I drive older cars and I feel vulnerable when I own only one car. If that car ever breaks down or is in need of repairs, I’d like to have a 2nd car cover for it on daily driving duties until it’s back from surgery...usually conducted by me, outside, at my own pace.
The ‘97 Savvy Cavvy still lives on, I’m slowly amassing upgrade parts for it to give it a good once over to improve handling and refresh it’s tired chassis.
I went out of my way to search for this car as crazy as that sounds. When this bugger first came out, I remember hating that front end, thinking it looked homely at best. Then I got older and now I like it, because my tastes have changed, and I think it’s a fun looking car, a real treat! It’s funny how that works.
The Hyundai Tiburon was pretty much sold everywhere and was also known simply as the Hyundai Sports Coupe overseas. It came in two iterations with refreshes squeezed in between throughout it’s life. The original car was the RD1 model which started life in 1997. Mine is simply the RD2 which was the refresh to that before a bigger, heavier V6 optioned Tib showed up.
The cool thing about the car, it drives like a go-kart. It has such a short wheelbase at 97.4" and it’s an incredible fun time on the street...on the highway not so much. That short wheelbase makes it a little squirrely for my tastes. Front/rear sway bars, an IRS rear and Macpherson struts tuned by Porsche round out the handling package. It’s a good setup, but I can’t get comfortable with it. On corners they play well together, but for everything else it always seems like the rear is so fussy and doesn’t play well with what the front suspension is doing, it takes away from the confidence and a bit unnerving if I’m totally honest. The cars light, like 2600 lbs light which is absolutely mega in this day and age of behemoth grocery getters.
The heart of this beast is a rev happy naturally aspirated 2.0L four banger. It’s a DOHC that runs a hearty 10.3 comp ratio. It’s good for 140 HP at 6000rpm and 133 lb ft tq at 4800rpm. it’s a decent powerband but the juice just doesn’t happen until you touch 4000rpm.
The engine mates well with the close ratio 5 spd transmission on a final drive ratio of 3.84. 0-60 runs at 8.7 seconds after ringing it out for all she’s worth. I do intend to run an LSD in the future, just haven’t decided what to to go with, It’s a toss-up between a KAAZ clutch type or mod in a Torsen diff from a diamond star motor tranny. Either way, excitement will ensue.
I’m a big fan of the rear hatch window contour. It truly is a remarkable specimen. That dank OEM spoiler is super in my book, I do have a bit of 2000s tuner culture blood growing up in that era.
Look at that! Pillarless, frameless doors! It’s the little things in life...
State of the art Hyundai cassette player.
Aluminum 15x6" wheels on 195/55 profile tires with disc brakes all around. I’m soo used to having a drum setup in the rear that this is beautiful.
IRS multi link with trailing arm rear suspension setup.
Thanks for reading y’all!