Many of today’s carmakers have a history going back decades and over the years, certain models have been regarded as special or significant. Typically, these would be the first global model produced by the company, like the Pony which Hyundai Motor launched in 1975. Eleven years later, in 1986, another model was launched which was of symbolic significance. This was the Grandeur flagship sedan and on the 35th anniversary of this model, Hyundai has developed the Heritage Series Grandeur.
Hyundai’s design team reinterpreted the first generation of the Grandeur (adapted from Mitsubishi’s Debonair) to create a retro-futuristic resto-mod that is powered only by electricity. “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.
The original Grandeur which was adapted from the Mitsubishi Debonair and launched in 1986. “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,” he explained.
The exterior design shows most of its retro charm, with tasteful updates such as new side mirrors, covered wheels, slide cladding and pixel-style LED headlights and taillights that hint at the concept’s use of Hyundai’s electric powertrain. Known as Parametric Pixel lighting, this feature distinguishes the sedan the same way as the new IONIQ 5.
Though the exterior has classic lines, the cabin is ultra-modern. The designers applied a ‘Newtro (newness + retro)’ concept theme to stimulate passengers’ senses with bronze-coloured lighting that is reminiscent of period audio equipment and a modern audiophile sound system to match. A luxurious feel comes from burgundy velvet and Napa leather.
The front seats are fitted with burgundy velvet, inspired by the original Grandeur, with the unexpected twist of elegantly stitched and laced auburn Napa leather on the back. The centre console armrest contains a hidden pop-out compartment for storing valuables like watches.
The designers also seamlessly integrated the latest technologies alongside retro-cool hardware. Dials and buttons on the dashboard are replaced with an ultra-wide, touch-enabled flatscreen display. However, for the 1980s vibe, there’s a single-spoke steering wheel and jet airplane-style gear selector.
In the 1980s, audio systems were becoming sophisticated, especially at the upper end of the market. For the Heritage Series Grandeur, the designers have incorporated the 4way4 sound system developed in South Korea. This controls 18 speakers to deliver rich sound with magnificent clarity and deep bass, thanks in part to the composition of Grandeur’s centre console and dashboard. These two elements have been designed based on concert hall acoustic theory. The soundbar’s piano function 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 a flattering hue across the well-appointed interior. ‘Infinity mirrors’ reflect the light, giving the second row an even wider sense of space befitting a luxury saloon of the mid-1980s.
Hyundai’s first global model reconstructed and modernised as the Heritage Series Pony
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