There’s a resurgence of love for boxy saloons like the 1986 Grandeur. Whereas a couple of years ago it would have been sneered at as an uninspiring side act in a world of E39 BMW 5 Series and W126 Mercedes S-Classes, cars like the Grandeur are now en vogue. And with an EV powertrain alongside a reimagined interior, we’re here for it.
The exterior has been kept broadly the same as the original car from 35 years ago, but there are some distinguishing touches. It’s worth noting at this point that the Grandeur Heritage Series is a ground-up build and not just an original with some tweaks.
Distinguishing it from original cars most obviously is the lights which are formed of Parametric Pixels, as seen on the IONIQ 5. The grille also reflects the lights’ pixels and is subtly reshaped. Mirrors, aero wheel covers and side cladding is also subtly different from the series production car. All of these little touches hint at the Grandeur’s EV powertrain, without being overt about it.
Whilst the outside is subtle enough to glide under the radar, the interior is a festival of 80s styling but with 2020s hard and software. Hyundai used a concept it calls ‘Newtro’ – newness plus retro – and we’d love to criticise this as gimmickry, but it’s so cool that we can’t.
Bronze lighting is used as it is reminiscent of period audio equipment. A 4way4 sound system, designed by South Korean designer Guk-il controls 18 speakers and is integrated seamlessly into the car’s retro-tastic centre console. There’s even a piano function on the soundbar for ad-hoc recitals while the car’s parked.
Additional brand-new tech such as a driver’s HD display and central touchscreen reminiscent of that found in the IONIQ 5, but better integrated into the dash, is present. This replaces the retro buttons, but a single-spoke steering wheel and jet airplane-style gear selector are both retro highlights.
The bronze colour theme stretches throughout the cabin with burgundy velvet and auburn Nappa leather front seats. Upper door cards both front and rear, the b-pillars and rear seat velvet are also suitably hued and if that wasn’t enough, ceiling infinity mirrors that one associates from the seventies of the last century but are now current again (in interior design at least) add a sense of glamour and space by increasing the amount of light in the car.
Perhaps the only thing we don’t like about the Hyundai Grandeur Heritage Series EV is the fact that it’s a one-off which will be displayed at a couple of forthcoming events in Korea. However, like some of the other retro-mod concepts that have come out recently, something akin to the Grandeur could enter the line-up, based on the E-GMP architecture, in the future.