Long known for its durability and implacable off-road capability, the Toyota Land Cruiser can now add one more title to its impressive list of credentials: “World’s Fastest SUV.”
With former NASCAR champion Carl Edwards behind the wheel, the iconic Toyota SUV set a land speed record of over 230.02 mph (370.18 km/h) at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, but don’t expect the one you find at your local dealer to be just as fast.
You see, the Land Cruiser that set the record was a modified version dubbed the “Land Speed Cruiser,” and it packed a whopping 2,000 horsepower! Toyota’s engineers made this possible by giving the regular Land Cruiser’s standard 5.7-liter V8 engine two volleyball-sized Garrett turbochargers capable of producing up to 55 PSI of boost.
To cope with extreme force induction, the engineers also gave the tuned V8 sturdier pistons and rods, as well as a custom-made intake manifold, and paired it with a custom racing transmission that strong enough to withstand the stresses and abuses of the tremendous power and speed.
In the words of MTC Manager, Chuck Wade:
“The World’s Fastest SUV record was at 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.’”
The company’s modified Land Speed Cruiser crushed the previous “World’s Fastest SUV” record by more than 19 mph (30.58 km/h) before running out of pavement. Toyota says it would have reached even higher speeds had there been more track available.
New, 2020 Audi S8 Brings A 563 Horsepower Biturbo V8
A standard active suspension and four-wheel steering are some of the major performance highlights.
There is a new Audi S8 and it packs more power, more technology and better overall performance than its predecessor.
Audi’s has a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with cylinder deactivation and 48-volt mild hybrid technology that improves fuel efficiency for a heart, pumping out 563 horsepower (571PS) and 590 pound-feet of torque. That makes it 100 horsepower and 100 pound-feet more powerful than the A8’s twin-turbo V8.
In addition to the powerful engine, the S8 comes standard with all-wheel steering and predictive active suspension that limits body roll to just 2.5 degrees in ‘dynamic’ mode and can lift the car by up to 50 mm for easier ingress and egress.
A revised front bumper, side sills, dual twin exhaust outlets, and S badging sets the performance sedan from the lesser A8, while the interior gets a Carbon Vector upper inlay that creates a special 3D effect, Matte aluminum trim, and diamond-stitched seats with embroidered S badging.
The new and improved Audi S8 will be offered in both short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase versions, but only the long-wheelbase S8 will be sold in the United States and likely in Canada… with size-figure price tag, of course.
New, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Costs More Than Camaro ZL1
The Blue Oval’s high-octane muscle car is priced to matched its performance.
Ford has announced pricing details for the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the most powerful street-legal Ford ever.
With a starting price of $73,995, the latest Mustang Shelby GT500 is priced higher than the Chevy Camaro ZL1 ($64,695) and Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye ($73,440). It is also $12,460 more expensive than the less powerful sibling, the Shelby GT350.
Adding the Carbon Fiber Track package increases the price to $90,000 but adds carbon fiber wheels covered in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tires, a carbon fiber wing and dive planes. The package eliminates the rear seats to cut weight.
The optional $1,500 handling package gets you adjustable strut top mounts, a Gurney flap and removable splitter end plates, while the $3,000 technology package comes with a better audio system, a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, a blind-spot monitor, and puddle lamps.
Engineers went the extra mile to make the new Mustang Shelby GT500 a capable everyday driver and not just a track-carving monster, but shouldn’t underscore the massive supercharged 5.2L V8 breathing under its hoods. Billed as the world’s most power-dense supercharged production V8, the powerplant produces 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft. of torque, sent to the rear wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
If you could only choose only one, which would it be — 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye? Let us know in the comments below.
Forget Cadillac! Does GM Needs A $100K Corvette SUV?
If Lamborghini, Porsche and, soon, Ferrari can have an SUV, why should Corvette?
Bob Lutz, the iconic automotive curmudgeon who helped shape BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, believes General Motors has a great opportunity to take the Corvette nameplate upmarket with a Porsche Cayenne-like Corvette SUV that starts at $100,000.
Speaking to Automotive News, the former GM executive argued that Corvette is facing the same problem as Harley Davidson in that its baby boomer client base is dying out, meaning the brand is going to need a lot more than a traditional sports car like the new C8 Corvette to remain viable.
“The owner body is getting older and older and older, and there are no young people coming in,” Lutz said, adding that while he doesn’t believe Cadillac has any space to go upmarket, the Corvette brand does.
As for specifics about the Corvette SUV, he suggested that General Motors develop a dedicated architecture that’s super lightweight and powerful, envision something “Porsche Cayenne-like, only much better and a little bigger.” It will be a medium volume model with a starting price of $100,000, and it should never be offered with a V6 or as a low-cost offering.
The thought of a Corvette SUV might be offensive to some hardcore fans, but the times have changed and SUVs and crossovers are what make or break virtually every aspiring automaker.
The marketplace has also proven that there’s space for powerful, performance-oriented SUVs. From the Lamborghini Urus to the under-development Ferrari SUV and Lotus SUV, everyone’s getting in on the high-margin, sporty SUV game.
Lutz is not the first to make such an argument, and he likely won’t be the last. It will be interesting to see what will follow the C8 Corvette.
How do you envision a Corvette SUV? Share your ideas in the comments below.