Hyundai unveils rebuilt 1974 Pony Coupe Concept in Lake Como, Italy
Hyundai continues to wax nostalgic. After teasing the N Vision 74 Concept several weeks ago, the Korean automaker unveils the vehicle that inspired it, a totally rebuilt 1974 Pony Coupe Concept at the inaugural Hyundai Reunion in Lake Como, Italy.
“The Pony Coupe Concept reflects the company’s gratitude and dedication to the challenging spirits that people at Hyundai Motor had back in 1974. The rebirth of the Pony Coupe Concept is a meaningful milestone in the history of Hyundai Motor because it signifies not only our beginnings but also our commitment to the future with our new dreams,” said SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Center.
Giorgetto Giugiaro, the original Italian designer of the Pony, headed the restoration project and made sure that the vehicle was faithfully recreated to exacting specifications and original materials.
“Hyundai approached us to start a complete redesign of a model, without much experience. I was skeptical at first because I didn’t know Hyundai Motor at that time. We were all impressed by the passion and commitment of the Hyundai engineers. They were sharp, curious, open, and extremely eager to learn. They immediately embraced the working methods that were new to them. They sacrificed themselves to make a good impression — for the company and their partners. I’m proud and honored to witness how this company has evolved since we first met,” said Giugiaro.
The 1974 Pony Coupe Concept was ahead of its time and is considered a retro-futuristic classic, which is why it serves as the inspiration for the N Vision 74 hydrogen-hybrid electric ‘Rolling Lab’ development vehicle and the ‘45’ EV concept car that directly influenced the IONIQ 5 all-electric vehicle.
“In the age of electrification, a key condition for Hyundai Motor Company to become a leader in future mobility will be our ability to remain faithful to the unshakable values we inherited. Moving forward, through Hyundai Reunion and other heritage communication initiatives, we will continue to leverage our past as a unique vector for our future innovation,” said Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.
What makes the 1974 Pony Coupe Concept unique is its origami-like exterior with flowing geometric lines, a sleek roofline, pure unadorned surfaces, dynamic proportions, and a uniquely shaped B pillar. It has a wedge-shaped snout, circular headlamps distinguished, and a coda tronca (‘cut-off tail’) with a slim hatch to provide access to the back of the car.
Inside is a minimalist interior with a monocoque design and driver-centered floating architecture featuring a single-spoke steering wheel and two-toned slim-line bucket seats.
"Despite the poor industrial environment in the 1970s, my grandfather and Hyundai’s Founding Chairman Ju-young Chung poured his heart and soul into rebuilding Korea’s economy and improving the lives of its people after the devastating Korean War. He finally realized his vision of making Korea a country capable of developing its own vehicles with perfection. I express my sincere gratitude to everyone from both Italy and Korea who played a critical role in the success of Pony,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group.
The 1974 Pony Coupe Concept never reached commercial production due to the economic climate in the late 70s. Despite failing to reach its full potential, this model inspires current and future Hyundai models, which is a testament to the brand’s vision and creativity.
“The restoration of this unique vehicle is a milestone in Hyundai’s history. It represents our beginnings and our commitment to the future. It serves as a legacy for generations to come. It virtually symbolizes the mobile relay baton we are passing from the past to the future of the company,” said Luc Donckerwolke, President and Chief Creative Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.