GMC Syclone

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GMC Syclone
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
(2,998 produced)
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, four-wheel-drive
RelatedGMC Typhoon
GMC Jimmy/Chevrolet S-10 Blazer
GMC Sonoma/Chevrolet S-10
Oldsmobile Bravada
Engine4.3 L LB4 turbo V6[1]
Transmission4-speed 4L60 automatic[1]
Wheelbase108.3 in (2,751 mm)[1]
Length180.5 in (4,585 mm)[1]
Width64.8 in (1,646 mm)[1]
Height60.0 in (1,524 mm)[1]

The GMC Syclone is a high-performance version of the GMC Sonoma pickup truck. Produced in 1991 by GMC, the Syclone spawned the similarly powered 1992-1993 GMC Typhoon SUV. Another vehicle, the GMC Sonoma GT, offered less performance but was seen as a companion model.

Product run[edit]

At the time it was introduced, the Syclone was the quickest stock pickup truck being produced in the world. Auto magazines compared its acceleration favorably to a variety of sports cars including the Corvette and - in a memorable comparison test in Car and Driver magazine - a Ferrari.[2] It features a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, all wheel drive and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes.

Both the Syclone and Typhoon trucks feature a Mitsubishi TD06-17C 8 cm² turbocharger[1] and Garrett water/air intercooler attached to a 4.3 L LB4 V6 engine with unique pistons, main caps, head gaskets, intake manifolds, fuel system, exhaust manifolds, and a 48mm twin bore throttle body from the 5.7 L GM Small-Block engine. All Syclones and Typhoons had a 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission. A BorgWarner all wheel drive transfer case splits torque with 35% forward and 65% to the rear wheels.[1] Both trucks featured sport modifications to the standard suspensions. The Syclone was the first production truck to receive a 4-wheel anti-lock braking system.[3] With this engine, the Syclone produces 280 hp (209 kW) and 350 lb⋅ft (475 N⋅m) of torque.[1] The Syclone, when new, was capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.3 seconds and could do a quarter-mile run in 13.4 seconds at 98 mph (158 km/h) according to Car & Driver's comparison test.

In 1991 Syclones were only available in black. 1992 models were to be offered in a wider range of colors before they were canceled. 2,998 Syclones were built in total.[4] Three were built in 1992, the rest in 1991. 113 units (estimated 31 returned) were reported as Export Sales including a subset now referred to as the Saudi Syclones — a small number were delivered to Saudi Arabia and modified with a metric dash cluster, leaded fuel chip, and a resonator in place of the catalytic converter.

The Syclone, Typhoon, and Sonoma GT were built for GMC by Production Automotive Services of Troy, Michigan, and sold through dealerships.

The Syclone and Typhoon's gauge cluster is the one used in the Pontiac Sunbird Turbo, which was discontinued in 1990, one year before the Syclone was introduced.

In 2009, a poor-condition GMC Syclone was scrapped under the Car Allowance Rebate System, despite being highly collectible,[5] although it was saved by a group of auto enthusiasts.[citation needed]

Special editions[edit]

There were two special-edition 1991 Syclones offered by third parties:

Marlboro Syclone[edit]

Marlboro Syclone
Production10 conversions

The special-edition Marlboro Syclone was the grand prize for the ten winners of The Marlboro Racing ‘92 Contest. All ten trucks were provided to American Sunroof Company (ASC), by Shinoda Design Associates, Inc., in conjunction with Phillip Morris, Inc. With the help of Larry Shinoda, designer of the Corvette Stingray and Boss Mustang, a transformation of the originally black Syclones took place.[1]

Marlboro Syclone custom features include:[1]

  • ASC converted the roof to a targa-style[clarification needed] roof panel with mounts in the pick-up bed
  • ASC installed a slide-down rear window assembly
  • Guidon hard tonneau cover
  • Boyd Coddington "Cobra" wheels with Marlboro emblem center caps and Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires
  • PPG "Hot Licks" Red paint, with white strobe stripes provided by Graphik Concepts
  • Recaro leather seats with Simpson 5-Point racing harness
  • Custom MOMO "Evolution" steering wheel
  • Sony sound system
  • PROMPaq performance chip and Borla stainless steel exhaust
  • Bell Tech suspension which lowered the truck by three inches

Indy Syclone[edit]

Three Indy Syclones were used at the Indianapolis 500 race on May 24, 1992 with the only modifications being a sticker package. One of these Indy trucks was converted into the PPG Syclone Pace Truck (though it was not the official pace car) with significant modifications, including a multi-colored silver, magenta, and aqua paint scheme, and a molded in light bar in the roof, a racing fuel cell and fire system.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jeff Koch. "Smokin' Syclone". Hemmings Motor News. Retrieved January 31, 2006.
  2. ^ "Car and Driver Sept 1991".
  3. ^ Huizenga, Paul. "Storm on the Horizon: Tracing Today's Super SUV Origins". Driving Line. Nitto Tire. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  4. ^ Strohl, Daniel (2016-03-07). "Faster than a Corvette? GMC's Syclone sport truck celebrates a quarter-century". Hemmings Daily. American City Business Journals. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27.
  5. ^ "Morons Clunkerize Rare GMC Syclone Super Truck". Jalopnik. Feb 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-02.

External links[edit]