a large rear diffuser, heavy front splitter, and slick rear wing. The rearview mirrors were also replaced with cameras on both sides.
Heading the team behind this big revamp was Chuck Wade, a motorsports technical center manager and his team of engineers.
"From the outside, the Land Speed Cruiser appears quite normal, quite subtle. This is what makes it so special. Every single system and component has been touched. The trick is getting the body back onto the heavily modified frame," he said.
Toyota's Motor Sales national marketing manager, Steve Appelbaum, could not hide his excitement on the results. He mused that its Land Speed Cruiser broke the general interpretation of what an SUV should be because the final result was indeed an achievement in car engineering.