Hyundai Grandeur Concept: the future of yesterday, today.


Every website from Attic Insulation Digest to Yak Fondler Weekly has covered the Hyundai Grandeur; The internet is full of facts and figures about the Korean brand’s latest concept car, so I won’t be putting any here. Frankly, none of these minutiae matters: it will never be mass-produced anyway. More important, where I’m sitting from, is that they thought about building it.

The Hyundai Grandeur Heritage Series EV makes me nostalgic for an exciting future, far different from the arguably more exciting one we’ve actually ended up with. A time when there were endless possibilities to come – rather than anything is possible right now.

You might see the GHSEV (as no one calls it) as a continuation of the original Mitsubishi Debonair clone launched in 1986. An extra-top-of-the-range, flagship plus grandeur that’s chock full of features that weren’t possible then but are today. “No, I will stop for now and not order the 1986 Grandeur GL (or whatever the higher trim level was), order your Heritage Series EV and accept the 35 year wait for its build. What’s the rush? “.

This thing is tuned right into my mind. In the 1980s, concept cars were pretty much the meaning of life. More or less my religion. I’m 40 now, so when I was a kid, concepts like the Nissan CUE-X (infinitely more interesting than its namesake Nissan QX) fascinated me, with features like electronic air suspension, drive-by-wire control, anti-lock brakes, a laser / radar based cruise control system, a color touchscreen infotainment screen and digital instrument matched panel and much more. This all sounded like science fiction. Of course, none of these features are anything special today. In fact, they are quite mundane.

In fact, the technology is now so advanced that we have reached a point where it is really difficult for me to imagine an interesting concept car of automotive fantasy. Once upon a time, the idea that a car would be able to take care of the steering, acceleration and braking on your behalf seemed like the most incredible, Knight Rider-style fantasy. Now that it has arrived, I tend to turn it off, even going very fast has become trivial.

The Hyundai Grandeur Heritage Series EV reminds me of a time when we used to suspend our disbelief. A time when Disney animations were still at least partially hand drawn, and computer animated parts stood out and the whole cinema was “whoa” in unison.

Think of the navigator’s flight. That spot where the Dymaxion drone ship flies over the Everglades at many times the speed of sound, at low altitude, with bits of Florida reflecting off its chrome flanks. That was one of the few pieces of computer animation in the entire film, because the technology was so expensive. And it was great, blending in seamlessly with the live action.

Back to the Future used almost nothing of what we would now call computer animation. Universal has done its best with the technology at its disposal and has done an amazing job. We have not questioned anything. Same with the obviously hand-drawn and / or puppet-based beasts in Ghostbusters. We’ve turned a blind eye to the strangely soft and proportionately dubious creatures. We have suspended our disbelief.

Nowadays, something like perfection is possible in digital animated films. Indeed, such a standard is so easy to achieve that the technology is being launched with gay abandon. To such an extent that it is so ubiquitous that it becomes boring. Transformers of witnesses. Yes, there is a grandeur of the show, but once you’ve seen five minutes of the impossible and become a little “wow”, the next hour pretty much the same becomes something to endure.

I loved Star Trek, The Next Generation. I loved that the Bridge of the Enterprise’s main console was finished with wood veneer, which made it easily recognizable from the current, but the way the touchscreens they were using, while feasible, used technology that was just beyond the horizon. Yet the three-year-old smartphone I have in my pocket is actually incredibly advanced than anything they dreamed of in TNG.

Let’s go back to Hyundai. I suppose what I like is how it defines what progress actually is. Using the anachronistic and ancient form of greatness, the concept outlines what already exists and what is new and exciting. Considering that the innovation in the Ioniq 5 – which appears to be nearly identical – is somewhat lost in a sea of ​​white noise, it stands out sharply in size.

He’s also fucking awesome, apparently channeling Bladerunner in all the right ways and owning an interior that I’d happily spend the rest of my life in. It is, to me, by far the most attractive concept I have ever seen in years.

And imagine if the concept behind this concept car was Hyundai’s offer to adapt its latest EV technology to existing cars, with the Grandeur simply offered as a suggestion? If so, I would definitely take my Rover to a Hyundai workshop.


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