Hyundai has mined a curious part of its heritage to make this EV saloon | Top Gear
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Wednesday 7th December
Retro

Hyundai has mined a curious part of its heritage to make this EV saloon

Mix a GTA gang car with an Eighties night club and you might just end up with this Grandeur restomod

Published: 10 Nov 2021
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Retro EV reinventions seem to be the order of the day. But it’s easy for Renault to pop the 5 back into life when the original was so iconic. Hyundai electrifying some old shapes, on the other hand, is a more curious prospect. A company whose big headline is how vastly improved its products are – not least in terms of sheer desirability – surely has a harder time revisiting its history.

Yet here we are, mere months after an electric Pony, showing you an electric Grandeur. Those of you who know the moniker will likely know it from flamboyantly depreciating faux-luxe four-doors from the early- to mid-Noughties. Surely next to none of you will remember the original Grandeur (pictured in white), an Eighties saloon that was essentially a Mitsubishi Debonair in costume.

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And yet Hyundai’s confidently led us into the least glamorous section of its history books, batteries in hand, and the result is cool. Logic has been flung wantonly out the window by this Heritage Series Grandeur and it’s hard not to be dragged along for the ride.

Not least because the end result ends up feeling like a mash-up between an ‘80s club night  and a Grand Theft Auto gang car, with a side order of used-car-lot Cadillac. An odd recipe but one which appears – at least to these eyes – to actually work.

Keeping the old Grandeur’s wedgy shape but replacing all its lights with LED oblongs is inspired. And the boxy simplicity of a bygone era appears a decent place to host some modern minimalism, the Heritage saloon’s screens looking surprisingly at home in such a retrotastic car. Those flush window switches and naked stereo speakers are especially natty.

There are no powertrain details and it seems wildly improbable this’ll ever make production, a modern interpretation of retro shapes – like the Ioniq 5 – more likely to actually sell to anyone beyond hopeless nostalgics like us. Indeed, the Ioniq 6 saloon is more likely to resemble this svelte concept car. Leaving us to hit the classifieds with the spare change in our pocket if we want the Grandeur badge on our driveway…

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