Would you know what a Hyundai Grandeur was if, for example, you fell over one on a stand at the London motor show? No; neither would I. Nonetheless it exists, and there's even one here at ExCel this week.

It happens to be the Korean brand's flagship saloon. It's just had a bit of a facelift, which is why Hyundai's making a fuss over it at the moment. And I've even taken a picture of one, just in case you think I'm making it up.


Hyundai has been selling this car for the last two years. It's the successor to the little-known XG30, and a popular car with high-powered Korean executives working in the UK. Unfortunately for Hyundai, high-powered Korean executives working in the UK are a bit thin on the ground, which is why they've only registered 20 of them so far. Most Italian exotics are considerably less rare.

The story of its life is a pretty unlikely one. Hyundai UK said yes to distributing it on condition that Hyundai Korea could build diesel-engined ones in right-hand drive. Later in the car's development, once the deal had been done, it emerged that Korea couldn't, in fact, make diesels in right-hand drive. So Hyundai UK got stuck with a £27,000, 3.3-litre, petrol-powered Mercedes E-class competitor that would shed its residual value fast enough to frighten most multi-millionaires.

That's not much of a saleable prospect, but instead of pulling out of the deal all together, Hyundai UK simply cancelled the marketing and advertising budgets, so the car wouldn't owe them anything. That way, it could afford to sell them in tiny numbers. And that's exactly what it has done.

Hyundai UK's managing director runs one, and we've been promised the loan of it sometime soon. I'm really looking forward to driving it. As long as you don't expect too much of them, cars like this can only put a big smile on your face. Good on Hyundai for enriching the UK's vehicular diversity with it, I say.