The model has been released in two generations (RD and GK) over its lifespan and in that time these generations have been subject to periodic facelifts. These facelifts have attempted to keep the car up to date with various safety improvements and a mixture of changes to exterior and interior styling. The RD Tiburon was in production for 5years from 1996 to 2001. The GK Tiburon has been produced since 2002 and is still in production in its latest guise.
Hyundai officially announced that the 2008 model year will be the last for the Tiburon. While no replacement has been announced, Hyundai has officially stated that the 2010 Genesis Coupe is not a Tiburon replacement.
Tiburon first began production in late 1996. It was available in a few foreign markets with engine choices of either 1.6L or 1.8L. In the United States, the Tiburon was first offered in 1997 with base models using the Elantra's 1.8L 130hp (97kW) engine while the upscale FX received a 2.0L four-cylinder engine. The 2.0L was rated at 140hp (104kW) at the crankshaft (the car's manual specifies 102kW (137hp) at the flywheel). Base weight was around 2,550lb (1,150kg), giving the RD Tiburon a higher power to weight ratio than the newer GK 2.0L. The 2.0L produces a 0-60mph time of ~7.9seconds, with a 1/4mile time of ~16seconds. In 1998 the Tiburon lost its weaker 1.8L engine, giving both models the 2.0L. All versions of the Tiburon manufactured from 1996-2001 are known as "RD" Tiburons. There were various options, with or without ABS, 2 airbags, leather, and sunroof.