The hottest SUV from yesteryear you can buy.
High-performance SUVs are nothing new, but they are making something of a comeback these days. Case in point: the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Obviously it’s quite an extreme example thanks to its 707 hp, but there’s also the Ford Edge ST (okay, it’s a crossover) and more expensive offerings like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Lamborghini Urus. But nothing from GM? Well, for the moment at least, but this wasn’t always the case.
GM was actually one of the first to do a performance SUV way back in the early 1990s. Anyone remember the GMC Typhoon, the SUV version of the Syclone pickup truck? The three-door only Typhoon was based on the GMC Jimmy (the Syclone on the Sonoma) and launched for the 1991 model year.
Like the Syclone, it was powered by a modified version of the same 4.3-liter V6 found in the Jimmy, only output was increased from 190 to 280 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. It also received a Mitsubishi-sourced turbocharger and featured upgraded intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, fuel system, and even the twin-bore throttle body straight from the 5.7-liter small block V8. Power was directed to all four wheels through a four-speed automatic while a transfer case split that torque 35 percent and 65 percent front and rear, respectively.
With that amount of extra punch, GM also had to add upgraded brakes, a limited slip rear differential, and various other suspension modifications. Its performance specs proved the work was well worth it. Zero to 60 mph was clocked at 5.3 seconds while it completed the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 95 mph. Not bad for an SUV that had a curb weight of over 3,800 pounds.
Although production lasted only until 1993, a total of 4,697 examples were produced and, needless to say, they were quite popular with those who knew its capabilities. Even Clint Eastwood bought one. John F. Kennedy Jr. had one too and it was even stolen and later recovered. Despite being almost 30 years old, there are still a number of Typhoons out there for sale and we happened to find one on Craigslist. This ’93 GMC Typhoon has clearly been very well cared for, despite its 93,000 miles.
The engine was rebuilt at 77,000 miles and the seller has an extensive history of everything else done and/or replaced at that time. The differential has also been rebuilt and Corvette Z51 brakes, calipers, rotors and pads were all added. A set of nice-looking 18-inch magnesium wheels with stainless steel lug nuts sit at all four corners.
For any vehicle of this age that hasn’t undergone a complete restoration, there are bound to be some signs of wear and tear, and this SUV is no different. Fortunately, there are no signs of extensive damage and the seller states that the paint and interior are in overall solid shape. There’s also zero rust and no known other issues.
The price? Well, it’s a bit high at $25,000. Then again, this is a relatively rare old school hot SUV that’s also in excellent shape and has been very well cared for. Not only will its new owner have a GM classic, but also some real performance cred and 4WD. This Typhoon is still looking to make some waves.