By on May 5, 2019

Sleeper enthusiasts have a space in their heart reserved for General Motors. While the company’s most famous performance vehicles have typically been difficult to ignore, there was an era where some of its meanest models flew below the radar. This peaked in 1991 with the GMC Syclone pickup and Typhoon SUV — both of which played host to a 4.3-liter LB4 turbo V6 that could give high-end exotics a run for their money in a drag race.

While each of GMC’s unassuming monsters had a tragically short lifespan, evaporating by 1993, Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) announced it would be bringing back the Syclone as a limited-edition “modern classic” earlier this year. Now the company is saying it’ll happily do the same for the Typhoon if General Motors decides to hand over the Blazer to GMC. 

Limited to just 100 units, the Syclone aftermarket conversion kit (below) is based on the Canyon pickup and receives a supercharged 3.6-liter V6 with a claimed 455 horsepower, upgraded brakes, SVE’s sport suspension package, Y-rated tires, and a cat-back exhaust system for enhanced noisemaking. They’re also individually numbered and adorned with tons of Syclone badging to let the world know which vehicle you were coveting most in your youth. However, the understated look of the original remains — even with 20-inch performance wheels sporting the Syclone logo.

Motor1, which first reported that SVE was even interested in building a throwback Typhoon, stipulated that the company could give the new Blazer’s 3.6-liter LGX a similar treatment. But wondered why the firm wanted to wait for the Blazer when the GMC Acadia would have worked just fine.

From Motor1:

The Acadia already shares the same platform with the new Chevy Blazer. The GMC is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 230 horsepower (172 kilowatts) and 258 lb-ft of torque (350 Nm). While not as powerful straight from the factory, the turbocharged mill would probably be easier for SVE to tune than Acadia’s 3.6-liter V6 with 308 hp (230 kW) and 275 lb-ft (373 Nm).

A lowered suspension would help get the stance right. To match the original look, SVE could add some wheels with curved spokes, small fender flares, and the proper emblems.

Tradition mandates that the Typhoon be a V6 but we’re otherwise inclined to agree that the Arcadia would be a fine platform for SVE to modify. But the SVE rep speaking to the outlet seemed intent on waiting for the Chevy Blazer to make its way to GMC — something that may never happen.

However, if it does, Specialty Vehicle Engineering says it will “run with it.” We’re hoping so, as the Syclone and Typhoon really are better as a duet.

[Images: Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock; Specialty Vehicle Engineering]

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20 Comments on “SVE Will Bring Back the Typhoon if GMC Gets the Blazer...”

  • avatar

    “Limited to just 100 units”

    Ooh, it’s going to be expensive

    • 0 avatar

      That Syclone upgrade to a Canyon is $39k. That’s not total price, that’s for the upgrade, on top of your Canyon. Seems pricey for a blower and brakes.

      • 0 avatar

        Yikes! Should be about $9 to 15K worth of parts, even with labor the current price is 2X too much. However I gotta admit it looks good.

        What happened to the sport truck market? Why aren’t the OEM’s building these as factory options? Even 2WD models have the factory ride height of a 4×4 for some reason. Lowered suspension, blacked out kit, different exhaust and wheels… easy!

        • 0 avatar

          Still feeling the burn from the SSR?

          • 0 avatar

            Could be. But the SSR was a unique vehicle, thus it was doomed to be a niche vehicle from the get-go. What I am talking about is your basic trim level changes, just factory bolt-on type stuff. For example I had a Ford Ranger “Splash” back in the day. It was a normal Ranger… just more sporty looking. Sadly they didn’t do any engine, exhaust or handling upgrades other then lowering it slightly.

  • avatar

    Why would it matter that it be a GMC-based unit? In a world where you can buy a new Trans-Am, where they build it off a Camaro, it just doesn’t matter.

    And given that GMC/Chevy differences are literally nothing more than badge engineering, I fail to grasp the problem here.

  • avatar

    Oh boy I hope it still slams through the gears and makes the whole structure feel like its going to twist itself inside out and fall apart at any moment. That was the true fun of the original!

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. There’s so much revisionist history with these things it’s ridiculous. They were typical 90s GM sh*tboxes with a lot of power and grip. At least they were quick and looked cool. So there’s that.

