Hyundai's Heritage Series celebrates saloon's 35th anniversary with a "retro-futuristic makeover"
By Matt Bird / Friday, November 12, 2021 / Loading comments
It seems like barely a day goes past without a new electric restomod on the scene, everything from the 964-era 911 to Ford F-100 having now embraced battery power. In principle, this Hyundai Grandeur is similar – reinventing a classic as an EV – but is in fact a whole new concept car rather than a rebuilt original. As part of a Heritage Series (which kicked off with the Pony), Hyundai is marking 35 years of the Grandeur saloon with a “retro-futuristic makeover to find new inspiration for the future.”
The original Grandeur was a rebadged Mitsubishi Debonair that wasn’t sold in the UK (it wasn’t offered here until the third generation XG in the late 90s); nevertheless, we like a boxy old barge on PH, and this reimagination stays true to that aesthetic. It looks like it’s driven straight out of GTA Vice City, in fact – and Grandeur would be a great car name – a fairly generic three-box saloon but with just a few cues to mark it out. There’s ‘Hyundai’ on the covered wheels, ‘Parametric Pixel’ LED lights in the style of the Ioniq 5 and a prominent grille clearly inspired by the original.
It’s inside where Hyundai have really gone to town, incorporating a ‘Newtro’ design theme (which is a nasty portmanteau of ‘newness’ and ‘retro’) for the interior. The execution is far more successful than the naming strategy, with auburn leather, burgundy velvet (like the original), a single-spoke steering wheel (ditto) and bronze lighting setting the vibe nicely. Of course, there’s plenty of modern technology as well, including a central vertical touchscreen with 18-spaeker sound system, a digital driver’s display and ‘infinity mirrors’ to reflect the bronze light and increase the perception of space for those in the back. They are absolutely cigars in the storage box, too, because what’s a faithful 80s executive homage without a couple of Davidoff’s finest?
“With the Heritage Series Grandeur, our designers have reinterpreted an important part of Hyundai’s history as a wonderfully unique blend of vintage and contemporary that reflects the boundless possibilities of our EV era”, said Hak-soo Ha, Hyundai’s Head of Interior Group. It’s unlikely to be productionised, then, but hopefully we can expect elements of the Heritage Series to make it to new EVs. Given the impressive start already made by the Ioniq 5, that really is a prospect to be keen on – especially if those cars look perfect for Tommy Vercetti.
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