Modern GMC Syclone Makes Us Crave a Single Cab Sierra with Big Turbo Muscle

Nowadays, turbo downsizing is a natural part of the American performance car industry, supporting everything from four-cylinder muscle cars, to go-fast trucks and even supercars. However, back in the 1980s when the GMC Syclone was conceived, this was a novel idea. And a digital dream portraying a modern-day Syclone allows us to revisit the concept.

The Syclone, along with the Typhoon SUV that succeeded it, were niche models back in the day, as not too many customers understood these compact, AWD rockets that could give supercars a hard time. In fact, these retro bed wielders, which sport a turbo 4.3L V6 with 280 hp and 350 lb-ft when stock, are still hot: here’s a Syclone having its way with the current Ford F-150 Raptor in a drag race.

Only 2,995 units of the Sonoma-based truck were produced in 1991 (plus 3 for the almost-not-there 1992 model year). As for the S-15 Jimmy-based Typhoon, this totaled 2,497 vehicles in 1992 and 2,200 the following year. They were made by Production Automotive Services (PAS) of Troy, Michigan, which has also built the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am for GM.

Nowadays, though, the early 90s pair of hot GMCs makes for a collector gem. And it’s not just nostalgia that makes these bad boys so desirable. For one, road-biased performance trucks are out these days, with Detroit’s Big Three delivering off-road-savvy go-fast trucks instead. Besides, with the ever-increasing size and added features, scale footprint figures are not what they used to be (we’ll get back to this).

Old-school awesomeness revisited in 2D

Graphic designer Jim (aka jlord8) hits the “fobidden pleasure” button hard for this modern Syclone. After all, as he states on Instagram, ’80s and ’90s classics are his cup of Photoshop tea.

To be more precise, the aficionado’s rendering is based on a 2022 Sierra with a single cab, which is something we can’t have in the real world. And when you mix this short bed sweetheart with a lowering treatment that sees it riding on wheels inspired from those of the OG Syclone, the result goes straight into an enthusiast’s heart.

Now, there are ways to drive a fresh Syclone these days, and we’re not only talking about brewing your own. For one, New Jersey based tuner Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) hs built a 2022 Syclone based on the current GMC Canyon mid-size pickup, which can be had with a 750 hp supercharged V8.

As for compact trucks, since this segment is experiencing a resurgence in North America (thank you, Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz), we should see more than one hot pickup build based on such machines this November at the SEMA show.

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