      Our neighbor had one she purchased brand new in the early 90s. Dad’s Acura Legend was an S-Class in comparison. The build quality on those GM cars of the time was horrid.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly. Everything about it was brutal. It was fast and handled good, if somewhat dangerous. That included what was basically a stock interior that rattled like crazy, I imagine because of the amount of twist the whole chassis took from that engine. The whole thing popped and snapped and god that poor transmission, just slammed from gear to gear. You could feel the whole thing twisting under power, it was disconcerting. I loved the way they looked and was somewhat jealous of a buddy who had the Syclone. But man, that thing was basic and brutal in every way.

  • avatar

    I’m not optimistic. In the event that GMC does get their own version of the Blazer (Why wouldn’t they? It’s what GM does.), can their 9-speed even handle the torque of a blown V6 or high output turbo four? You would think the XT5 or XT6 would offer a power upgrade if it could.

    • 0 avatar

      “can their 9-speed even handle the torque of a blown V6 or high output turbo four?”

      I highly doubt it. I doubt the 8L45 in the Canyon can handle the supercharged-output either. But, this sort of aftermarket fantasy package thing isn’t going to be used as a daily driver so it might not matter.

      These will be showing up on the 2039 edition of “Rare Rides” with under 10k miles.

    • 0 avatar

      Just drop in the 410hp turbo 3.6 V6, AWD from the Caddy XTS. That’s transverse. Although I think the AT was only a 6 speed.

      • 0 avatar

        @N8iveVA – that would tick me off but only because I was wishing for a final Impala SS with that powertrain before the model gets killed off.

  • avatar

    Who cares about “tradition” when it’s now a (or will be, if it’s like the Blazer) FWD-based unibody crossover? If they’re going to do one, base it on the Terrain. It already exists, and its lighter than the Acadia.

    • 0 avatar

      2018 to present GMC Terrain

      Then all you would need is a lowered sport suspension.

      Norm would be proud.

  • avatar

    The Typhoon/Syclone was the first time I’d ever gone to a “company demonstration”. Interestingly, they were more interested in showing off the AWD system, so the autocross course they took us around had long rubber mats with soap, so we whipped from one corner to the other with one side of the car zero traction. It was very impressive as AWD in a performance car was a novelty at the time, and we whipped from corner to corner with the AWD keeping things in line. I couldn’t remotely afford one at the time, but came away amazed. Every now and again I’ll see one at a car show….

  • avatar

    So, Saturday I go the local Chevrolet stealer for the Corvette show. I check out the sticker on the Silverado PIG Up truck.
    Made in Ft Wayne – Good
    Engine – US Source. My old plant Tonawanda?
    Tranny – US Source.
    But, 42% US/Canada content.
    58% China Mexico content?. Ft Wayne assy, US engine and tranny but only 42% US Content. You gotta be tryin real hard to reach this level of shite.

    WAS THE ENTIRE REST OF THE TRUCK MADE IN CHINA MEXICO? I think HOnda and Toyota have higher US content.
    BUY RAM !!!!

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll bite on your bait.

      Ram 1500 regular cabs aren’t built in the US at all – they are imported.

      The Ford F-series has far more US parts content then a Ram.

      The Honda Ridgeline has the most US parts content.

      Finally, the gold standard for US vs NAFTA vs “foreign” content is the American Univesity Auto Index.

      According to their guide, the Silverado is the 41st “most American” vehicle you can buy with 46% of parts US/Canada sourced and 42% of parts Mexican sourced. There is no such thing as China/Mexico sourced and your numbers don’t even align to information as listed on the Monroney sticker.

      So basically, you’re a liar across the board.

      Want to buy American? Buy a Ridgeline.

  • avatar

    gmc and chevy must be selling enough (gmc maybe not so much) of their midsizers and full-sizers they just don’t care to make performance versions. that is the backward thinking of gm i guess…

    i’ve been toying with the idea of trading in the ’17 Fusion for a 2WD Ranger… (i was thinking to myself i have used the 4WD on my ’01 Ranger maybe a handful of times in 3 years)

    the aftermarket is making crazy hp and torque tuning the 2.3 ecoboost.

    lebanon ford is 2.5 hours from me. if they come out with a performance ranger i’m almost certain to buy one.

  • avatar

    Original Typhoon was RW biased AWD, making the current minivan Blazer “hot” is so dumb it might just happen with current GM leadership.

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