An actual performance package for the Canyon that’s limited to 100 units

Performance pickup trucks seem to be the trend these days. There’s the Ram Rebel TRX and the Raptor, but this is not a new concept per se. The truck that needs to be credited for making us believe that these butch looking vehicles could actually go fast was the GMC Syclone. It debuted in the 90s and was fast enough to scare the holy hell out of anyone because there was nothing known as ’fast trucks’ back then. However, the truck did not succeed. But, seeing the demand and potential now, the GMC Syclone is all set to make a comeback. The 2019 GMC Syclone is a tribute to the original truck by Specialty Vehicle Engineering, and from what it’s worth, it sure looks exciting.

Background

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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The GMC Syclone was launched in 1991 and it shattered the auto scene as soon as it arrived because trucks were never meant to sprint with such agility. The GMC Syclone took 4.3 seconds to zoom from a standstill to 60 mph. Doesn’t sound that fancy now, but to put things into perspective, the Porsche 911 Turbo took 4.4 seconds to hit the same mark back then, and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 took 4.9 seconds. This run was based on a 4.3-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine that churned out 480 ponies. However, the Syclone was ahead of its time. GMC sold just 2,995 units over its entire production run, which in today’s colloquial is a ’flop’. Inspired by the Syclone, Ram launched the SRT-10 in 2004. Ram thought 13 years were enough for the market to accept powerful, fast trucks, but it wasn’t. The SRT-10 was powered by the Dodge Viper’s V-10 engine. But the truck went off the production line within three years.

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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Fast-forward to 2019 and Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) has decided to reincarnate the GMC Syclone moniker with a 445-horsepower beast. SVE has attained license from GMC to use the Syclone name badge, so that means even though it has GMC prefixed, the automaker has nothing to do with it. Not nothing exactly, because the Syclone is a ’package’, and not a truck built from scratch. You basically have to buy a Canyon and give SVE the permission and moolah to rip your truck apart to build this. SVE is not a new name in the market, and it has worked on powerful trucks in the past as well. Remember the Yenko/SC Silverado launched last year riding on 800 horses? That creation by SVE gives enough credibility to the 2019 Syclone as well. Will it have a dream run this time around?

Exterior

  • Truck Sits Lower Than Standard Canyon
  • XL-sized Hood Insert
  • 20-inch, Five-Spoke Alloys
  • Red Brake Calipers With Syclone Branding
  • Tailgate With ’Syclone’ Embossed
  • Available In All Factory Shades
2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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Upfront, this truck looks like it could be used in the movie Death Race (Did you realize that the Warden’s name is ’Hennessey’ in the movie?). Three horizontal stripes make up the grille and dominate the face. The center slat is slapped with a huge ’GMC’ logo in red. Two square-ish headlights are placed on either side that also house the turn indicator signals. The bumper houses circular fog lamps. When you read this, I’m sure you visualize a very generic truck face. But below the bumper is an extra addition that makes the truck look very low-slung and sporty. The hood features a huge insert that begins at one end of the and stretches all the way to the other end. To some, it may appeal as an after-market fitment, which in literal sense, it actually is. But still, it adds a lot of character to the overall appeal of the Syclone.

The side profile is my favorite angle to view the truck. It’s simple, devoid of any chrome elements, and looks dashing in black! The 20-inch, five-spoke alloys are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2S tires, which means that despite the sporty nature of the truck it is meant to be handled sedately. The square wheel arches are HUGE! SVE has installed side skirts as well, which are literally invisible to the naked eye for once. It sits flush with the body and helps the Syclone attain the ’down-to-earth’ feel. The brake calipers are painted in red along with the official ‘Syclone’ logo printed in black.

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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Move to the back and you will realize that however good a truck looks from the front and sides, the rear is never in sync with the rest of the body. It looks plain-Jane no matter how much an automaker tries. It works in the Syclone’s case to an extent. This truck’s understated looks are complemented with vertically-placed taillights and a black tailgate with ’Syclone’ embossed on it. The bumper has a step to climb up in the middle, and it is also the place where the number plate is housed. The cab comes with a high-stop mounted light in the back. Other than this, two circular exhaust pipes peep out of the back, which I feel, could have been integrated in a better manner.

