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2007 Hyundai Tiburon – High Value Sporty Car Improves

The 2007 Hyundai Tiburon, launched in November 2006 improves Hyundai’s entry into the sporty car category. Hyundai expects to sell about 18,000 Tiburon coupes per year in the dwindling sporty coupe market. Its primary competitors are the more expensive Mitsubishi Eclipse and the less expensive, but much less fully-equipped, Scion tC. You can also throw the Honda Civic coupe and coupe Si in the competitive set.
At a Glance – No Change – But Styling Details Improve
Basically a minor facelift with interior upgrades, the 2007 Tiburon gets what the industry calls a new “front and rear six (inches)”. The front fascia and hood are new. The hood has longitudinal strakes that are becoming somewhat of a Hyundai signature – if only they would be consistent and put them on everything. The front fascia is stronger looking than previous with the car now getting projector headlamps. The taillamps are new – adopting a projector-like design that is all the rage.

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Distinctive Touch – Shades of Aston Martin Gills
Not to be left out of the gill wars, Hyundai added gills to the conveniently styled bodyside strakes of the Tiburon. Nice touch that moves the Tiburon a bit away from its competition.
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Interior Upgrades Make Tiburon Seem More Expensive
The interior has been upgraded with new fabrics and the SE (sport) model even has seats with black cloth inserts and red leather bolsters. Unfortunately, that trim set was not on the SEs available for the drive.
Perhaps the most noticeable change to the interior is the center stack that has new heater/AC controls and new audio controls. Very intuitively designed, Tiburon’s ergonomics are now up there with the best in class. An added highlight to the instrument panel is blue display lighting. This is a very distinctive cue that in full sunlight sometimes makes the displays difficult to read. Maybe there should be a night-time mode where the blue lighting is on and a daytime mode with black fonts on a white background for maximum contrast.

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Many Tiburon Upgrades Under the Skin
For the motorheads in the audience, the Tiburon SE is the featured model. SE includes Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist that maximizes braking force when a panic stop is detected. SE also includes cross-drilled front brake rotors – very racy of them.
The powertrain story is essentially the same as before: 2.0L 4-cylinder with double overhead cams and 138-horsepower. The V6 is Hyundai’s venerable Beta V6 – 2.7L V6 with double overhead cams and 172-horsepower. The V6 we drove in the SE model is adequate, simply adequate for a car in this class. Still, a V6 at the Tiburon’s price point is pretty attractive.

Tiburon Concept Old and Out-of-Date – Next Up Hyundai’s “Mustang”

Hyundai has done a good job giving Tiburon a jolt that is designed to last through the rest of its lifetime. Hyundai management describes the next Tiburon as Hyundai’s “Mustang”. Based on a rear wheel drive platform, the next Hyundai sporty car is destined to have both V6 and V8 powertrains. Will they have the cojones to offer the equivalent of GT, Bullitt, GTH, Shelby GT 500, Boss, Mach I, Saleen, etc?

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