Skip to main content

Today, performance trucks are a fairly common sight on American roads. Whether the off-road-ready Ford Raptor or the swift and electric Ford F-150 Lightning, performance pickup trucks are not uncommon in America. These trucks may not reach supercar speed levels, but they offer a good amount of acceleration and style for most consumers. However, back in the 1990s, one of the most potent vehicles on American roads was a pickup truck. No, we aren’t talking about a quick pickup truck rivaling sports cars. We are talking about a pickup truck and SUV that were so quick that they competed head to head with Ferraris and Porsches. That brings us to the GMC Syclone and Typhoon.

The GMC Syclone pickup truck was unveiled to the public for the 1991 model year, and the GMC Typhoon SUV was released for the 1992 model year. Together, they redefined what was possible in a pickup truck and SUV. Here is everything you need to know about the GMC Syclone and Typhoon and the answer to the question of which of these two performance models was faster.

The GMC Syclone and Typhoon hit the streets

Back in the late 1980s, the Buick Grand National had reached the end of its life. This legendary turbocharged Buick made headlines by using forced induction technology to become the fastest American car you could buy. According to XtremeCFM, Buick engineers experimented with this Buick drivetrain by installing the legendary turbo V6 into a Chevy S10. While Buick and Chevrolet didn’t like the idea of their compact S10 carrying around a big 3.8L turbo engine, GMC jumped on the idea.

Unfortunately, the exact Buick Grand National engine from the prototype didn’t make the cut. Instead, a 4.3L turbo V6 was placed into a GMC Sonoma with all-wheel drive, making the first GMC Syclone. The truck would be produced out-of-house at Production Automotive Services, the same company that helped create the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am. This Syclone truck would be so fast that it had a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. That’s nearly identical to the legendary Ferrari F40, which was only a tenth of a second faster. A year later, the GMC Typhoon would also hit the market and find a little more success than the Syclone due to it being an SUV with more cargo and passenger space.

Which of these turbocharged GMC models was faster?

In short, the GMC Syclone was the faster of these two trucks, but it wasn’t for any complicated reason. The GMC Syclone was just a lighter vehicle. The GMC Syclone weighed about 3,599 lbs, and the GMC Typhoon came in at 3,822 lbs. This increase in weight is quite impressive when you consider the Typhoon added a roof over the bed and a whole row of seats. In the end, the Typhoon was a full second faster in a 0-60 mph run than the Syclone, clocking in at 5.3 seconds.

Since the GMC Typhoon was released a year after the Syclone with no real changes to the legendary drivetrain, drivers had the power to have one of the fastest vehicles available to the public with room for the whole family in the cabin.

Related How Much Did the GMC Typhoon Cost When Adjusted for Inflation?

How Much Did the GMC Typhoon Cost When Adjusted for Inflation?