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Tim's Forza History Class

GMC Syclone

By Tim DeLong- 09-01-2015

GMC has always been known for their rugged, heavy duty trucks. It was quite a surprise when the execs at General Motors chose to brand their new, hot little mini truck as a GMC rather than a Chevrolet. Chevrolet has always been more closely associated with performance vehicles than GMC.

The new truck was based on the Chevy S10 / GMC Sonoma platform. What set the Syclone apart (Other than its blatantly misspelled name, we’ll get to that later) was that it was a sharp looking little truck that has an identity crisis. It is a truck that couldn’t really be used as a truck. The hauling capacity for the bed is a mere 5oo lbs and the towing capacity is nothing. Seriously, GMC recommended that you never tow anything, ever. The Syclone does feature an AWD system that splits the power 65% rear and 35% front. This AWD system helps the Syclone grip the pavement resulting in a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds and a quarter mile pass at 13.6 seconds at 93 MPH. (Car & Driver Sept. 1991)

The power came in the form of 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque from a 4.3 liter turbocharged V6 running at 14 psi of boost. Car & Driver famously pitted the Syclone against a Ferrari 348 in 1991. The Syclone won the drag race and GMC fans everywhere are probably still bragging about it.

Now, on to the name. The short version of the story is that someone at GM liked the sound of the “Cyclone” and “Typhoon” (the SUV version based on a Blazer/Jimmy) for the new hot trucks. When GM tried to use the name “Cyclone” they were blocked from using the proper spelling of “Cyclone” because Ford Motor Company’s Mercury division owned the copyright to use “Cyclone as a vehicle name. Hence the alternate spelling, “Syclone” by GM.

GMC produced 2,995 Syclones for 1991. They were all painted black. The only exception were 10 Marlboro Syclones that were given away as promotional items by Philip Morris Tobacco Company. The trucks were painted red with a white decal package. The biggest modification was the addition of a targa top and a slide down rear window. The stock rims were also replaced in favor of Boyd Coddington Cobras.

The Marlboro trucks also received interior upgrades, A Sony sound system, and Recaro leather seats with Simpson 5-point racing harnesses to hold the occupants in place. Underneath the Marlboro trucks received Borla exhausts and a three inch suspension drop.

Another special edition was the Indy Syclone. Two of these trucks were left completely stock other than some “Official Truck on the 1992 Indianapolis 500” decals.

The third was heavily modified with a silver, magenta, and teal (it was the early 90’s) paint job. This truck had “Pace Truck” decals, although it was never used as an actual pace vehicle.

Syclones and Typhoons both make appearances in the Forza series. Both trucks are available in Forza 4 however, only the Syclone is available in Forza 5. Neither of the turbocharged trucks made the cut for Horizon 2 however. Maybe we’ll be surprised with a GMC download in the future, fingers crossed anyway.


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