Heritage mining: car brands dig back into the past

Renault 5 old and new hero

As the industry charges into the future, an appetite for classic aesthetics remains. But is it lazy to draw inspiration from old icons – or with new brands coming out of the woodwork, should retro design be celebrated?

Emerging from the pandemic, you’d be forgiven for thinking the clocks had wound back to the 1970s. Lamborghini relaunched the Countach, Volkswagen’s successor to the Microbus was revealed and DeLorean was back in business. Elsewhere, a new Renault 5 was on show and Hyundai trotted out its homage to the 1974 Pony Coupe. As the car industry pumps investment into futuristic technologies, past successes continue to inspire.

The reality is that the trend has been on a rolling boil for some time. Consider the modern re-run of the Fiat 500 – now released again as an electric version – and the Honda e, referencing the original Civic and N360. But it is Hyundai that has led the charge with a series of retro-inspired concepts over the last 18 months or so: the ’80s-style Grandeur sedan, ’70s-inspired 45 concept (which evolved into the critically acclaimed Ioniq 5) as well as the N Vision 74 which immediately captured the imagination of…

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