Video: Toyota HiLux with 1000kW looks to break 380km/h

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This tuned 1993 HiLux – with a Supra ‘2JZ’ engine transplant – has more than four times the power of the most potent showroom Toyota HiLux ever built.


A 1993 Toyota HiLux with a tuned 1000kW turbo six-cylinder engine from a 1990s Toyota Supra – and hopes to break 386km/h (240mph) on the Bonneville salt flats – has emerged in the US. 

Built by Scott Birdsall – a current record holder for diesel vehicles up the Pikes Peak hill-climb race course in the US – and featured here on the Vibrant Performance YouTube channel, this HiLux is far from the standard vehicle built 30 years ago.

To prepare the HiLux for such speeds, the standard four-cylinder engine was replaced with a turbocharged 3.0-litre ‘2JZ-GTE’ inline-six from a late-1990s Toyota Supra – and tuned to produce 986kW (1300 horsepower).

The exterior of the ute has been kept relatively close to standard, aside from the retro Toyota Racing Development livery – and changes such as the lower stance, new wheels and tyres, and lack of a bonnet.

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It also gets a pair of roof-mounted fins which are designed to stop the ute from rolling if it starts to slide sideways at speed. 

The standard suspension has been replaced with a four-link system at the rear, and custom control arms at the front – with motorsport-style remote reservoir dampers at each corner.

Mr Birdsall says he chose a Toyota HiLux for land speed record racing instead of something more aerodynamic as he owned a lowered example during high school.

The builder says the extra-cab configuration was chosen so the driving position could be moved rearward and still have room for safety equipment such as the roll cage and fire suppression system. 

In its pictured state, the HiLux wears specialised land speed record tyres, rated at speeds up to 480km/h, but they can be swapped out for drag radials for use on shorter drag strips that focus on standing-start acceleration.

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