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GMC’s foray into performance trucks back in 1991 resulted in both the Syclone pickup and Typhoon SUV. Both were based on the Chevy/GMC S-10 architecture and were a high point in a period of smog regulations and stomach pump performance. But now Specialty Vehicle Engineering, or SVE, has created a contemporary version of those hallowed GMC performance trucks. But this time, they’re based on the full-size Sierra 1500 platform packing 800 hp. 

SVE GMC Syclone
2023 GMC SVE Sport Edition Syclone | SVE

The original Syclone came one way in a sport truck guise and in one color, black. But SVE’s 2023 GMC Syclone is available in two ways. The SVE Sport Edition is the lowered version and the off-road version is the Off-Road Edition. Give credit to GMC, it put more effort into the performance aspects than names.

What are the features of the SVE GMC Syclone?

1991 GMC Syclone
1991 GMC Syclone truck | GM

SVE’s off-road version has flared fenders, while the sporty, lowered Sierra gets brushed-aluminum inserts. Suspension-wise, the off-road version gets BDS four-inch lift kit. The Sport Edition model is lowered two inches, with progressive rate front springs and a five-inch drop in the rear. 

There will also be two performance versions, a 700-hp Syclone with the 5.3-liter V8, and an 800-hp truck powered by the 6.2-liter engine. Each engine is blueprinted, with a computer-balanced rotating assembly, forged 1538MV twisted steel crankshaft, and forged aluminum pistons. The cylinder heads have also been hogged out for better flow, and SVE also installs one of its superchargers for some forced induction. Lastly, SVE adds a stainless steel exhaust system for better flow and more expressive sound.

How many Syclones will SVE produce?

SVE Syclone GMC
2023 GMC SVE Sport Edition Syclone | SVE

SVE is limiting availability and body styles to add collectibility and simplify orders. SVE will only produce 50 of each version. All Syclones will be either a 2023 4WD crew cab or a double cab. They will also only come with the short or standard bed length. But this makes sense seeing as how those are the most popular versions of both the Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado. 

As for pricing, that is not available for certain reasons. Since these trucks can come with a variety of options and configurations, it is hard to establish a price. SVE also offers custom accessories beyond what GMC has available. So should the owner choose one or some of these aftermarket SVE offerings, that change the price as well?

How does the Syclone compare to the Ram TRX and Ford Raptor?

SVE GMC Syclone
2023 GMC SVE Sport Edition Syclone | SVE

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The bottom line to all of this is that the SVE combo of features puts these GMC 1500 trucks on the same plane as the Ram TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor. Put another way, it is something that for marketing, and as a brand boost, GMC should offer. But regardless of what GM corporate decides, you have your chance to have a GMC pickup that can stand up to any current production truck. And also, have it be much more exclusive than those offerings. 

GMC should have used its brief foray into performance trucks to burnish its brand back 30 years ago. But SVE has picked up where GMC left off, so now is your time to embrace that 800-hp GMC push of power yourself.