Subtle changes enhance the appeal of the new Hyundai Tiburon

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(Johannesburg, South Africa) During the course of evolution it has been the ability to adapt to a changing environment through subtle changes that has resulted in the survival of certain species. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of the shark or Tiburon as it is called in Spanish.

Hyundai Motor Company first began production of the Tiburon in 1996. Since then the vehicle has undergone a number of changes in terms of specification and design, but has never lost its striking on-road appeal.

The first generation of the Hyundai Tiburon as we know it in its current form was first introduced into the South African market in 2003. The design had moved away from the rounded form which at the time typified Asian vehicles. The new look was clean and edgy with a hint of European influence.

“It is a special brand of customer that purchases and drives a Hyundai Tiburon,” says Stanley Anderson, Director of Marketing and After-Sales at Hyundai Automotive South Africa. “The Tiburon is almost free-standing from the Hyundai brand and has gained a cult following. It is a fantastic vehicle to have in our stable as it introduces a different dimension to our overall appeal.”

Exterior

Although the changes since 2003 have been subtle in nature, the 2007 Hyundai Tiburon looks worlds apart from its predecessor. Major enhancements have been made to the exterior styling of the vehicle. The front treatment boasts a new grille and headlight cluster design that gives the new Tiburon an even more aggressive facial expression.

The side view is dominated by the addition of a new 17 inch alloy wheel design that is standard on both the 2-litre and 2.7 V6 Tiburon.

The rear of the Hyundai Tiburon has also undergone noticeable changes. The rear light cluster is more minimalistic in design and incorporates chrome trimming to refine the overall appearance. The twin tailpipes have been shaped to fit perfectly into the rear bumper design ensuring that they add refinement to the aesthetic appeal rather than being an eyesore.

Interior

The front seats have been strengthened to provide the driver and front passenger additional comfort and support. An “easy in and out” walk-in memory system eliminates the need to readjust seat settings after rear passengers enter or exit. The 2-litre derivative has a combination of leather and cloth seating whereas the 2.7 V6 has full leather. In both the rear seats can be folded in a 50:50 split to make room for extra cargo.

The air conditioner on the 2-litre and climate control on the 2.7 V6 combines the evaporator and heater into a single unit for increased air-flow and quieter operation. The Tiburon comes with a CD player audio system.

Additional features include an electric rear tailgate release, driver and passenger vanity mirror with ticket holder and power windows with a one-touch auto-down feature on the driver’s window.

Performance

Although minor enhancements have been made to the engines the Hyundai Tiburon is still powered by the same two engine options that were available in the previous model. The 2.0-litre DOHC engine has a peak output of 102 kW @ 6000rpm while peak torque measures at 185Nm @ 4500rpm.

Equipped with this mid-range engine, the new 2-litre Tiburon has a top speed of 206kph and a zero to 100km/h acceleration time of 9.2 sec (European figures). The 2.7-litre V6 serves up 129kW @ 6000rpm and 250Nm of torque @ 4000rpm which is sufficient to propel the Tiburon to a top speed of 218km/h.

One major difference is change in the transmission type of the 2.7 V6. The 6-speed manual transmission has been replaced with a 4-speed H-matic transmission.

“The decision to change the transmission system of the 2.7 V6 was based purely on customer feedback,” says Stanley Anderson. “The H-matic transmission will make the Tiburon a more comfortable drive in today’s congested traffic conditions. We have also added cruise control as a standard feature to further enhance the driving comfort of this vehicle.”

The 2-litre still features a manual 5-speed transmission

Safety

Both derivatives of the Hyundai Tiburon feature front depowered dual airbags with seatbelt pre-tensioners, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

Structurally, Hyundai joins the world’s leading automakers in improving stiffness and manufacturing efficiency while simultaneously reducing weight and lowering noise and vibration.

Doors are reinforced with high tensile strength steel members to provide protection from side collisions. Reinforcements to the B-pillars, roof and floor-pan structure provide an additional line of defense in this type of accident.

Overall the Hyundai Tiburon remains a well configured package that should continue to appeal to the die-hard Tiburon fans whilst broadening the overall customer base.

Both models come standard with a 5 year or 150 000 km full factory warranty as well as a 3 year or 60 000 km full maintenance plan.