After a one-year hiatus for a successor of the Hyundai Scoupe, the Tiburon was released in late 1996 as a 1997 model.
Original Tiburon coupes came in two trim levels: base and FX. The first base models came with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower.
The bigger 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 140 horsepower became standard on both trim levels.
New for 1999 were a power sunroof and CD player as optional features for the base model. This would also be the last model year for the FX.