Hyundai's front-wheel-drive sports coupe gets an exterior facelift, interior freshening, and a standard tire-pressure-monitoring system for 2007. The most radical changes are to the sport-tuned SE model. In addition to its V-6 engine and 6-speed transmission, the SE gets a new electronic stability control system, cross-drilled brake rotors, a full-size spare tire, and "track-tuned" suspension.
Hyundai first entered the sports coupe market when it launched the 1991 Scoupe. Though the Scoupe raised eyebrows in 1993 when it added a 115-hp turbocharged engine to the options list, it was never taken seriously by import performance enthusiasts. The Scoupe was dropped from the Hyundai lineup after 1995 and replaced by the 1997 Tiburon. It wasn't until Hyundai introduced the second-generation Tiburon in 2003 that enthusiasts began to take notice.
For 2007, the Tiburon receives a host of improvements to the top-of-the-line SE model. All Tiburons get new sheetmetal and an updated interior with gunmetal trim and blue lighting. Entry-level GS models come with a 138-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the GT gets a 172-hp V-6; both offer a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes and front-seat-mounted side air bags are standard, as is air conditioning and power windows, locks, and mirrors. Hyundai's marketing department will no doubt emphasize the fact that the Tiburon GT offers V-6 power at the same price point as most of its 4-cylinder rivals.
For enthusiasts, the most intriguing model is the Tiburon SE. Hyundai has gone to great lengths to give the Tiburon SE a serious sporting pedigree. It features the GT's 2.7-liter V-6 but mates it exclusively to a six-speed transmission. Cross-drilled front brake rotors improve stopping performance, a stiffer suspension improves handling, and standard electronic stability and traction control help keep the SE on the chosen path. As with all other Hyundais, the Tiburon comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Hyundai Tiburon competes in the Compact Sporty segment, which consists of 10 models. Buyers in this segment look for exterior styling, fuel economy, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Scion tC (79,125), Subaru Impreza (41,148), and Mitsubishi Lancer (23,167). The Hyundai Tiburon sold 17,382 units in 2006, a decrease of 15.6 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Sporty segment include the Pontiac Solstice, Mazda Miata, Saturn Sky, Volkswagen Eos, and Subaru Outback Sport.
|GS (M5)||5 speed manual||$16,695||138-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||23/31|
|GT (M5)||5 speed manual||$19,395||172-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||19/27|
|GT Limited (M5)||5 speed manual||$21,695||172-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||19/27|
|SE (M6)||6 speed manual||$22,095||172-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||18/26|