How Much Did the GMC Typhoon Cost When Adjusted for Inflation?
The current automotive landscape is now ripe with performance-oriented SUVs from automakers. Consumers practically struggle to raise an eyebrow when introduced to a crossover that has supercar performance and the off-road prowess of a kid’s Power Wheels. Of course, that wasn’t always the case. An entire decade before the Porsche Cayenne was introduced, the GMC Typhoon showed itself to be leagues ahead of every mainstream automaker by bringing a high-performance SUV to market.
Like modern, sporty SUVs, the Typhoon wasn’t exactly cheap, but it provided a lot of bang for the buck. So, how much did the Typhoon cost when it was first released, and what would that equate to in today’s dollars?
How much did the GMC Typhoon cost when new?
The GMC Typhoon hit the market with impressive performance figures and arrived with a notable base price of $29,350. That figure isn’t too remarkable today in that even standard midsized SUVs top the $30K mark, but in 1992, your dollar went far further at the dealership. For instance, the 1992 Ford Taurus, America’s best-selling passenger car of that year, started at just under $15,000. The average domestic new-car price from Ford, GM, or Chrysler was just over $17,000, according to the Chicago Tribune. A brand-new BMW 325i could be had for $27,990.
What’s the GMC Typhoon’s cost with inflation?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the GMC Typhoon’s $29,530 asking price in Jan. 1992 is the equivalent of $64,542 in March 2023. Being primed to spend $65,000 today puts buyers square in the realm of luxury land in the midsized SUV segment in which models like the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE350, and Audi Q8 all run between $59,000 to $74,000.
However, you’ll be asked to pay a lot more to break into the true performance realm of modern SUVs. The 2023 Alfa Stelvio Quadrifoglio tops $87,000. The Porsche Macan GTS is $84,350 with a destination charge. The BMW X3 M commands just over $75,000. Of course, the Typhoon is positively spartan compared to the Porsche, BMW, or Alfa for luxury, features, technology, safety, efficiency, and looks. Still, while these offerings are super sporty, they are not quite to the performance level of supercars. For the equivalent of $65,000 in 1992, the Typhoon could compete with some Prancing Horses of its day.
The Typhoon’s price was a bargain for its performance
The GMC Typhoon was motivated by a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 cranking out 280 horsepower and a seriously hefty (for the time, at least) 350 pound-feet of torque. With all-wheel drive and four-speed automatic transmission, the Typhoon could zip from 0-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. It could hit the quarter-mile mark in 14.1 seconds at 95 mph, which is impressive given it has all the aerodynamic qualities of a brick. When Car and Driver raced the Typhoon’s stablemate, the Syclone pickup, it also rushed from a stop to 60 in 5.3 seconds, 0.7 seconds quicker than the 1991 Ferrari 348ts.
Of course, the Typhoon couldn’t stand up as strong against a supercar when the road went twisty, but then again, you had 64 cubic feet of storage space, which is plenty for all the pink slips won when someone felt like challenging the GMC. It simply had no competition. Sure, the Lamborghini LM002 was already on the market, but it cost $120,000 over 30 years ago and was more at home off the paved path than on the drag strip. GMC, meanwhile, suggested against towing anything in its performance SUV, but the Typhoon showcased SUVs didn’t have to be covered in mud to be fun or haul a trailer to be useful.
The Typhoon’s $29,000 asking price in 1992 wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t a lot to pay for its performance or for being the forebearer for nearly all the super-sporty SUVs of today.