1991 GMC Syclone
Sure, it looks like a pickup truck. But don’t try to haul anything except tail, because payload isn’t the Syclone’s strong suit. That’s because GMC conducted a sort of mad science experiment on the Syclone. Taking stock, decidedly un-sporting Sonomas off the line, they dropped a turbocharged V6 under the hood, and then bolted on a high-performance all-wheel drive system. Instead of flipping the switch to awaken some sort of deranged old movie monster, the end result was a triumph vastly superior to the sum of its parts. Genuinely fast, remarkably grippy, the Syclone is a hoot to drive. More to the point, it comes close to outperforming a lot of very expensive, exotic cars of the time while costing a whole ton less—much to the irritation of anyone who’d dropped twice the coin on a slower car. The Syclone is slightly lighter than the similarly modified Typhoon SUV, and while there’s a bit more weight over the front end, it performs essentially the same—which is to say, it’s very fast. While the sport truck segment has grown recently, few are as innovative as this AWD mini-truck, and it will take something pretty wild to dethrone the Syclone as the most insane GMC pickup ever.