Korean brand Hyundai seems to have been bitten by the restomod bug. Previously it released a modern take on its Pony hatchback from the '70s. Now it has followed up that exercise with a retro-futuristic version of its '80s flagship, the Grandeur. And we love it!
The restomod craze is sweeping the globe and has resulted in some pretty spectacular machines, particularly when it comes to modern reinterpretations of famous Lancia models... But it's not only the traditional, "classic" brands that are getting the restomod treatment. Hyundai, which previously showed off a neat Pony restomod, has now revealed a similar take on its 1986 Grandeur flagship, in celebration of the car's 35th anniversary.
For this exercise, Hyundai’s design team reinterpreted the boxy Grandeur as an all-electric car with the Parametric Pixel exterior lighting first shown on its new IONIQ 5 production model, and an ultra-modern interior wrapped in burgundy velvet and Napa leather.
While exterior changes are fairly minimal, merely hinting at the electric drivetrain underneath, the Heritage Series Grandeur’s interior features what its designers call a "Newtro (newness + retro)" concept theme, which is claimed "to stimulate passengers’ senses with bronze-coloured lighting that is reminiscent of period audio equipment and a modern audiophile sound system to match." It looks, to put it mildly, spectacular.
The front seats are trimmed with burgundy velvet, inspired by what was used in the original Grandeur, but with the unexpected twist of elegantly stitched and laced auburn Napa leather on the back. The center console armrest contains a hidden pop-out compartment for storing valuables like watches (or cigars, clearly).
For the facia, the designers integrated the latest technologies alongside the retro-cool hardware. The traditional dials and buttons on the dashboard were replaced with an ultra-wide touchscreen display but overall it maintains the required ’80s vibe with a single-spoke steering wheel and jet airplane-style gear selector.
The designers incorporated the 4way4 sound system developed by South Korean sound designer Guk-il Yu that controls the 18-speakers. The audio system delivers rich sound with magnificent clarity and deep bass thanks, in part, to the composition of Grandeur’s center console and dashboard, which are designed based on concert hall acoustic theory, Hyundai says. There's even a cool soundbar piano function that can be played through the audio system when the vehicle is in park.
The bronze-coloured light beam that begins at the left and right ends of the dashboard extends around the cabin, penetrating the B-pillars, casting its rich hue across the posh interior. ‘Infinity mirrors’ reflect the light, giving the second row an even wider sense of space befitting a luxury saloon of the mid-80s zeitgeist.
“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.”