Friday, August 5, 2011

Fast Friday: Syclones and Typhoons- Oh, MY!

Another Fast Friday is upon us and it's always a pleasure to write about high octane fun. Usually we open a chapter of the Buick story but this week will be something different.

It was only a few years after the demise of the Grand National that Reynolds started receiving limited shipments of another very special performance car, but one with even more mechanical sophistication that our beloved Grand National- and from a different division.

GMC introductory ad for the Syclone

GMC startled the industry with the limited edition Syclone pickup in 1991. A one year offering, it was a highly modified compact Sonoma Pickup which featured a high-output version of GMC's 4.3 litre V6 engine fitted with a Mitsubishi Turbocharger and a Garrett Intercooler. AWD from the Astro Van was also fitted, along with a 700R4 Transmission, special suspension, unique lower body fascias, specific wheels and tires and industry first four-wheel ABS. The power train put out 280 HP and was capable of 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. It could turn quarter miles in 13.4 seconds at 98 mph in stock trim. Just as in the Grand National, it was offered in Black only. A total of 2,995 were produced. There were plans to continue the model for 1992 but they were cancelled after only three units were built.

Motorweek tests the 1991 Syclone

GMC shifted gears in 1992. The Syclone was replaced by the Typhoon, which was the same high performance treatment applied to a 1992 Jimmy 2 door SUV. It was more practical than the Syclone with a full rear seat, although slighly slower offering official 0-60 times of 5.3 seconds and standing quarters in 14.1 at 85 mph. Typhoon was offered for two model years, 1992 and 1993. Color range was a bit wider, offering whites, reds, and blues but the black combination was still the most popular. The Typhoon was well received by the media but the car was pricey, starting at $29,970, so production was limited. Only 4,697 were produced over the two model years. They're a sleeper collectible today, considerably less costly than a Grand National and well worth pursuing.

Motorweek tests the 1992 Typhoon

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