Hyundai SA has unveiled a restyled Tiburon sports coupé with a host of detail changes, including a striking front end and side profiles adorned with racy swooshes. Although the new South Korean sportster is clearly different to its predecessor, prices remain unchanged.

Hyundai SA has unveiled a restyled Tiburon sports coupé with a host of detail changes, including a striking front end and side profiles adorned with racy swooshes. Although the new South Korean sportster is clearly different to its predecessor, prices remain unchanged.


When the previous version of the Tiburon reached South African shores in May 2003, its sensuous European styling (click here for CARtoday.com's 2003 driving impression) was widely welcomed by motoring scribes.


However, two years is a deceptively long time in the world of automotive design (consider that the previous car made its world début at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2001) and the shark-shaped (and named) Tiburon was due for a subtle update. The result of the facelift is a car that looks much more like the starring attraction in a Playstation 2 street racing game than its smooth predecessor.


The new car's front is distinguished by a reshaped grille, headlamps and foglights and an aggressively-contoured front spoiler. The car's side "gills" have been replaced by a trio of horizontal, fluted slots, the side mirrors' design is more aerodynamic than before, and the tweaked tail lights have red and white, as opposed to red and orange, segments.


The 2005 Tiburon rides on a 2 530-mm wheelbase and is fitted with an additional front sub-frame for added torsional rigidity and on-road stability.


The 2,0-litre model features new leather/cloth seats and red stitching on the seats, leather door inserts and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The centre console retains the Tiburon's typical torque meter, fuel consumption and voltmeter analogue gauges.


ABS, EBD, crumple zones and driver/passenger front airbags are all standard on the 2,0-litre, which is powered by a 16-valve d-o-h-c four-cylinder engine mated with a five-speed manual transmission. The engine produces 103 kW at 6 000 r/min and 185 N.m of torque at 4 500 r/min and is claimed to accelerate the entry-level Tiburon from zero to 100 km/h in 9,2 seconds and a top speed of 206 km/h.


The 2,7-litre Tiburon is powered by a 130-kW 2,7-litre d-o-h-c V6 all-aluminium engine, which produces 250 N.m of torque at 4 000 r/min, and is mated with a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.


The flagship model, which has a claimed top speed of 220 km/h and zero to 100 km/h-time of 8,2 seconds, is fitted with a rear boot spoiler, sporty red front brake calipers, fog lights, aluminium pedals, a full climate-controlled air-conditioning system and 17-inch alloy wheels.


The 2,0-litre model costs R199 900 and the flagship R269 900. Both prices include a 3-year/100 000 km factory warranty and a 3-year/60 000 km maintenance plan.