The GMC Syclone wasn’t just quick — in its day, it was among the quickest vehicles ever tested. And that success was lingering: the Turbo Truck was, by a significant margin, the quickest pickup truck in the world for a staggering 30 years. That’s nearly twice as long as the McLaren F1 held the top-speed record.
Surprise: it also handled well, keeping up with the supercars of its day.
What’s not a surprise: the Syclone, and its SUV-bodied brother, the Typhoon, were not conceived through the regular product-planning channels at General Motors: they were dreamt up by a Real Car Guy — Kim Nielsen — and pushed through using the help of outside consultants.
To get into production quickly, before the S-15 Sonoma pickup and Jimmy SUV ended their product cycle, Nielsen worked closely with ASC/McLaren and then Production Automotive Services to develop the turbo truck. And then PAS won the contract to engineer, certify, and build the SyTy (Syclone and Typhoon.)
With just a little wheelspin off the line, the Syclone blasted from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, quicker than the then-brand-new C4 Corvette ZR-1 and almost as quickly as the Ferrari F40.
30 years later, there are many fast SUVs on the market, but until the 702-hp 2021 Ram TRX, there’s never again been a pickup this quick. And certainly none this good-looking: available only in black, with black trim that includes a deep air dam and (of chief importance) integrated fog lights.
Learn everything you need to know about the GMC Syclone in this entertaining episode of Revelations with Jason Cammisa.