• Truck Rewind: 1991 GMC Syclone Turbo AWD: The Fastest Vehicle from 1991 Is Nearly Forgotten



    In 1991, GM built 2,995 GMC Syclone trucks. According to several sources, it could run 0-60 mph in (between) 4.6 seconds and 5.3-seconds and finish the quarter-mile run in (well) under 14 seconds. Available only in black (for 1991), it was, and still is, one of the fastest pickup trucks ever sold. Back in 1991, it was the quickest production car or truck on the market. Even by today’s standards, it can hold its own against the quickest trucks out there.

    The recipe for the 1991 GMC Syclone was simple: take a small lightweight pickup truck and cram a 280 horsepower, 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 that made 350 lb-ft of torque (big numbers at the time). The 4.3-liter V6 was connected to a Mitsubishi TD06-17C 8 cm² turbocharger under the hood. EPA ratings were 17 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.

    The only transmission available was a 4-speed 4L60 (700R4) automatic. At the time, it was one of the few transmissions that GM had in its inventory that worked with this unique setup. The all-wheel drive (AWD) transfer case was a Borg Warner which divided torque 35% to the front wheels and 65% to the rear.

    The 1991 GMC Syclone was one of the first production truck to come equipped with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. It had front discs and rear drums.

    Handling was considered, for a truck, to be excellent. Many owners still auto-cross the GMC Syclone and its SUV brother, the GMC Typhoon. While this was supposed to be a limited run for the GMC Syclone, its poor sales numbers forced GM to stop production in 1992 after only a few more were built.

    This is still a truck and, as such, it has some utility. There is a six-foot bed, but the payload capacity is only rated at 500-lbs. Towing with a vehicle like this is not recommended; however, if it must be done, the 1991 GMC Syclone can tow up to 2,000 lbs.

    With prices starting at $25,500, this was an expensive vehicle for the time, but considerably cheaper than any vehicle that can match its performance. Today, the 1991 GMC Syclone is starting to be considered a collector item and its price reflects it. Clean, well cared for examples are pricing from about $30,000 up to nearly $50,000.

    If you have a Syclone in Colorado, please let us know by contacting us at ask@tfltruck.com  We would love to feature it on our site and Youtube channel.

    Here is another relatively small high-performance truck that is no longer being built.


    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.
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