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Hyundai Tiburon, Coupe
Nov 06, 2006 (9:51 am)
Hyundai’s coupe gets a facelift, upgraded interiors, and sportier pretensions.
BY BARRY WINFIELD, November 2006
Most mid-life model face-lifts are just that; exterior styling detail changes with maybe some extra equipment thrown in for good measure. It's a strategy that helps move the product in the latter half of its shelf life, and all of the above applies to Hyundai's 2007 Tiburon. The company has changed the looks of the car's front end from a kind of mini-Ferrari 456 to a Porsche-like appearance, and added styling flourishes including a side crease and accent strake, a rear under-bumper valence resembling a racing diffuser, a fairly prominent rear wing on SE models, and new split-spoke alloy wheels.
The updates are more than skin-deep.
All 2007 Tiburons have upgraded interiors too, with blue backlit instrumentation and revised analog gauges. But more important than the updated appearance is the fact that some serious engineering work was done on the chassis, particularly to the flagship SE model. The SE's spring rates were increased (by 13-percent in front, and 10-percent at the rear) for a firmer ride, along with larger anti-roll bar diameters for better roll control, and shocks that were re-valved for firmer compression and rebound performance.
While all 2007 models come with standard ABS and four-wheel discs, the SE model also features stability control and a beefed-up braking package with 12-inch cross-drilled front rotors acted on by red-painted aluminum calipers
Same powertrain options remain.
Two engines power the Tiburon range. There's a 138-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four for base GS models, and a 2.7-liter, 172-horsepower V-6 in the GT, SE and GT Limited. All are comprehensively equipped with the usual power gadgets, air-conditioning and stereo systems, not to mention a full complement of airbags and standard tire-pressure-monitoring systems. Equipment levels are, after all, where the Korean manufacturer enjoys an advantage over its Japanese rivals
All models except the SE have a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions, while the SE is equipped with a six-speed ZF gearbox to further accentuate its sporting pretensions. It's a nice touch, but we have to observe that there are some inherent contradictions in the car's persona. With a 2.7-liter V-6 tuned for mid-range torque, a six-speed transmission with closer-gapped ratios seems somewhat unnecessary, particularly since the SE's engine gets distinctly soft at the top end of its range. Okay, you can use the plentiful supply of cogs to keep the engine in the meaty part of its torque curve, but it just isn't a high-strung powertrain, and you soon revert to a lazier, short-shifting driving style.
Push too hard and you'll end up in understeer city.
Being a front driver, the SE doesn't want lots of full-throttle exercise anyway. That just amplifies the small amount of torque steer and pollutes the fairly benign steering. The chassis upgrades have certainly pulled the Tiburon SE together, losing much of the non-integrated, somewhat nebulous control sense of earlier models, but it still isn't exactly electrifying to drivers wanting a responsive dance partner. The SE carves canyons accurately enough even for fast drivers, but it needs to be leaned on hard before becoming really communicative. By then you're into quite a lot of understeer anyway. So the SE isn't a high-intensity experience. So what? Who gets the opportunity to drive like that much in this grid-locked world anyway?
The Tiburon SE should start in the low- to mid-$20,000 range, and as a real-world, moderately high-performance, 137-mph coupe, it has the presence, the equipment levels and the price/value relationship to attract a realistic following. Still, we can't help feeling that the four-cylinder GS is the real deal here, out the door at about $17,000, or $1,500 cheaper than a comparably equipped Scion tC. Whatever you think of the new-look models, Hyundai clearly put a lot of effort into this midlife makeover. Enough-we think-to warrant a closer look.
#68 of 182 Re: 07 tibby pics [splx81]
Nov 06, 2006 (10:23 am)
Wow! Where did you get a brochure like that? I want one of those! I work at a dealership and we don't have anything like that at all. Sweet! Loving the red leather bolsters! :O D
#69 of 182 Re: 07 tibby pics [wylldshark]
Nov 06, 2006 (10:39 am)
If you look very closely, you can see it says Tuscani, not Tiburon. The brochure is probably for the European market.
#70 of 182 I drive that '07 SE, and it is NOT 300 HP RWD
Apr 06, 2007 (12:12 pm)
And Thank God for that. I live in Chicago. I drove a 300HP Chevy Impala SS (1995) and ended up spinning out at the first sign of moisture on the road.
I love the responsiveness of the V6, and even though it's only 177 bhp (I'll probably bump that a bit aftermarket), it rocks! The 6 speed manual transmission is nice and tight, and the car handles extremely well with its stiff suspension, 17 inch wheels, and V rated tires. The FWD gets me through snow and heavy rain with no problems. Electronic Stability and Traction controls help a great deal, but even without them, FWD is the way to go in this part of the world.
#72 of 182 All new 2008 Hyundai rear wheel coupe
May 03, 2007 (4:25 pm)
#74 of 182 Re: All new 2008 Hyundai rear wheel coupe [akajimbo]
May 03, 2007 (10:15 am)
#75 of 182 Re: All new 2008 Hyundai rear wheel coupe [rockylee]
May 03, 2007 (10:18 am)
#76 of 182 looks great
May 03, 2007 (4:11 pm)
If Hyundai comes with up something like this, they'll have another hit.
Looks like HCD8 concept in the front, a bit Aston Martin in the front, the grille is nice with horseshoe design.