Supercharged GMC Canyon "Syclone" Tries to Live Up to the Legend

Brian Silvestro
Photo credit: Specialty Vehicle Engineering

From Road & Track

The 1991 GMC Syclone is one of the coolest trucks ever built. Sporting a turbocharged V-6 making 280 horsepower, it did 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, quicker than a Ferrari from the same year. It remains a legend in the world of capable utility. Sadly, GMC has never built a follow-up to the Syclone (or the Typhoon SUV it spawned).

Now Specialty Vehicle Engineering, the same folks behind that 1000-HP Yenko/SC Corvette Grand Sport, want to bring the Syclone back, sort of. The team just unveiled a new tuning package for the 2019 GMC Canyon to boost its power and jog your nostalgia. Starting out with an extended cab truck in either 2WD or 4WD, the standard 308-horsepower 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 gets supercharged to 455 horsepower. The brakes are upgraded with six-piston units up front measuring 13.6 inches in diameter. A sport suspension package lowers the truck two inches in the front, five in the rear. Upgraded shock absorbers, a bigger rear sway bar, and heavy duty spring bushings are also added. Specialty Vehicle Engineering released a few renderings of the truck which, strangely, depicts the GMC on the Yas Marina F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi, and makes it look like it's nearly as wide as the entire racing surface.

Photo credit: Specialty Vehicle Engineering

A stainless steel cat-back exhaust improves the sound, while black five-spoke wheels with red "Syclone" graphics and performance tires round out the exterior design. All the trim pieces are blacked out, and the hood gets "455 HP" chrome and red badges. On the tailgate you'll see a massive "Syclone" decal in the original 1990s script. Inside, the truck gets embroidered graphics on the seats and floor mats. Despite not being OEM, everything looks incredibly well-done.

Photo credit: Specialty Vehicle Engineering

Only 100 examples will be made, and according to Roadshow, it'll cost you $39,995 on top of the cost of the donor truck. That means a total starting price of around $63,000. According to Roadshow, the truck will be available to order via your local GMC dealer.

Does this thing live up to the Syclone name? Hard to say. Specialty Vehicle Engineering didn't provide any acceleration stats for the tuned truck. To our minds, this thing will have to be pretty quick to earn the Syclone badge: The original GMC could spank an early-'90s Corvette LT1, which did 0-60 in the high five-second range. To repeat that feat, a "new" Syclone would have to out-spring today's Stingray, which does the sprint in high threes.

We doubt this "new Syclone" will be quite that quick. Regardless, it's a fun modern tribute to one of the greatest performance surprises of all time.

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