RE: GMC Typhoon: Spotted

Wednesday 12th September

GMC Typhoon: Spotted

A rare American curio that could outrun contemporary Italian exotics, this Typhoon has made landfall in the UK



"Imagine if someone's selling a Syclone" I thought as I clicked, half-heartedly, on the 'GMC > All Models' category of the classifieds. I expected to find a couple of Sierras, maybe a Denali or two, but this is PistonHeads and there it was in all its glory, and so now here it is for you.

Of course, this isn't technically a Syclone, but rather a Typhoon, thanks to its covered bed and practicality-enhancing rear bench seats. Like the Syclone, though, the Typhoon was powered by a turbocharged 4.3-litre V6 which produced 285hp and 350lb ft of torque. They both made use of the same four-speed automatic transmission, and both sent 35 per cent of their power to the front wheels and sixty five to the rear.


Where the Syclone was breathtakingly rapid, though, capable of 0-60 in 4.3 seconds (In a truck. In 1992.) the Typhoon was only incredibly quick. It took 5.3 seconds to reach 60mph - still faster than an E36 M3 Evo, Ferrari 348 or C4 Corvette - before going on to an electronically limited top speed of 124mph.

Despite its supercar status and mere $30,000 price tag (£40,000 in today's money), production of the Syclone ended after just twelve months, while the Typhoon managed to make it a whole two years before lack of demand saw it axed from GMC's line up as well. While the idea was an interesting one, the reality of a sporty SUV was a step too far for many customers, and has of course neverbeenrepeatedsince.


Despite its obvious drawbacks - 15mpg, anyone? - the Typhoon also makes a better case for itself as a UK car than many other American performance imports. Based as it is on GMC's smallest pick-up of the era, the Jimmy, the Typhoon is only 172cm wide, 13cm less than a Vauxhall Insignia. It boasts 0.8g of cornering grip and, despite having cast-iron drum brakes in the rear, it'll stop from 70mph in 56m. It's no Lotus Elise, sure, but neither is it the one trick pony you might imagine.

This one's done just 28,000 miles too, and best of all it's priced at £15,000, while a similar example with comparable mileage will set you back $40,000 on the US market. What could you get instead? Well, plenty of things. But while the Typhoon may not have the unicorn status afforded to the Syclone, it still represents an interesting (and very cool) early foray into a segment which has exploded in recent years. It's boxy design and plasticy interior won't be to everyone's taste, but even 25 years after its release, when those in the know see a Typhoon, they'll still be blown away.


SPECIFICATION - GMC TYPHOON

Engine: 4,300cc, turbo V6
Transmission: 4-speed auto, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 285@4,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 350@3,600-4,800rpm
MPG: 15ish
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1992-3
Recorded mileage: 28,000
Price new: $30,000
Yours for: £14,989

See the full ad here.



Author
Discussion

crispyshark

Original Poster:

1,185 posts

80 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Utterly bonkers but I love it!

A further left field alternative to a Forester STI.


























RevOne

42 posts

87 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Syclone 0-60 in 4.3
Typhoon 0-60 in 5.3

If they have the same drivetrain why the 20% slower time? Surely the roof and rear seat didnt add THAT much weight?

FerdiZ28

1,079 posts

69 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Howard- said:
0-60 in 4.3 seconds by something with only 285bhp and weighing 1.7 tonnes (according to Wikipedia)? Behave.
What problem do you have with facts? Fearing and torque, sweetheart

kambites

55,253 posts

156 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
RevOne said:
Surely the roof and rear seat didnt add THAT much weight?
About 140kg if GMC's figures are to be believed, so just under 10%. Doesn't seem like enough for account for that difference in performance does it?

4.3 seconds for a car with less than 200bhp/tonne does sound rather optimistic, even with 4wd. Especially with period tyres and electronics.

rampageturke

895 posts

97 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Please stop giving Motorhub publicity.
Advertisement

Krikkit

13,323 posts

116 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
RevOne said:
Syclone 0-60 in 4.3
Typhoon 0-60 in 5.3

If they have the same drivetrain why the 20% slower time? Surely the roof and rear seat didnt add THAT much weight?
Typo from Wikipedia - Car and Driver had the Syclone at 5.3 in Sep' 1991.

