We’ve given an unfair amount of press to the admittedly awesome ’87 Buick Grand Nationals and their Darth Vader-esque meaner sibling, the GNX, but have foolishly neglected to showcase their successors, the turbo-powered Trans Ams and the two all-wheel-drive mini trucks – GMC’s Syclone and Typhoon – who took to the streets shortly thereafter.
The Buick’s reign over GM’s performance nitche was short lived although the turbo-powered and intercooled V6 platform was an unmitigated success. It would take the next following model year for the ’89 20th Anniversary Edition (AE) Trans Am to pick up where Buick left off. But that too, was only a flash in the pan, as the following year, the turbo model was discontinued.
Not to leave a winning thing on the shelf too long, GMC’s short bed, short cab Sonoma pickup upped the ante with a Borg-Warner all-wheel-drive-equipped version of the turbo-charged combination, but using the stronger and more reliable 4.3L Vortech V6, a superior engine to the original 3.8L Buick in nearly every way. The Syclone – in stock trim – was capable of accelerating from 0-to-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and could knock out a quarter-mile run in 13.4 seconds at 98mph although Car & Driver fared much better with their Syclone, accomplishing a 0-to-60 time in 4.3 seconds and a 13.06-second quarter mile pass.
A 13-flat time slip is a heck of an accomplishment for any car, from 1967 to today. The legend of these blacked-out mini-trucks spurred a renewed trend in performance trucks that continues to today. We spotted these videos over on YouTube and had to share ‘em. Enjoy!