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Hyundai Tiburon 2.7 V6

Broadcast dates : 1st August 2004
5th August 2004

The Hyundai Tiburon 2.7 serves notice that Korean cars are to be taken seriously as major players in the next few decades.

Not only is this second-generation Tiburon a good looker, but dynamically it offers a true sporting experience.

In fact you could say that this the "poor manís" Nissan 350Z. It offers the same type of solid, no-nonsense driving experience, and excellent feedback through its controls.

The new Tiburon has a very wide wheel track compared to the previous model and this has resulted in excellent road grip, despite relatively modest 205 -55 rubber on 16-inch rims.

Feedback through the steering is also very satisfying, both in the straight-ahead position and the way it loads up during fast cornering.

The driver feels in touch with what those front wheels are doing, and also the rears, as the rigid body shell communicates well through the seat-of-the-pants as well.

The very solid gear lever action is also a nice surprise. It requires a firm arm action, but it is positive across the gate and will appeal to drivers who enjoy an immediate driving experience.

Braking is also impressive, although some drivers feel that the ABS anti-lock system is not sensitive enough on bumpy roads.

The engine, too, can compete with some of the best in terms of refinement and torque. Car Magazine recorded an 8,6 second 0-100 km/h acceleration time, at the coast. But the immediacy of the driving experience, at least at Reef altitude, makes this 2,7-litre version feels stronger than that.

This is probably due to the excellent torque characteristics, with useable power on tap from as low as 1 500 rpm.

At high revs it also feels punchier than its claimed 130 kiloWatts, and is also commendably smooth Ė much smoother at revs than the 3,2-litre Alfa V6 we tested recently, as an example.

Top speed is 217 km/h as tested by Car Magazine, which is adequate, if not exceptional for a mid-level sports coupe.

There are some rather dated aspects to the interior, such as minimal adjustment options for the driverís seat and steering wheel. And some of the switch gear functions are very basic and dated by todayís standards, such as the trip recording switchgear.

Safety has also been attended to with front and side airbags. The bags are also of the multi-stage type that only inflate as much as necessary, depending on the severity of the impact in an accident.

There are some controversial aspects to the styling, such as the rather unfinished number plat mounting at the front and the high profile of the nose. But the bulbous nose is probably deliberate, making the Tiburon distinctly aggressive, and taking its cue from the previous generation Tiburon.

This is the third-generation coupe launched by Hyundai here since the early 1990s.

When one compares this car to the oddly proportioned S-Coupe, and even to the fun but rather un-refined first-generation Tiburon, one can conclude that Hyundai will be challenging some of the famous sports car names on all fronts in the near future.

  • Engine: 2 657 cc V6, naturally-aspirated petrol 
  • Power: 130 kW @ 6 000 rpm 
  • Torque: 250 Nm @ 4000 rpm 
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,6 seconds 
  • Top Speed: 217 km/h 
  • Fuel consumption: 11,07 litres/ 100 km 
  • Price R269 995.


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