Hyundai’s restomod Grandeur is the perfect electric car for a supervillain

As someone who only deals with car culture, I usually find concepts more strange than enticing – but that’s certainly not the case for Hyundai’s Heritage Series Grandeur EV, which goes with an incredible retro aesthetic rather than an alien future. While Hyundai says the car is made to celebrate the anniversary of its flagship sedan, launched in the mid-80s, there is only one thing that stands out when you look at it: that it would be perfect vehicle for a supervillain.

To be clear, I do not mean a Marvel-style antagonist with supernatural powers. I mean a Gordan Gekko-like SOB; someone rich enough to shape the future or bow the ear of bought politicians. The car’s darkened windows, solid hubcaps and pixel-like lights would look perfect in a Hollywood movie warning the audience of the dangers of greed, while its prey looks so damn enticing.

The infotainment system that you can use to line up your playlist that just goes in loops of The Weeknds “Heartless” and “Faith. “
Photo: Hyundai

(Side note: a video of the car posted on YouTube shows that the “pixels” of the headlight and taillight can even animate, a la KITT from knight. It would be so distracting on the road, but it seems exactly like the type of thing you would see in e.g. Cyberpunk 2077.)

Incidentally, none of this is meant as an insult to the car or its designers. It seems to be honest, to hell to, and it’s easy to imagine a friendlier version resembling the family sedans of the day. But this concept of velvet and leather interior is eerie at best.

However, if Hyundai actually started producing its concepts, the Heritage Series Grandeur is not the one I would actually buy. The Heritage Series Pony is more my speed: a small three-door concept that, I hardly you, has a Nixie tube speedometer and horsepower. It’s like the Honda e (which I would really love to have available in America, Honda!) So original RoboCop and started going through a strange phase that actually works for them? I certainly find it more interesting than Hyundai’s latest pony-inspired concept.

The pony is my dream car – an electric car that speaks more to the new cola-sipping trainee than the kvaalude-throbbing CEO whizzing past them in a grandeur.
Photo: Hyundai

The pony’s Nixie tube reading. Paging Steve Wozniak.
Photo: Hyundai

Unfortunately, it seems that both of these cars are mostly just opportunities for Hyundai to show off both its creativity and its pixel-like lights, which it promises will be a feature of an actual upcoming production EV. All I can do is hope that Hyundai, like VW before it, sees the uproar its concepts are causing, and finds out some crash test-compliant way to release a true 80s revival car. It would not need to lovingly restore real cars from the era with a modern electric driveline (as it did with the Pony) to sell a car almost exclusively on nostalgia. It’s worked out pretty well for Ford with the Bronco, right?

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