New Jersey-based Specialty Vehicle Engineering has already recreated the speedy GMC Syclone once before in 2019. And for the 2020 model year, SVE brought the limited-production pickup truck again. Both trucks made more power than the original GMC Syclone. But, in a world where the Ram Rebel TRX is about to break cover, 455 hp just isn’t enough. That’s why, for the 2021 GMC Syclone recreation, SVE is giving the pickup a bit more juice.
How SVE made the GMC Canyon into a 2021 GMC Syclone
As a worker, the original 1991 GMC Syclone was a bit lacking. For example, its payload capacity was only 500 pounds, Car and Driver reports. But it was shockingly fast, especially for a truck. Today, turbocharging and all-wheel drive are standard fare for trucks and high-performance cars. In the 90s, those were exotic features.
With a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 making 280 hp and 350 lb-ft, the 1991 GMC Syclone could do 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, Road & Track reports. That’s faster than a new F-150 Raptor. And it was faster than some contemporary Ferraris. SVE’s new 2021 GMC Syclone, though, is even quicker. And more powerful.
The mods include upgraded fuel injectors, an air-to-water intercooler, a larger supercharger belt, and a stainless-steel performance exhaust. So instead of 455 hp, the truck now has 750 hp and 600 lb-ft, R&T reports. For comparison, the standard Canyon’s most powerful engine is a 308-hp 3.6-liter V6.
That power is sent to an upgraded 8-speed automatic. And, while SVE’s previous GMC Syclones were available in RWD or 4WD, the 2021 model has full-time AWD, just like the original. The driveshafts and transfer case, though, have been strengthened to deal with the added power.
While the original Syclone was really only good in a straight line, the new model has a few additional handling upgrades. The truck is lower than the standard Canyon and comes with heavy-duty sway bars, new bushings, and upgraded shock absorbers. The front brakes are larger than standard and come with slotted rotors.
Interior and exterior mods
SVE didn’t just upgrade the GMC Canyon’s mechanicals to turn it into a Syclone.
Externally, the truck has new body cladding and bumpers, as well as multiple new ‘Scylone’ badges and decals. In addition to the standard louvered hood insert—with ‘750 HP’ decals—customers can also spec the pickup with a new body-colored grille.
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The new GMC Syclone rides on new 20” forged aluminum wheels, which SVE claims are lighter than the factory-standard ones. These wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 performance tires.
The interior can also be upgraded. SVE’s optional interior package adds leather trim to both the front and rear seats. A ‘Syclone V8’ logo embroidered into the headrests, though, is standard, as are the Syclone floor mats. And on the dash is a numbered plaque showing just how limited SVE’s Scylone really is.
Pricing, availability, and a possible Typhoon
SVE made 100 2019 GMC Syclones and is making 100 of both the 2020 model and the Colorado Xtreme. But only 50 750-hp Syclones will be made. And unfortunately, the truck isn’t legal in California, Muscle Cars and Trucks reports, likely due to emissions.
As of this writing, SVE has not released official pricing for the new truck. The 455-hp version, Autoblog reports, costs about $40,000 on top of the GMC Canyon’s MSRP. With a 3.6-liter V6 and 4WD, that works out to about $75k for a donor SLE. The 750-hp version will undoubtedly be noticeably dearer. Though whether it’ll match the larger Sierra-based $105k Hennessey Goliath 700 remains to be seen. However, SVE’s GMC Syclone does come with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
But, if you miss your chance to get the 750-hp Syclone, you might be able to get the powertrain another way. Motor1 reports SVE is open to bringing back the GMC Typhoon, the SUV based on the original Syclone. However, the tuner is waiting on GMC to release its version of the Chevrolet Blazer before doing so.
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