Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur is a modern take on an '80s classic

Published: 10 November 2021

► Built to celebrate 35 years of the Grandeur model
► A mix of retro and ultra-modern design
► Electric powertrain

Hyundai has unveiled a new retro-futurist concept based on the looks and spirit of its first flagship saloon, the 1986 Hyundai Grandeur. The Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur retains the sharp angular looks of the ’80s classic, but a sprinkling of modern touches including an all-electric powertrain bring it bang up to date. 

As the Grandeur is celebrating 35 years since its launch, Hyundai decided to mark the event by creating a one-off Grandeur-inspired concept, much like the company recently did with its 1970s-style Pony EV concept. Aside from cars sold under the Genesis brand, the Grandeur is still Hyundai’s luxury saloon flagship, though it isn’t sold in the UK.  

What changes has Hyundai made?

Boxy looks notwithstanding, the Heritage Series Grandeur is a new creation from the ground up. Even the exterior has received a number of tweaks ensuring that it doesn’t just look like a perfectly-restored old Grandeur. The grille, wheels and mouldings are all new, though the stand-out exterior features are the front and rear light units that use a similar “parametric pixel” arrangement to that seen on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and other Ioniq concepts. Although the outside looks terrific, it’s nothing compared to the interior.  

What’s the interior like?

With a single-spoke steering wheel and velour upholstery, it sounds very eighties, as does the bronze-coloured lighting that Hyundai says is inspired by period audio equipment. Apart from the overall look though, the concept’s interior is ultra-modern with the digital instrument cluster blending into the infotainment screen in a big sweep across much of the dashboard. The dash features two built-in speakers at each end out of a total of eighteen throughout the interior. 

Other touchscreens too such as on the steering wheel and down in the centre console adorn the cabin. That latter one gets an odd function whereby it can transform into a digital display of an electric piano for the occupants’ amusement. Another eye-catching feature is the drive selector that is shaped like the throttle lever in a jet aircraft. The front armrest, meanwhile, contains a hidden compartment that pops out for storing valuables like watches and wallets.  

Overall, the eclectic combination of leather, velour, mirrors and abundant screens creates something really quite unique.

What’s powering the Grandeur?

Hyundai hasn’t released any details about the powertrain beyond that it’s electric. While it could feature a similar set-up to that seen in models like the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, it’s impossible to say for sure.

Are any other retro concepts planned?

Hyundai says that the next model in its Heritage series will be a rendition of the first-generation Hyundai Galloper, the company’s first off-road model. The two generations of Galloper were rebadged versions of the first- and second-generation Mitsubishi Shogun, much like the original Grandeur was Hyundai’s version of the Mitsubishi Debonair.  

What this means for you

Like the Pony EV concept, the Heritage Series Grandeur will almost certainly never make series production. That Hyundai is dipping into its back-catalogue and exploring its heritage is a good thing though. The Ioniq 5, whose design is clearly inspired by Hyundais of old, is one of the most interesting-looking cars on the road; if the company continues to celebrate some of its classic models it’s possible that future Hyundai and Ioniq models might be just as adventurous as the Ioniq 5.