You wouldn’t associated a Toyota Land Cruiser with outright speed, but that hasn’t stopped Toyota USA from wanting to do so. The company has heavily modified the iconic, go-anywhere SUV as part of efforts to secure the title of “world’s fastest SUV.”

The first order of business is to gain even more power from the 3UR-FE 5.7 litre V8 by adding on a pair of Garrett turbochargers with up to 55 PSI of boost. To ensure the engine’s internals can cope, stronger pistons and rods, and a custom-made intake manifold were fitted, among other things.

With the V8 producing well over 2,000 hp, and with a custom racing transmission strong enough to handle the stresses, the team then focused on the Land Speed Cruiser’s body and chassis. A lowered ride height, aerodynamic features, narrower frame and wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres were just some of the modifications.

The person responsible for setting the record was Toyota NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who managed to bring the Land Speed Cruiser to an unofficial record speed of 370.18 km/h (230.02 mph). This is verified via GPS and video recording, with the team claiming that the SUV will go even faster with more runway.

“The world’s fastest SUV record was at 339.57 km/h (211 mph). That’s extremely fast. Toyota thought, ‘Why don’t we make a really, ultra-powerful Land Cruiser, and let’s just see how fast we can make it go,” said Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center (MTC) manager, Chuck Wade.

“At 225 mph, 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 230 mph. It’s safe to say that this is the fastest SUV on the planet,” Edwards said.