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Specialty Vehicle Engineering gives supercharged 2021 GMC Syclone 750-horsepower

This new truck is considered a first-generation model by its maker.

Photo courtesy of Specialty Vehicle Engineering

Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE), formerly SLP, has unveiled a fresh, powerful take on the GMC Canyon midsize pickup truck, the 2021 GMC Syclone. Just 50 of the models will be made.

To create the truck, SVE has modified a GMC Canyon. The 2021 Syclone is based on an extended cab/short bed variant of the truck. It's available in any color offered by GMC.

2021 GMC Syclone by Specialty Vehicle Engineering SVE has given the truck enough of an upgrade to generate 750 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.Photo courtesy of Specialty Vehicle Engineering

Under the hood is a supercharged 5.3-liter V8 engine that delivers 750 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. It features a blueprinted L83 aluminum a forged 1538MV twisted steel crankshaft, forged H-beam rods, forged aluminum pistons, and modified L83 high-flow cylinder heads with ARP high-strength head and main studs. The supercharger is made by SVE. The truck also has a high- and low-pressure fuel system with high-flow injectors, a high-efficiency air-to-water intercooler system, and custom stainless steel exhaust system with high-flow cats.

According to SVE, that engine has nearly the same weight as the V6 traditionally under the hood fo the GMC when it comes from the manufacturer, leaving the truck's weight distribution unchanged.

There's a significant hood scoop to accommodate the supercharger.

It comes standard with full-time all-wheel drive.

2021 GMC Syclone by Specialty Vehicle Engineering The rear of the truck has been lowered five inches.Photo courtesy of Specialty Vehicle Engineering

SVE has given the truck a sport suspension lowering it by two inches up front and five inches at the rear. It now has a heavy-duty sway bar, traction bar, and bushings, and performance shock absorbers and brakes.

The model rides on 20-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels with a black satin finish with Syclone red graphics with red line wheel stripes. The wheels are wrapped on Michelin 285/45R20 Pilot Sport 4 SUV tires.

Buyers can opt for a leather seat package that includes leather seating with a leather insert. It's available in two colors to designed to match the colors offered by the manufacturer. The seats are accented by either red and white stitching on black seats or black and white stitching on Cocoa Dune-colored seats. The Syclone V8 Supercharged logo is embroidered in red on the headrests.

2021 GMC Syclone by Specialty Vehicle Engineering The truck rides on standard 20-inch wheels.Photo courtesy of Specialty Vehicle Engineering

SVE sells the model with a standard three-year/36,000-mile limited engine/supercharger warranty, a three-year/36,000-mile heavy-duty transmission limited warranty, and a three-year/36,000-mile limited non-powertrain component warranty.

California enthusiasts thinking about getting the truck will want to note that the model does not meet the state's emission standards and can only be used while participating in sanctioned motorsports racing events in the state.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Enclave Avenir is the top-of-the-line trim level of the SUV for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Buick

Some people are extremely adventurous eaters. I joke that the only food I won't eat is bugs that look like bugs. I'll do Indian, Thai, Korean and Ethiopian, sweetbreads, frog legs and endless servings of sushi. French Laundry. Cut. Alinea.

Others are into tamer fare: vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, grilled cheese (with Kraft American Singles) on Wonder bread, steak with ketchup. Cracker Barrel. Dairy Queen. Olive Garden, if you're feeling fancy.

Though the fancy food folks might look down on the Red Lobster-crowd, if you're a carmaker looking to sell big SUVs in Peoria, you best remember they exist — and what sorts of stuff they're into. Culinary adventures are all about trying new and exciting things, which not everyone likes.

2020 Buick Enclave Avenir The model is elegant, especially in the high-end Avenir grade.Photo courtesy of Buick

Some people — a lot of them, actually — are thrilled with unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. And for them, GM has come up with the Buick Enclave Avenir, the Olive Garden of seven-passenger premium SUVs.

