When you think of performance SUVs, common vehicles that will likely pop into your head include the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, BMW X5 M and all manner of Mercedes-AMG products. But not a single one of these heavy-hitters is able to beat the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 by TRD for top speed.
If you're a bit confused, let us explain. This particular Toyota is not exactly standard. While it uses the Land Cruiser 200's platform, the automaker’s 5,7-litre V8 has been modified to deliver a whopping 1 491 kW, thanks largely to the installation of "a pair of volleyball-sized Garrett turbochargers".
Upgraded air intakes, stronger pistons and a racing transmission have also been added to the mix. The result is a top speed of 370 km/h, which beats the Brabus GLK V12's previous record of 340 km/h and gives the Toyota the title of the world's fastest SUV.
Toyota claims that building the car was the easy part; the real challenge was getting the two-plus-tonne SUV to its top speed. Given its not exactly aerodynamically efficient shape, the Land Cruiser had to be substantially lowered, while the frame was narrowed by 76 mm to accommodate the wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
The car was partly developed by acclaimed road racer Craig Stanton, while the man given the task of getting the Land Cruiser to its desired speed at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California was Nascar veteran Carl Edwards. He achieved this top speed on his second attempt after increasing boost on the turbochargers.
“At , the thing was wandering a little bit. All I could think was that Craig said, ‘no matter what, just keep your foot in it,’ and we got ,” Edwards stated after achieving the world record.
While this car was officially developed by TRD and Toyota, don't expect to see one in your local showroom any time soon…