What Is It?

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Last week’s photo showed a face from the past, the 2002 Hyundai Tiburon. No one guessed the correct year, but that was optional this week. The important things were the make (Hyundai) and model (Tiburon).

  Hyundai
Hyundai

Chosen randomly from the correct entries last week was the name of Lee Casey, of Augusta, who wrote:

“The car is a Hyundai Tiburon ... a 2001, I believe ... performance on a budget.”

Casey wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “This is the predecessor to what is now the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Tiburon is Spanish for shark, and you’ve got to admit that Hyundai Tiburon sounds a whole lot classier than Hyundai Shark.

“Whereas the current Genesis Coupe is a more upscale, rear-wheel drive competitor to the Infiniti G37, its predecessor was the typical low-budget front-wheel drive pocket rocket competing against the Honda Civic Coupe, Toyota Celica and even the likes of the Acura Integra.

“In fact, although an Edmunds review of the car referred to it with the quote, ‘… looks like nothing else on the road,” its front-end styling with separate high and low beam headlights sculpted into the hood is very similar to the Integra and Celica styling of the day.

“I could find no review that gave the powertrain combination anything more than a flat appraisal due to “a sloppy gearshift linkage.” For those who considered three pedals too much of a challenge to drive, a four-speed automatic was also available.

“Hyundai continued with the Tiburon name until 2008, when in late 2009 the Genesis Coupe was introduced as a 2010 model as its replacement.

“Though it shares its name with Hyundai’s upscale luxury sedan, it is a completely different car, aimed and priced for a different market and customer base.

“Alas, Hyundai has found that the same model name cannot be marketed two different ways without negatively affecting one or both models.

“The Genesis Coupe has continued to move more upscale since its introduction and the recently introduced Veloster is now being touted as the current Tiburon replacement.

“I think that I would have to agree.”

CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: “The vehicle shown in this week’s edition of ‘What Is It?’ is a 2000 or 2001 Hyundai Tiburon. Both year models were virtually identical and I cannot see enough of the car to give a more specific response.

“The Tiburon was produced in South Korea from 1996 through 2008. It was badged as the Tiburon in most foreign markets, including the U.S., where it was sold from 1999 until its demise in 2008.

“The first-generation Tiburon was a fairly competent coupe with a 140-horse four cylinder gasoline engine mated to either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

“Though fuel economy was a notch or two below its Japanese competitors, all-in-all the Tiburon was a good value for the dollar.

“Hyundai launched a much-improved second-generation Tiburon in 2003 that could be equipped with an optional V-6 and better manual transmission. The first-gen Tiburon’s styling could be described as contrived, but the newer model had much cleaner lines with a wider, lower and more muscular stance.

“In my opinion, the ’03 Tiburon was the initial step in Hyundai’s eventual march to the head of the styling class where it currently resides.

MARTINEZ: Kurt Breitinger wrote: “That vehicle is a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon. Those unique headlights really set it apart from many of its rivals.”

NO CITY LISTED: Nelson Warthen

TAKING A BREAK

What Is It? is taking the next couple of weeks off but will return Jan. 27.

Thank you for reading the automotive quiz each week.

– Glynn Moore, staff writer


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