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SEMA: Toyota's 220mph Land Speed Cruiser

by Drew Johnson

Who knew the Land Cruiser was capable of 200+mph?

The Toyota Land Cruiser is known for many things, like toughness and durability, but speed is not among the SUV's chief attributes. Until now, that is.

Toyota traveled to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas with a rather special version of its Land Cruiser in tow — the Land Speed Cruiser. And, as that name implies, the Land Speed Cruiser is very fast.

According to Toyota, the Land Speed Cruiser will top out at 220mph, besting most super cars available today. Getting a behemoth SUV to travel at that speed was no easy task however, requiring significant modification to the truck's chassis and suspension setup.

The Land Cruiser's 381-horsepower 5.7L V8 also required a shot in order to prepare it for Land Speed Cruiser duty. Although the same basic architecture remains, Toyota was able to lift the V8's horsepower rating to more than 2,000 horsepower with the help of a pair of turbochargers said to be the size of volleyballs. A special transmission was installed to handle the power.

"With the Land Speed Cruiser, we are breaking all of the normal conventions of what an SUV should be,” said Steve Appelbaum, Toyota Motor Sales national marketing manager. "This is a vehicle is truly a feat of engineering.”

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