Though Buick might not carry the brand cachet of Volvo or Acura or it's up-market sibling Cadillac, the marque's SUVs (that's all it makes now, sadly) are remarkably popular. The Enclave is the three-rowed big boy, and the Avenir is the top-tier premium trim level. My test unit landed at $59,390 including the Avenir Technology Package which includes adaptive cruise control and improved automatic emergency braking. It's 2020. Both of those should be standard GM. Come on now.

It feels almost like a minivan but with the look of an SUV. Entry and exit is easy and the front and rear captain's chairs are supremely comfortable. The Technology Package adds an improved suspension which is gentle on aging backs and keeps things nicely stable. There are two sunroofs, one in the front that opens and one in the back that does not.

The 20-inch rims are sharp and, while the Enclave does not have the most exciting design in the world, it is inoffensive and soothing. It would look good in grandma's driveway on Thanksgiving Day.

2020 Buick Enclave Avenir The Enclave has a good amount of cargo space at the rear.Photo courtesy of Buick

The Buick infotainment system is excellent, with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot from AT&T and GM's unmatched OnStar service. The hotspot means that the litany of iPads and iPhones from the passengers in the back (and front) seats will always be able to connect and OnStar means if anything goes wrong, help is just a button press away — unless the air bags deploy, in which case help calls you instead. The Bose Premium audio system does its job well, with active noise cancellation and something called "Buick QuietTuning" to keep outside noise where it belongs.

The front seats are heated and ventilated, and both include a massage function which is a gift from the road trip gods. In my version, the second row seats were heated, but no cooling. The touch surfaces are all lovely and the cabin is light and airy thanks to large windows and those dual sunroofs. Visibility is excellent, and there's a 360-degree camera system to help you park in tight spaces.

The 3.6-liter V6 makes 310 horsepower but stays out of the way, as does the 9-speed automatic transmission. The Buick gearshift is mildly annoying to get used to, but after a week or two, you won't notice it anymore. There are a host of safety features, including rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot warning with alert feature if you're going to move into another car on the interstate. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined.

There's a remote start system, which is great for both hot and cold days, a power liftgate at the back, and a split power-folding 60/40 third row if you want to haul more stuff than people. It'll even tow up to 5,000 pounds if you want to haul a camper or small boat. But an off-roader this isn't. It's an unpretentious people and stuff hauler that won't draw too much attention to itself.

Unpretentious is probably a fair description for most Buick buyers. They don't need to show off. They just value comfort and roominess and want a car that will take care of them.

That's the Buick Enclave Avenir.

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McLaren has chosen an easy-to-pronounce name for its new hybrid supercar - Artura.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

McLaren is about to mark the beginning of a new era in hybrid powertrain engineering. In the first half of 2021, its high-performance hybrid series production supercar will go on sale and we now know what it will be named.

The McLaren Artura builds on the legacy of the McLaren P1TM hybrid hypercar, which was unveiled in 2012, and the Speedtail Hyper-GT, which entered production this year and the fastest McLaren ever with a top speed of 250 mph.

"Every element of the Artura is all-new – from the platform architecture and every part of the High-Performance Hybrid powertrain, to the exterior body, interior and cutting-edge driver interface – but it draws on decades of McLaren experience in pioneering super-lightweight race and road car technologies to bring all of our expertise in electrification to the supercar class," said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

Mclaren Artura The Artura badging sits on what is likely the rear of the car.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

It will be the first car to be built on the company's new platform architecture, which has been optimized for electrification. Design and engineering of the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture took place in the U.K. at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre.

Two photos released by the company show what is likely the back of the Artura, with a honeycomb design beneath the car's badging between two exhaust outlets.

The Artura will get a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that combines with an electric motor. This will be the engine's debut. McLaren says that the engine retains the performance benefits of the company's larger V8s but has improved torque response at low engine speeds. The Artura can also run on all-electric power.

The weight of the hybrid engine system has been offset by the application of weight-saving technologies throughout the chassis, body, and powertrain. Ahead of a full product reveal, McLaren is touting the car's class-leading weight advantage.

The McLaren Artura is expected to be revealed soon. Pricing will likely be announced at that time.

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