Fancy a 2,000-horsepower, 220-mph Toyota?

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Using a nameplate that dates back to 1951, the Land Cruiser has been one of Toyota’s best-selling SUVs for decades. Rugged on the outside, comfortable on the inside, and motivated by powerful engines and reliable a all-wheel-drive system, the current-generation Land Cruiser continues to impress despite being almost a decade old. Luckily, the Japanese brand just introduced a new facelift for the 2017 model year, keeping the SUV fresh for a few more years.

Even though the Land Cruiser received quite a few nips and tucks, it’s not that much more powerful than the outgoing model. Now, toyota set out to prove that the SUV can pack a lot of heat, and unleashed the Land Speed Cruiser concept at the 2016 SEMA Show. As the name suggests, the SUV is about tremendous speed, which goes hand in hand with horsepower. But, this isn’t the kind of beefed-up Toyota you get from TRD. This SUV is significantly more powerful than every supercar you can buy in 2016. Yup, that means thousands of horsepower.

Designed and built by the company’s motorsport technical manager Chuck Wade and his team of skilled engineers, the Land Speed Cruiser is actually a 2017 Land Cruiser body on a significantly redesigned chassis with a completely redesigned drivetrain system. Wade says that the brand meddled with every single component, which made getting the body back onto the heavily modified frame a very difficult task. This speaks volumes of the intense work that was put into this project, but we’ll talk more in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Land Speed Cruiser.


Despite the modifications, the Land Speed Cruiser's exterior remains subtle.

The Land Speed Cruiser borrows its looks from the 2016 Land Cruiser SUV, but while the upper part of the body remained unchanged, the lower side received new bumpers and wheels. Up front is where the changes are most noticeable, as the sturdy and tall production bumper was replaced by a sportier element with massive, round air intakes underneath the headlamps and a large, polished apron that sits only a few inches above the ground. Around back, the standard features carried over unchanged, but the bumper did receive a diffuser-like piece for enhanced air flow and a "TRD" badge. The final touches can be seen on the sides and include a new set of five-spoke rims wrapped in wide tires and a sports car-like ride height. Toyota also removed the roof rails and the side mirrors, the latter likely replaced by tiny cameras. Despite the modifications, the Land Speed Cruiser’s exterior remains subtle, turning it into a full-fledged sleeper.


Toyota had nothing to say about the interior and the official photos contain very few hints of what’s inside, but we did spot a full roll cage through the dark-tinted windows. Other photos suggest that the SUV features black leather and Alcantara upholstery, red detailing, race-spec safety harnesses, and "TRD" badges. The SUV is also fitted with a special monitoring system that provides information about engine speeds and temperature, engine air flow, and oil and flue pressure, among others.


2016 Toyota Land Speed Cruiser High Resolution Drivetrain
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The turbo V-8 cranks out "more than" 2,000 horsepower!

This where things get really hot. The Land Speed Cruiser gets its juice from the same 5.7-liter V-8 offered in the standard SUV, but the drivetrain has very little in common with the bone-stock vehicle. For starters, Toyota added two volleyball-size Garrett turbochargers and redesigned several components. Sound pretty powerful doesn’t it? Well, it’s actually more powerful than you can imagine, as the turbo V-8 cranks out "more than" 2,000 horsepower! That’s right, this massive SUV has more oomph than just about any new supercar and likely needs significantly less than three seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Its top speed is also impressive, being estimated at 220 mph. Again, this is more than most modern-day supercars and makes the Land Speed Cruiser worthy of its name. The beefed-up powerplant comes with an ATI transmission and a significantly altered chassis, but unfortunately Toyota wasn’t very keen on talking about all these upgrades.


2016 Toyota Land Speed Cruiser High Resolution Exterior
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This year’s SEMA Show was packed with some spectacular SUVs, but none was as mind-blowing as the Toyota Land Speed Cruiser. Granted, the Dodge Durango Shaker is a really cool alternative as far as looks and features go, but the Toyota trumps it when it comes to performance. Sure, you could say that 2,000 horsepower is pretty much useless on public roads, but we need to keep in mind that the Durango Shaker is also a concept car. At least for now. And as far as concepts go, the Land Speed Cruiser has no rival. And I’m sure it would be very hard to beat on the drag strip too.

  • Leave it
    • Useless on public roads
    • Defeats the actual purpose of an SUV
    • You can’t buy it
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Broad shouldered and confident, the vaunted Toyota Land Cruiser authored the rulebook for Sport Utility Vehicles. This year, the Land Speed Cruiser will write a new chapter in the SUV’s history book.

Debuting at Toyota’s 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display, the Land Speed Cruiser is a low-slung, purpose-built sled of a vehicle capable of generating more than 2,000 hp and a top speed of 220 mph that leaves most sports cars in the dust.

2016 Toyota Land Speed Cruiser High Resolution Exterior
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“From the outside, the Land Speed Cruiser appears quite normal, quite subtle,” said motorsports technical center manager Chuck Wade, who built this vehicle with his team of engineers. “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.”

The build team surgically extracted the outer shell of a 2016 Land Cruiser. Beneath the surface of the Land Speed Cruiser lies the rugged durability of Toyota’s 3UR-FE 5.7-liter V8. A volleyball-sized Garrett turbocharger flanks each bank of cylinders and breathes directly through front inlets in the specially designed aerodynamic hood. The engine is linked to an ATI transmission.

2016 Toyota Land Speed Cruiser High Resolution Exterior
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“I love the challenge of taking a vehicle and making it stronger, faster,” Wade added. “Making something beyond outrageous keeps me coming back for more.”

“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 egagement marketing manager. “This is a vehicle is truly a feat of engineering.”

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