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Resto-mod Hyundai Grandeur exudes 80s glam

RETRO COOL: Hyundai has produced its second Heritage Series model. Although the sedan’s design is clearly 35 years old, the vehicle’s powertrain and onboard technology is modern.

Hyundai marks 35th anniversary of its flagship sedan by electrifying the 1986 model


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18 Nov 2021

TO celebrate the 35th anniversary of the launch of its flagship sedan, Hyundai has developed the Heritage Series Grandeur as retro-futuristic resto-mod powered by an electric motor.  


The Grandeur is of high symbolic significance to Hyundai; it once embodied the Seoul-based firm’s ambition to produce models that could compete with luxury cars produced by the world’s leading car brands. The Grandeur was also briefly sold in the Australian market. 


The 1986-vintage sedan’s planed exterior contours might be a study in blocky 80s design, but Hyundai’s design team nonetheless reimagined the first-generation model as a battery electric vehicle (BEV), replete with the Parametric Pixel exterior lighting from the IONIQ 5 model, as well as a thoroughly modern interior trimmed in burgundy velvet and Napa leather.


The Heritage Series Grandeur’s exterior remains largely unchanged, but it does incorporate new side mirrors, wheel covers, side-cladding and the “pixel-pattern” LED head- and tail-lights that complement the grille and hint at the concept’s fully electric powertrain.


Inside the Korean firm’s resto-mod, Hyundai’s designers applied a mixture of new tech and old-school finishes to stimulate the senses; the high-end audio system, for example, is new, but the bronze-coloured lighting, for example, is reminiscent of period audio equipment. 


The front seats are trimmed in burgundy velvet (a nod to the 1986 Grandeur’s upholstery), while the rear bench is covered in elegantly stitched and laced auburn Napa leather. The centre console armrest contains a hidden pop-out compartment for storing valuables.


Meanwhile, contemporary technologies are integrated with retro-cool hardware. The dials and buttons on the dashboard are substituted with an expansive touchscreen, while the ’80s vibe continues with a single-spoke steering wheel and an oversized transmission lever.


To aid the sound reproduction of the 18-speaker 4way4 system (developed by South Korean sound designer Guk-il Yu), the Heritage Series Grandeur’s centre console and dashboard layout was designed based on concert hall acoustic theory, Hyundai says. What’s more, the soundbar’s (somewhat gimmicky) piano function is accessible when the vehicle is parked. 


The bronze-coloured light beam that emanates from the extremities of the dashboard extends around the Hyundai’s cabin, permeates the B-pillars and illuminates the vehicle’s well-appointed interior with a rich hue. Meanwhile, “Infinity mirrors” reflect the light, giving the second row an even wider sense of space – it’s quite befitting of a mid-80s luxury sedan!


Having reimagined its 1975 Pony and 1986 Grandeur as EV concepts, Hyundai designers will continue to rediscover the values of the legacy through other Heritage Series models.


“As our designers conceive the future, it’s important to look back on what we’ve created in the past and find inspiration in it,” said Hak-soo Ha, Head of Interior Group of the Hyundai Design Centre. 


“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.”

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