Hyundai has announced that it will work with Italian design firm GFG Style, notably its father and son founders Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro, to rebuild the influential 1974 Pony Coupe Concept that young Giorgetto created for Hyundai’s debut at the 1974 Turin Motor Show. The rebuilt concept will be shown in the springtime.
Hyundai announced the plan during a Design Talk in Seoul, featuring Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro along with Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, and SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor’s Global Design Center.
In 1974, when Hyundai was still in its early days of vehicle production, the company’s executives contacted Giorgetto Giugiaro to propose work on designing Hyundai’s first independent model and Korea’s first mass-produced car. At the time, there was no vehicle design and styling capability in Korea, so Hyundai commissioned Giugiaro to design, make blueprints and build five prototypes, one of which was a coupe. In the process of designing and prototyping, Hyundai decided to show the Pony and Pony Coupe at the Turin Motor Show to promote the brand’s debut in the global market.
With its wedge-style nose, circular headlamps and origami-like geometric lines, the Pony Coupe was intended for North American and European markets, but the project came to a stop in 1981 just before mass production amid adverse global economic environment. While the concept was an unfinished dream at the time, its bold spirit helped kickstart the Korean automotive industry by directly influencing Hyundai’s first independent production models under its Pony nameplate, which ran from 1975 to 1990 and were sold around the world. The Pony Coupe Concept remains a key part of Hyundai’s legacy and hallmark of its Founding Chairman Ju-Yong Chung’s vision for the company.
The Pony and Pony Coupe Concept’s impact can still be felt. In 2019, Hyundai took inspiration from the original Pony for the ‘45’ concept car, which directly influenced the IONIQ 5, which debuted two years later. Also in 2021, Hyundai reinterpreted the original Pony production car as a restomod electric vehicle concept. And, in 2022, Hyundai nodded to the coupe concept yet again with its crowd-pleasing N Vision 74 hydrogen-hybrid ‘rolling lab’ development vehicle.