Cars

Toyota Just Unveiled the Fastest SUV in the World

Published On 11/01/2016 Published On 11/01/2016
2000 hp Toyota Land Cruiser
Courtesy of Toyota

Most vehicles at the SEMA show in Las Vegas tend to be over-the-top monstrosities just designed to attract attention. And then you have Toyota, which did virtually the exact opposite this year. The deceptively normal-looking Land Cruiser you see here is, in fact, the world's fastest SUV. With 2,000hp, the "Land Speed Cruiser," as it's called, can hit 220mph.

Courtesy of Toyota

Eight cylinders, two turbos, 2,000 horsepower

So, about that engine. It's a heavily modified version of the stock V8 that came in the Land Cruiser. The engineers slapped on a pair of "volleyball-sized" turbos, and added some holes in the bumper for air, so they ultimately produce more power. The end result is over 2,000hp -- more than enough to cause a few problems for other components, which is why virtually every single facet of the vehicle was modified or replaced.

Courtesy of Toyota

For a Land Cruiser, it's deceptively aerodynamic

When dealing with something like an SUV -- which has almost none of the aerodynamic efficiencies you'll find in ultra-high-speed vehicles like the Bugatti Veyron -- top speed is limited as much by the shape of the vehicle as the power under the hood. By lowering the Land Speed Cruiser, less air goes underneath it, and by smoothing out the underside, turbulence is kept to a minimum. That means not only less drag and higher top speeds, but more stability at those speeds, too.

Courtesy of Toyota

The most impressive thing about this is what you can't see

Sure, if you look from certain angles, you can see that it's not exactly stock, but by and large it looks like a normal-ish Land Cruiser -- not a 2,000hp beast that can beat a Ferrari F40 on the Autobahn. That's very much by design, and was actually one of the hardest parts of the build. A team of engineers at Toyota's Motorsports Technical Center literally cut the body off of a Land Cruiser, modified almost every single thing from the frame, to the suspension, to, well, obviously the engine, before carefully putting it back together again.

There's nothing haphazard about that at all.

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Aaron Miller is the Cars editor for Thrillist, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook. He wants to see this set a record running up Pikes Peak.

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