The Syclone was beyond its time!


In 1991, GMC had an idea that was nothing short of awesome. A performance truck with sport car capabilities. The Syclone was an aggressively styled truck based off the GMC Sonoma. It featured a 280-horsepower turbocharged 4.3-liter engine backed by a 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission, a Borg Warner all-wheel drive transfer case, and a sport-tuned suspension. This combination of factory installed modifications to the small truck platform allowed the truck to accelerate to 60-mph in just 4.3-seconds and run through the quarter-mile in 13.4-seconds according to car and driver, though a MotorWeek review found slightly differing, yet still impressive results. On top of being the first truck to have these kinds of capabilities, it was also the first to have a 4-wheel anti-lock brake system.

John Davis hosted the MotorWeek review video while the MotorWeek crew ran their test truck through the wringer. It was very clear from the video that this truck was not only proficient on the drag strip, it also handles quite well for a truck. That being said, it is still a truck and suffers from a disproportionate weight distribution. It also doesn’t have a very good towing/load capacity. Still, the Syclone's capabilities far outweigh its shortcomings.

Unfortunately the truck community was simply not ready for the Syclone and it was destined to fail after a single year. Although a lot has changed over the past couple of decades and may be the Syclone could succeed if given a second chance. Since the Sonoma has since been discontinued all-together, maybe GMC could give the twister-treatment to a Canyon. Since the 2021 Canyons available 308-horsepower has raised the bar, a new version of the Syclone name would have to be really extreme.