SUVs are currently the fastest growing vehicle segment. Barely a week goes by without at least one car brand introducing a new SUV-type model and car factories simply can’t build them quick enough.
They may be known for their desirability and rugged off-road prowess, but SUVs aren’t really renowned for reaching breakneck speeds.
That has now been redressed somewhat after a souped-up Toyota Land Cruiser set a new record for the world’s fastest SUV.
A Land Cruiser with 375bhp was heavily modified by a team of engineers at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center to pump out 2,000bhp, and hurtled to 230mph on a 2.5-mile runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
That’s a hefty uplift on its standard top speed of 142mph, but also 19mph more than the previous highest record set by a Brabus Bi-Turbo V12 GLK (211mph).
To achieve the feat, a pair of volleyball-sized turbochargers were bolted on to the Land Cruiser’s regular 5.7-litre V8 engine and the several internal parts such as pistons and rods were strengthened to cope with the forced induction.
The car’s shell also had to be lowered to reduce the amount of turbulent air passing under the car, while the frame was reworked to facilitate the best possible suspension set-up.
Piloting the car to its record speed was former Toyota Nascar racing driver Carl Edwards at the wheel.
Speaking about the record run, he said: “At 225mph, the thing was wandering a little bit. All I could think was ‘No matter what, just keep your foot in it’ and we got 230mph. It’s safe to say that this is the fastest SUV on the planet.”
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, adds: “This is a supremely impressive achievement, but don’t head to your nearest Toyota showroom expecting anything close to 230mph.
“The quickest any current production Land Cruiser model will go is 109mph.”
Watch the world record attempt below:
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