Page 6:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/amv-prod-cad-assets/files...

They also tested the Typhoon in March 1992:
http://sportmachines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/0...

TEKNOPUG

13,724 posts

140 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
My initial thought too was “why would I buy this instead of an FSTi?”. Other than the curio factor of owning one, I guess it would come down to how much additional power can the 4.3 V6 make with bolt-ons and how much can the transmission handle before things start to get expensive.

irocfan

17,561 posts

125 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
most excellent! In fairness I'd prefer a Cyclone but none-the-less great find!

RacerMike

2,045 posts

146 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Anyone fancy trying a 60mph lane change in it? :S

Eviltad

1,317 posts

114 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
rampageturke said:
Please stop giving Motorhub publicity.
Not again!!!

Its such a shame they've got such a bad reputation as the amount of rare and interesting stock they seem to have would make them a PH favourite otherwise.

Someone in the money laundering department at Motorhub has eclectic taste.

louiechevy

285 posts

128 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Mate of mine had a cyclone that I got to drive now and again, so outside lane of the dual carriageway foot down lets see what it will do, And as I over took a lorry at well over the tonne it ran out of petrol! Talk about laugh (not) stuck it in neutral and managed to coast the half mile to the next service station.

Composite Guru

1,649 posts

138 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Claim to fame on this one...

My Uncle designed the kit for that over in the states back in the 90's (AAD Alternative Automotive Design). He still has the Syclone version at his workshop in Texas. It doesn't have a chassis number as it was a pre production car so he used to drive it around locally on trade plates (the US version anyway) just so he could use it.

He took me out in it and I couldn't believe how fast it was for a pick up. Outrageous. biggrincool

Edited by Composite Guru on Wednesday 12th September 13:07

FerdiZ28

1,079 posts

69 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
Anyone fancy trying a 60mph lane change in it? :S
It’s be absolutely fine

Jimmy Recard

15,044 posts

114 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
Anyone fancy trying a 60mph lane change in it? :S
confused

Why would anyone fancy changing lanes at any particular speed?

pb8g09

266 posts

4 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Absolutely love it. Imagine owning one of these new and beating a sports-car at a set of lights back in the early 90s!

I wonder if we'll look back at the BMW X5/X6M and equivalents which such nostalgia in 26 years time... !

Mike1990

589 posts

66 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
Actually love that.

AJordan

169 posts

78 months

The Crack Fox

13,161 posts

127 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
I don't normally give a stuff about image, but aren't these a bit "Westwood"?

Interesting car, though, thanks PH.

cookie1600

1,000 posts

96 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
First encountered a Syclone one of these when it was new absolutely trouncing a C4 'Vette at an oval circuit 'rung what ya brung' meet just outside of Orlando. It was half a lap up by the first lap and laping the 'Vette again by lap 3. Even the locals didn't know what it was at that time.

Do a lot of research on one of these before you buy it, I follow this forum for advice on upgrades and replacements:

http://www.syty.net/forums/

Service history and upgrades/replacements are crucial, just like any high -performance vehicle. Ask on any owners forum (I think the UK one has vanished now?)

BTW both the Syclone and the Typhoon produce 280 bhp from a Vortec LB4 V6, it was the extra weight that disadvantaged the Typhoon over the Syclone.

Want to know more about them?

https://sytyregistry.com/forum/forum/information-a...

I have been hankering after one for years, I'm just not sure if this is the right moment and the right vehicle to make me jump.

Edited by cookie1600 on Wednesday 12th September 15:17

fernando the frog

38 posts

3 months

Wednesday 12th September
quotequote all
I always think things like this are great and interesting, but how much of a pain would it be to source parts especially on something that's rare in it's home country anyway?

Anyway I love it - I think Doug Demuro or whatever his name is reviewed one not long ago