Synthwave Sedan: The Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur Is An Electrified Revision Of Its First Flagship
Are you nostalgic for the original Hyundai Grandeur? Do you think low-quality rebadged “luxury” sedans from the mid 1980s are worth remembering at all? Is “Grandeur” a hilarious name for a car that belongs in the back of the bingo night parking lot and nowhere else? Of course you aren’t, of course they aren’t, and of course it is, but this electrified compilation of rectangles might change your mind about a car you probably haven’t heard of in decades, if ever.
This is the Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, a surprisingly cool concept built on the one of the manufacturer’s unsurprisingly sad early efforts at an upscale car (they’ve gotten so much better at that game now that it seems like Hyundai is not so afraid of us remembering its heritage now, if this concept is anything to go by). Given that there are no plans for production, and no details provided about the electric powertrain, this car is more about the PR than anything else, but it’s the kind of marketing material we actually enjoy finding in our inbox.
By retaining all of its malaise-era proportions but imbuing the car with slick modern minimalism, Hyundai has come up with something that’s equal parts Robocop dystopia-mobile and sleek synthwave sedan, and we think it’s an inspired choice to lean into the car’s original styling rather than trying to hide it with the typical combo of wider arches, lower ride height, bigger wheels, and more aggression. Whatever your opinion on this Grandeur, at the very least we can agree that it takes some appreciable guts for a major manufacturer to remind people about its lesser past in the service of promoting its optimistic future (the Grandeur EV concept is part of Hyundai’s efforts to promote its new and upcoming Ioniq EVs, but also a celebration of the original model’s 35th birthday—don’t worry, we didn’t remember to send a card, either). This is only a prototype that will more than likely stay that way, but it’s a gutsy one.
The exterior makeover is basically confined to some turbine-style wheels and swapping the lights out with LED grids—a simple but effective update that marries the original boxiness with slick-looking hints to the modernity of its powertrain—but the interior is our favorite side of this build. Hyundai says the inspiration for the car’s metallic and velvety guts came in part from vintage stereo equipment, and it’s easy to see the influences in the colors, materials, and the overall linearity of the design. The modern touch screen elements fit in nicely with the original squared off proportions, and although you know it is, nothing really looks all that anachronistic in here, which is one of the hallmarks of a good restomod.
We like it, but we want to hear from you, too; what do you think about this new take on the all but forgotten Grandeur?