The Hyundai Tiburon Was a Quintessential Affordable Sporty Coupe

There was once a time where one could walk into a dealership and find another kind of car. A kind of car that is currently nonexistent. A car that we couldn’t help but sort of love, even if it was goofy and impractical. A kind of car that we should never forget—the sporty coupe.

And while we think fondly back on sporty coupes, we have to remember the short lived, multi face-lifted life of the Hyundai Tiburon, a car so cool, you could customize it and drive it on Need For Speed Underground.

The Tiburon began its journey in 1996 as a front-wheel drive coupe with the Elantra’s structure and 1.8L 130 HP engine. Earlier models even had a Porsche-designed rear suspension. Front-wheel drive aside, this all seemed decently promising. So what happened?

Hyundai axed the Tiburon in 2008, after two generations. Not long after, the Hyundai Genesis coupe came into being, but of course, that was killed too in favor of a line of sedans, which would later break off into Hyundai’s sister company, Genesis.

So, all in all, the Tiburon was an experiment that didn’t quite make the mark. Did it fail because nobody wanted a sporty coupe? Or maybe because it wasn’t rear-wheel drive? We may never know.

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