The annual SEMA show is where Toyota takes a break from being boring.
Toyota will show up at SEMA with anything from a Sienna minivan that can lap a racetrack like a sports car, to a full-on dragster disguised as an ordinary Camry. This year, Toyota continued its mad streak with a 220 mph, twin-turbocharged … Land Cruiser?
The Land Cruiser is Toyota’s equivalent of the Range Rover, a big SUV designed to tackle rough terrain at low speeds, not blast along pavement at a double-nickel pace. Over the years, the Land Cruiser has grown from a spartan work vehicle into a bulky luxury SUV, again, not the the first type of vehicle you think of when it comes to speed. That’s where this monstrous machine, which Toyota calls the Land Speed Cruiser, comes in.
It’s powered by the same 5.7-liter V8 used in the stock Land Cruiser, but with a pair of turbochargers Toyota describes as “volleyball sized.” The massive turbos sit on either side of the engine, sucking in air directly through inlets cut into the front fascia. The result is 2,000 horsepower, meaning this Land Cruiser is about twice as powerful as a Bugatti Veyron, and makes a Ferrari 488 GTB look like a Vespa.
Toyota didn’t offer many other details on the Land Speed Cruiser, but it does ride lower to the ground on custom wheels. Photos also show a front air dam, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler, which should improve the aerodynamic performance of this brick-shaped vehicle. The only thing needed to complete the picture is an unsuspecting supercar for the Land Cruiser to race against.
The Land Speed Cruiser isn’t the only attraction Toyota has planned for SEMA 2016. It brought a fleet of concept cars, including a tricked-out Sienna minivan, a racing version of the Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck, and even a tuned Prius. If only Toyota could channel more of that zaniness into its production models.