In its basic form, the Cyclone greatly resembles the Tornado 2 in its transformed state, possessing a similar color scheme and overall design. However, the Cyclone is instead a mono monoplane and carries a missile launcher behind the seat and a mini-gun on the front. In walker mode, it loses its rear and wings, but gains two legs. In cart mode, the Cyclone still lacks its wings, but gains four wheels and its rear splits up to position themselves along the sides.
The Cyclone most noticeably has three alternate modes which it can reconfigure its structure into: a plane mode, a walker mode, and a cart mode. In plane mode, it becomes a rocket-powered monoplane, allowing for midair transportation at such speeds that it can outfly an explosion engulfing the entirety of Prison Island. In walker mode, it becomes a bipedal mech with an engine on the bottom for slow descend and is more suited for combat. Then, in cart mode, it becomes a four-wheeled cart which can drive at high speeds and barge through other carts.
The Cycolde has a very modular design, making it possible to equip it with various upgrades. The Bazooka and Laser Blaster greatly amplifies the power of its ammunition and the Booster allows it to hover in midair.
The Cyclode can wear a number of alternate skins in the games' multiplayer mode. When worn, they change the Cyclone's color scheme and appearance to match the skin's theme amongst other things. These skins include:
Halloween Theme: A VMU downloadable skin on the Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2 from the US version of the game's official website starting on October 11, 2001. The Cyclone gets an orange and yellow color scheme and pumpkin icons on it (its writings change as well, identifying it as the Tornado III).
Christmas Theme: A VMU downloadable skin on the Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2 from the US version of the game's official website starting on November 30, 2001. The Cyclone's color scheme is changed to primarily white and red.
Shadow the Hedgehog
The Cyclone also appears in Shadow the Hedgehog in its plane form. In the game, it can be seen during the opening cutscene of Circus Park before crashing into the park. Here, it appears to be powered by a Chaos Emerald. Although it was never seen again, an object resembling the Cyclone can be seen attached to the spaceship used by Sonic and Shadow later in the game.
The Cyclone is mentioned in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Sonic Unleashed. Brenda asks to Sonic what's the name of the plane piloted by Tails in her questionnaire in Shamar, one of the optional answers is "Cyclone" (which is wrong, the correct answer is Tornado).
Despite being called simply as Cyclone, it has the writing "P-3a" and "Tornado III" written on it.