Interior

  • Black Leather Seats With Syclone Embroideries
  • Syclone Floor Mats
  • Sequential Serial Number For Each of the 100 Examples
  • Serial Number On Dashboard and Key Fob
2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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I’ll start by saying that SVE plans to build only 100 examples of the Syclone; no more, no less. Although you would assume that SVE would have worked hard to make the cabin a delightful place to be in, you are grossly mistaken. When it comes to performance trucks, the less we speak about the cabin the better. Although mainstream trucks in general come with some of the most luxurious cabins you’ll ever see, the cabins on such trucks will be as simple as you can expect. The seats are wrapped in black leather with red Syclone logos embossed on the headrests. SVE has also provided black floor mats with Syclone logos to constantly remind the passengers that this is no Canyon you’re sitting in. SVE has installed a power badge showing the Syclone’s horsepower rating, along with the truck’s serial number on the dashboard and the key fob; since it’s a limited production truck.

Drivetrain

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Supercharged Mill
  • 455 Horsepower
  • 425 Pound-Feet of Torque
  • Eight-Speed Automatic Gearbox
  • Missing Paddle Shifts Is A Big Omission
  • 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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Let’s talk about the most interesting aspect of the Syclone now. This is where SVE engineers have spent most of their time while building the truck. The Syclone uses the same 3.6-liter, V-6 engine as its base, but there is no other similarity other than this. The stock Canyon produces 308 horses and 275 pound-feet of torque. But once it’s wrapped in the SVE Syclone package, the same powertrain develops 455 ponies and 425 pound-feet of twist.

The biggest highlight here is the use of a centrifugal supercharger that uses a planetary gearbox that does not create the typical whining sound coming from the supercharger. Hit or a miss? You decide. The truck is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that comes with an option to shift manually as well using a small +/- button the left side of the gear lever. Despite providing such a capable truck, SVE missed out on offering paddle shifters which will be sorely missed. SVE has also included an air-to-water intercooler in the engine compartment complemented by an air-to-air intercooler in front of the radiator to maintain a higher power level at all times. As for the braking, SVE has used six-piston forged calipers and 13.6-inch diameter slotted rotors in the front. The rear brakes are left untouched, since 80-percent of the braking is done will be done at the front.

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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For the handling part, SVE has lowered the front end by two inches and the rear end by five inches that sticks closer to the ground and reduces the body roll. The tuner has used a heavy-duty rear sway bar and slightly more aggressive shocks. Even though these add-ons make it a heavy truck, the Syclone feels light to drive and is stable while cornering as well. SVE has installed a dual performance exhaust system that creates a very sweet grunt minus the supercharger whining. Thanks to all these changes, the Syclone can sprint from naught to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds flat! It is 0.3 seconds slower than its predecessor launch 28 years back, but that’s because this one is fairly larger and heavier than the original GMC Syclone.

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE specifications
Engine 3.6-liter, V-6 Supercharged mill
Power 455 Horsepower
Torque 425 Pound-feet
Gearbox Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
0-60 mph 4.5 seconds

Pricing

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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The SVE Syclone is not inexpensive by any means. The package is priced at $39,995, apart from the cost of the donor truck. The GMC Canyon starts at $21,500 and goes all the way up to $44,000. So, a mid-trim, ready-to-drive Syclone will cost you around $70,000. How’s the Raptor looking now?

Final Thoughts

2019 GMC Syclone by SVE
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The SVE Syclone sure looks great and comes packed with a monstrous engine. But paying $40,000 over the standard GMC Canyon is a little too expensive for the taking. Even though a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty comes as standard, I would rather place my bet on the Ram Rebel TRX or the Ford F-150 Raptor. SVE has announced that only 100 units of the Syclone would be made, but I doubt it will sell all of them very soon.

Engine 3.6-liter, V-6 Supercharged mill
Power 455 Horsepower
Torque 425 Pound-feet
Gearbox Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
0-60 mph 4.5 seconds
  • Leave it
    • Not worth $40,000
    • A basic cabin after paying so much moolah
    • GMC has nothing to do with it, but it still sports GMC badge!
What do you think?
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