When talking about the Rivian R1T drag racing the 2022 GMC Hummer EV earlier today, we highlighted the fact that these machines, with their otherworldly scale footprint and power numbers, aren’t exactly frugal. However, building them otherwise would be extremely difficult, since the battery weight is dictated by the current technology limitations, while all that muscle is here for a reason. And we’ll explain it with a battle between two… combustion-powered trucks, the 1991 GMC Syclone and the Ford F-150 Raptor, even though the Rivian R1T and the Ram TRX are also in on the fun.
Despite being more than three decades older than the current third-generation Raptor, the 280 hp, 3,599 lbs (1,614 kg) Syclone manages to one-up the 450 hp, 5,947 lbs (2,698 kg) Ford in a good old quarter-mile battle.
And, even though we know the GMC was an effervescent way to end the 1980s and that the present Raptor’s limitations will be overcome by the already-confirmed, V8-powered 2023 Raptor R (this is expected to feature a variation of the GT500’s supercharged 5.2L engine), seeing the retro truck showing its taillights to the Raptor is quite something.
Well, convincing people to switch to electric trucks is difficult enough without having your brand new machine one-upped by the suck-squeeze-bang-blow trucks it’s working to replace, which is why those monstrous output figures are here.
How the GMC Syclone and its Typhoon SUV sibling went from slow sellers to record breakers
Of course, power isn’t everything. After all, back in 1991 when GMC produced the Syclone by throwing a 280 hp turbocharged 4.3L V6 under the hood of a Sonoma, it only sold under 3,000 units of the hot truck. As such, production stopped* after just one year (*only three units are recorded as having been made in 1992).
And with the said V6 being transferred to the GMC Typhoon performance SUV for 1992 and 1993, which was slightly heavier and therefore marginally slower, no more than 4,697 cars rolled off the production line. these GMCs were pioneers, landing well ahead of the original F-150 Lightning or the V10-powered Dodge Rams and they paid a high price for it.
However, they’re hot collector cars these days. Thus, a Syclone should set you back around $50,000, while a Typhoon ought to be priced some $10,000 lower. Even so, given the current hot market, highly original examples of both have commanded six-figure prices on Bring a Trailer back in February. That would be $108,000 for the truck and an even more ridiculous $175,000 for the SUV, even though the latter sale stirred controversy when the winner suddenly increased the bid by $64,000.
Then again, with so many heritage automakers and newcomers like Rivian having assessed the situation and decided to bring electric trucks to the market, there’s no need to worry about the lack of demand these days.
What about the TRX and the Rivian R1T?
As mentioned above, the 702 hp, 6,866 lbs (3,114 kg) Ram TRX, and the 835 hp, 7,173 lbs (3,254 kg) Rivian R1T also joined the drag racing party.
We’re looking at an adventure put together by Hagerty, with Jason Cammisa narrating it all, so you can expect plenty of extra features on top of the races.
For one, that Syclone also “raced” the TRX and the Raptor while sitting on a trailer pulled by the Rivian. And here’s to hoping that a future where EVs tow internal combustion-powered performance vehicles to the track, where the latter are legally allowed to stretch their legs, is as far away as possible.