The first-generation Grandeur, co-developed alongside Mitsubishi Motors, was launched in 1986, in advance of the 1988 Summer Olympics, for which Hyundai Motor was an official sponsor. The international event was used as a marketing tool for the company's flagship model launch and soon became Korea's best-selling large sedan until it ended production in September 1992. It featured a front-wheel-drive construction and offered a selection of four-cylinder and V6 powerplants and a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
The retro-inspired narrative gets even more exciting once inside the vehicle. The "newtro" concept, as Hyundai implies it, makes good use of modern technology ("newness") and digital interfaces while still preserving the retro ambiance. For starters, passengers are greeted by period-correct bronze-colored ambient lighting that dates back to '80s hi-fi audio equipment. The entire interior space gets illuminated by two light rays originating from both sides of the dashboard, which meet the B-pillars in a beautiful highlight and reflect on the infinity mirrors.
The elegant ambient lighting is not the only aspect reminiscent of audiophile recollections from another era. The audio system itself is genuinely impressive, being a bespoke setup signed by a South Korean sound designer named Guk-il Yu, who created the "4way4" audio architecture, successfully implemented throughout the vehicle’s array of 18 speakers and two subwoofers. Furthermore, the dashboard and the center console are fabricated following strict acoustic concert hall standards. Besides, the system even offers a unique piano playing experience, available only when the Grandeur Heritage Series is stationary.
The most remarkable of all is the vehicle's drivetrain of choice. Believe it or not, but the Grandeur Heritage Series features an all-electric construction, a huge departure from the traditional powerplants from back in the day. Certainly, not the last model in Hyundai's Heritage Series of unique EV builds, this project achieves a perfect balance between yesterday's golden highlights and the state-of-art technologies found on modern vehicles.
A highly commendable endeavor, we hope that Hyundai Motor will stay on track and continue expanding the Heritage Series of vehicles and maybe one day make some of them available for purchase. Until then, we can only guess which classic model will become the next redesigned retro machine that makes headlines and sparkle enthusiasts' imagination.