- hyundai has created a one-off design concept based on a model from the 1970s.
- the first-generation pony was never sold in the states but was a significant car in hyundai's history.
- this restomod creation has an electric powertrain and modern design touches.
here's something cool that appeared inconspicuously on instagram and in a release celebrating hyundai's new customer center in busan, korea: a restomod variation of a first-generation hyundai pony fitted with an unspecified electric powertrain and ultra-modern head- and taillights. it also has camera-based, fender-mounted exterior mirrors and nixie-tube instrumentation that's both retro and futuristic and epitomizes the height of 1970s style.
the project was led byhyundai's interior chief designer hak soo ha. it is not simply a retro design "inspired" by the 1970s, but the real thing: hyundai took an actual first-generation car, disassembled it, and added the artistic touches and the ev powertrain.
the hyundai pony heritage ev is not just a testament to the creative spirit at hyundai design under the leadership of luc donckerwolke, it is also an homage to giorgio giugiaro. almost 47 years after its debut at the 1974 turin auto show, it took just a few modifications to make the pony look cooler and more contemporary than ever. hyundai has also cited the original pony as an inspiration for the ioniq 5 ev's design.
the pony was hyundai's first standalone car. it was a compact model built on a relatively conventional rear-wheel-drive platform. the two-door hatchback, which hyundai used for this project, came a few years later, preserving the look of the four-door model. it was never sold in north america. the second-generation pony, a reskin of the original model, came to canada, while hyundai did not appear in the u.s. market until the third generation came along, which was called the excel on our shores.
what are we to make of the heritage pony? "don't read too much into it," we are told by an insider: "it came out of nowhere, like a work of art." that may be the case, but now we want one.