Five times retro cars were reimagined with modern makeovers

With Hyundai revealing an electric concept of one of its classic models, we look back at other similar examples.

Brands love to trade on their heritage. Highlighting classic models that potential buyers could have an emotional connection to from when they were younger is a great way to build brand appeal.

Sometimes, though, it’s just a really cool way to showcase new technology. Hyundai is the latest brand to give one of its old models the electric treatment with the Grandeur.

The firm’s flagship saloon from the 1980s has been given LED headlights, a modern sound system, and a new electric motor and battery.

Here, we take a look at five other examples of car makers taking classic models and giving them the ‘restomod’ treatment.

Photos: PA Media

Nissan IDx

In 2013, Nissan brought a funky concept car to the Tokyo Motor Show. Called the IDx, its styling was inspired by one of the firm’s prettiest old models, the Datsun 510.

The two-door, rear-drive layouts were a response to the increasing popularity of more affordable sports cars, but it sadly never made it to production.

The high-performance Nismo version was said to use the 1.6-litre engine from the Juke Nismo, which made in excess of 200bhp.

BMW 2002 Hommage

Much like the Datsun 510, the original BMW 2002 has the simple, elegant design that you just don’t get with modern cars thanks to the extensive safety equipment that’s required.

When BMW wanted to reinvent this model, though, it took it in a wild direction, with flared arches and massive air intakes.

Built to celebrate 50 years of the 2002, it uses the 3.0-litre turbocharged engine from the M2 with some upgraded components from the M3.

Opel Manta GSe ElektroMod

Much like Hyundai, Opel (badged Vauxhall in the UK) wanted to connect its modern electric powertrains with much-loved classics from its past. A small group of designers set about building a concept to achieve this, and the Opel Manta GSe ElktroMod was born.

Also celebrating 50 years since the original’s launch, this Manta has a similar silhouette to the old model but wears the firm’s modern front end design. It uses a single electric motor that makes 145bhp, while the 31kWh battery pack should offer 124 miles of range.

Peugeot e-Legend

Peugeot has been on a design roll over the past decade, transforming its cars from the mundane to the stylish models we know today.

Back in 2018 it showed what it could do with a bit more design freedom, showing off the e-Legend concept.

This stunning coupe echoed design touches from the classic 504 Coupe, but with a modern EV powertrain. Twin electric motors provide 456bhp, while the 100kWh battery pack is said to offer up to 370 miles between charges.

Renault 5

One of the funkiest concept cars in recent years is the Renault 5 Electric. Sporting a modern take on the hugely popular French hatchback, the Electric version is said to be able to travel up to 250 miles on a full battery and have fast-charging capabilities.

The best part? Renault has confirmed that this concept previews a production model that will likely come out in 2024. Quite how much of this retro-inspired styling will be carried over remains to be seen.

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