Last year, Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) revived the GMC Syclone with a special package for the GMC Canyon. Powered by a 3.6-liter V6, SVE bolted on upgrades like a supercharger and cat-back exhaust to improve the stock Canyon's 306 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque to 455 hp and 425 lb-ft. The tuner built 100 examples, priced at $39,995 on top of the cost of the donor Canyon. For the 2021 Syclone that SVE announced earlier this month, the figures have been reworked to double the price and halve the production: $79,995 gets one of the 50 Syclones that SVE plans to build, again, after the cost of the donor truck.
As Muscle Cars & Trucks found out from speaking to an SVE representative, the package can only be applied to one 2021 Canyon trim — the Elevation Standard Extended Cab with the short bed, 3.6-liter V6, and 4WD. Based on the price of a 2020 Canyon Extended Cab in base LT spec, the donor pickup will run at least $36,000 before options, so the SVE Syclone will need at least $116,000 to take home.
The package must be ordered through a dealer, not through SVE, so forget about taking your old Canyon in for a makeover. Canyon buyers request the SVE package from a GM dealer and pay a $10,000 deposit, the dealer then ships the truck to SVE. Four or five weeks later, SVE sends the completed Syclone to the dealer with a Certificate of Originality.
The rigmarole buys a vastly burlier Syclone than last year's model. The supercharged 5.3-liter V8 is rebuilt with forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, high-lift valve springs, a custom crankshaft, and upgraded fuel injectors among other bits. Output comes to 750 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, sent through a rear-biased drivetrain apportioning 62% of torque to the rear axle in ideal conditions. Because the V8 weighs about the same as the erstwhile V6, SVE applies most of last year's tricks to the 2021 model. That means tweaks like stronger driveshafts, a suspension lowered two inches in front, five inches in back, upgraded shocks, heavy-duty rear sway bar, and new bushings. A quartet of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires sized 285/45. All this and more was good enough to get last year's model from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The 2021 version should lower that time everywhere but California, where the new Syclone isn't emissions-compliant.
The only two options are a $1,295 folding black tonneau cover and custom $2,495 seats with red and white stitching on the headrests reading "Syclone V8 Supercharged."
Of the 50-unit run, 10 have already been claimed. Buyers will get a three-year/36,000 mile warranty that's void if the Syclone is used for racing. The cost of entry suggests not many owners will competitively hoon their pickups. On the other hand, what's the point of a Syclone that won't be flogged to the checkered flag? SVE is stern about what goes in the tank, too, voiding the engine warranty if fuel with an octane rating lower than 91 or an ethanol rating higher than E10 finds its way to the combustion chambers.