You step into a GM dealer in 1991 and ask about the fastest car that they offer. You would suspect the salesman to point you to the Corvette or perhaps the Camaro or Trans Am, but for that one particular year the General unleashed upon America the GMC Syclone.
To the naked eye, this is a simple compact two seater truck based off the utilitarian Sonoma, but this small truck had the distinction of being the fastest accelerating vehicle you could buy in the U.S.of A. Not even the exotic Ferrari Testarossa could keep up with it at a stop light.
In this video segment of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay gives an enlightening video showing what made this particular vehicle so unique. His personal Syclone, even though it served daily driver duty, is perhaps one of the cleanest and closest to stock we have ever seen. Many people believe it had the same V6 as the Buick Grand National but it actually had a 4.3L Vortec engine. And unlike the Grand National’s air to air intercooler, the Syclone was using a water to air intercooler, which in turn allowed for more boost.
But the General was not done with this truck – they equipped it with ABS brakes and an all-wheel drive system making this truck built for dig-style racing. Car and Driver magazine actually staged a drag race between this all American pick up truck and the Ferrari 348ts. They recorded a time of 14.1 seconds for the Syclone compared to the mid-engine Italian supercar 14.5 second quarter mile time.
So pull up a chair and enjoy this Leno’s Garage video segment celebrating ‘Merica and the GMC Syclone.
Ted is a long-time GM aficionado who loves anything related to cars. Located smack-dab in the middle of Texas, his WS6 fits right in! Fast cars, writing and his family are his passions in life.