...and the poor man’s Syclone

Fans of performance pickups will undoubtedly know the 1991 GMC Syclone – the tuborcharged, V-6 compact pickup with AWD that rivaled the C4 Corvette in acceleration. But the Syclone was a compromised truck whose payload and towing capabilities were socked in favor of performance stats. The remedy was this – the 1992 GMC Sonoma GT.

It wasn’t nearly as fast as the Syclone, mostly due to the missing turbocharger and AWD system, but the Sonoma GT still rocked a similar monochromatic color scheme with a lowered stance and wide aero bits down low. And because the Sonoma GT wasn’t built for the track, it retained the towing and payload ratings of the standard V-6 Sonoma. And on that topic, you’ll hear Motor Week say the Sonoma can tow 9,500 pounds. That’s most certainly a typo in the John’s script. A quick search suggests the V-6 Sonoma could pull roughly 6,000 pounds with the Z82 trailer package.

That aside, the Sonoma GT came powered by an up-rated 4.3-liter Vortec V-6 making 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It came backed by the 4L60 four-speed automatic transmission with a console shifter. A limited-slip rear differential kept power flowing to both rear tires. A 3.42:1 gearset was used. The sprint to 60 mph happened in 7.6 seconds, with the quarter mile happening in 16.0 seconds at 85 mph – very respectable times for a early 90s pickup.

Though not mentioned in this video review, GMC only produced the Sonoma GT for 1992 and only 806 were built – making this a rather rare sports truck. While automakers are chasing the current trend of off-road pickups, street machines like the Sonoma GT, Syclone, and Ford’s F-150 Lightning are already modern classics.

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