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The GMC Typhoon was a high-performance SUV that left its mark on automotive history. Although it didn’t last long, its impact is still felt today. It was built based on three GMC models. These three models influenced the design and build of the Typhoon significantly. 

Even though the Typhoon has been out of production for decades, it still captures the imagination of many car enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look at how the GMC Typhoon was built on the foundation of these three previous models.

1. GMC Jimmy

A close up of the GMC logo on the grille.
GMC logo | Getty Images

The first of these models was the GMC Jimmy which later became known as the Chevy Blazer SUV. It was the basis for the Typhoon’s SUV build and engine. The GMC Jimmy was known for its ruggedness and dependability, so it was an excellent choice for the foundation of the Typhoon. GMC took the best features of the Jimmy and incorporated them into the design of the Typhoon to create a powerful SUV that provided a smooth ride and had excellent handling.

2. GMC Sonoma

The second model, the GMC Sonoma, was a pickup truck that shared its frame with the GMC Jimmy. It was used as the starting point for the GMC Syclone, which was a high-performance truck. Its performance capabilities set the standards for the Typhoon. The Syclone was yet another powerful and dependable vehicle that helped GMC develop suitable powertrain options for the Typhoon. In fact, it shared the same V6 turbo engine that later became a staple in the Typhoon.

3. GMC Syclone

The last model that influenced the build and design of the Typhoon was the GMC Syclone. It was a high-performance truck based on the Sonoma. GMC took the performance of the Syclone and added it to the general build of the Jimmy to create the Typhoon.

According to Synergy Motorsports, the Typhoon weighed 3,822 pounds, and the Syclone come in at 3,599 pounds, making the Typhoon heavier than the Syclone. The Typhoon was an SUV that could deliver incredible amounts of power thanks to the turbocharged V6 engine, and it visibly stood out on the streets with its sleek and stylish design. If you’re wondering about its spelling, MotorTrend mentions that it might have paid homage to the leadoff letter in “S-10” or “Sonoma.”

What made the GMC Typhoon stand out?

It’s important to note that despite sharing features with other GMC models, the Typhoon was still unique. It boasted a distinctive design, featuring a lowered suspension, flat hood scoop, and a sporty interior. The Typhoon’s uniqueness made it stand out on its own, and its impact on the automotive industry today.

The GMC Typhoon left a legacy in the auto industry

The GMC Typhoon was a unique high-performance SUV of its era that continues to inspire car enthusiasts today. The Typhoon was built on a foundation of three previous GMC models, the Jimmy, the Sonoma, and the Syclone, each contributing to creating a powerful and stylish SUV. The Typhoon was the perfect combination of ruggedness, style, and power. Although production stopped in the late ’90s, the Typhoon will always be remembered as a symbol of American ingenuity and excellence.


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