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HomeCar CultureHyundai looks back to its future with resto-mod Grandeur sedan

Hyundai looks back to its future with resto-mod Grandeur sedan

Redone Grandeur is part of company’s Heritage Series

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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.

Hyundai, Hyundai looks back to its future with resto-mod Grandeur sedan, ClassicCars.com Journal
‘Parametric Pixel’ headlamp

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.”

Hyundai, Hyundai looks back to its future with resto-mod Grandeur sedan, ClassicCars.com Journal
Soundbar piano can be played while car is parked
Hyundai, Hyundai looks back to its future with resto-mod Grandeur sedan, ClassicCars.com Journal
Secret compartment in center console

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.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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