Back in the early ’90s, General Motors proved that it was capable of producing a vehicle that was fully competitive with the best supercars in the world, and it did so, oddly enough, with a compact SUV called the Typhoon.
The GMC Typhoon is a high-performance version of the GMC Jimmy, featuring the same 4.3 liter turbocharged V6 engine as in the GMC Syclone pick up. The Typhoon was the fastest accelerating utility vehicle in the world, and also one of the fastest passenger cars in a straight line, period.
|Trim||Engine||Drive Type||Trans.||0-60||1/4 Mile||Mpg EPA C/H/Observed||Source|
1993 GMC Typhoon
|Bryson-Cole||4.3L Turbo V6||AWD||4A||5.3 sec||14.1 sec @ 96.7 mph||----/----/---- mpg||Motor Trend|
1992 GMC Typhoon
|SUV||4.3L Turbo V6||AWD||4A||6.5 sec||15.0 sec @ 93.1 mph||14/17/---- mpg||Motor Trend|
|SUV||4.3L Turbo V6||AWD||4A||5.3 sec||14.1 sec @ 94 mph||14/17/17 mpg||Motor Week|
|SUV||4.3L Turbo V6||AWD||4A||5.6 sec||14.3 sec @ 93 mph||14/17/17 mpg||Road & Track|
A Brief Glimpse at the History
The GMC Typhoon started life as the GMC S-10 pickup with a different body, better performing suspension and more power then a 1992 Ferrari 348.
Only 4,697 Typhoons were built by GMC: 2,497 for MY 1992, and 2,200 for MY 1993. Unlike regular production Syclones, Typhoons were offered in various color configurations that differed by year, with black/black being the most common. The Typhoon has been a sales flop, the limited-production SUV has since gained the attention of automotive enthusiasts and collectors alike.
GMC Typhoon Specs
- Engine: LB4 V6 engine, 4300cc displacement, 280 HP @ 4,400 RPM
- Torque: 350 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
- Transmission: 4 speed automatic tourqe converter transmission
- Steering: Hydraulic power steering
- Braking System: Four-wheel power-assisted discs with abs and front ventilated discs
- Curb Weight: 3800 lbs
- Top Speed: 124mph
- Quarter mile run: 14.3 seconds @ 93.1 MPH
- 0-60 time: 6.0 seconds
In the late 80s Ferrari came to market with its flagship supercar the Testarossa and just a few years later General Motors came to market with a SUV that out accelerated Maranellos finest. While having Ferrari beating acceleration numbers, the Typhoon struggles at the top end with its brick-like aerodynamic properties the rugged SUV could reach speeds of 124 mph.
Considering its high center of gravity combined with its truck-like ladder-frame chassis Typhoon’s handling is pretty good for what it is. To help its braking the Typhoon was fitted with an anti-lock system that works in conjunction with the 4-wheel drive.
Fuel consumption numbers are the following;
- City driving: 14 MPG
- Highway driving: 17 MPG
- Combined figure: 15 MPG
Because the Typhoon was legally a “light truck” it meant that it was exempt from the strict safety rules that passenger cars had to pass. The GMC Typhoon gets one star for driver and passenger safety from the NHTSA. All Typhoons came equipped with ABS, disc brakes and driver and passenger seat belts as standard. To help traction the Firestone V-speed-rated, all-season tires were developed especially for this application, according to GMC.
Comfort and Quality
While being well equipped, the Typhoons interior is shared with its much cheaper cousin the Chevrolet Jimmy. From the layout, to the materials being used, the Typhoon feels like a much cheaper SUV than it actually is. Build quality also wasn’t the greatest, from reliability issues to the fit and finish, but that was something you had to live with to drive the only SUV on the market that could out accelerate a Ferrari Testarossa in the early 90s.
To learn more about GMC Typhoon, visit the official GMC website.
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