With the launch of its Genesis model, and then its Genesis luxury brand, Hyundai no longer offered its XG or Azera in the US automotive marketplace. But that model, originally known as the Grandeur in South Korea, certainly has not been forgotten, in South Korea or elsewhere, for that matter.
It was 35 years ago, in 1986, that Hyundai unveiled its original luxury sedan, which at the time was basically a Hyundai-built version of the Mitsubishi Debonair produced to supply top officials during the upcoming 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
To celebrate the Grandeur’s 35th anniversary, Hyundai has created what it calls a “retro-futuristic makeover” based on the original, but now with an electric powertrain, “Parametric Pixel” exterior lighting, and a “Newtro” interior as part of the automaker’s Heritage Series, which previously has featured a redone 1975 Pony model.
The goal, Hyundai said, is “to shed light on the original sedan’s symbolic significance and find new inspiration for future designs.”
The exterior lighting style, and presumable the electric powertrain as well, come from Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 production model. The interior “Newtro” theme is short for “newness + retro” and features burgundy-color velvet and laced Napa leather. The interior has bronze-colored lighting designed to be reminiscent of period audio equipment, though with a modern audiophile sound system.”
South Korean sound designer Guk-il Yu developed a “4way4” sound system made of 18 speakers and includes a soundbar piano function that can be played through the system when the vehicle is parked.
The interior also has a wide, touch-enabled flat screen rather than traditional gauges and a single-spoke steering wheel and aircraft-style gear selector.
The center console armrest has a hidden pop-out compartment for storing valuables, be they watches or fine cigars.
“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,” Hak-soo Ha, head of interior at the Hyundai Design Centre is quoted.
“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.”