The Hyundai N Vision 74 is one concept car that we really wish would become a reality. Just look at it! For all its modern and dare we say badass flair, we must also pay tribute to its inspiration. What you see here is the Pony Coupe Concept which has been fully restored close to 50 years since it first debuted, and you can see where the N Vision 74 gets its good looks from.
Hyundai rebuilds a Pony Coupe Concept, the N Vision 74’s forebear
If you look at the photos above, it’s no mystery that this is the Pony Coupe Concept’s reincarnation. Yes, this is going to be more modern, but its timeless looks are courtesy of renowned designer Giorgetto Giugaro. Yes, the same man who was behind Ellen Ripley’s watch in Aliens and in case you might have thought it but not said it, the DMC DeLorean.
First seen in the 1974 Turin Motor Show, the Hyundai Pony Concept once again takes the spotlight, and after being rebuilt to the exact specifications of Giugiaro himself, it’s again been uncovered to serve as a reminder of its importance to Hyundai’s history and design heritage, and to the N Vision 74 as well.
“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.
“It is very special to have significant people from the company’s early days meet those who are leading the company into the future. It also marks the launch of Hyundai Reunion, our platform for showcasing the brand’s heritage. This is where one can see how our past success still serves as a basis for our daring attitude today. This spirit of innovation can be seen in these two models as well as the people who made them possible,” added Sungwon Jee, Senior Vice President, and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor Company.
50 years since his first Hyundai Pony Coupe was revealed Giugiaro shares how this full rebuild came to life. “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 company and their partners. I’m proud and honored to witness how this company has evolved since we first met.”
Considered a retro-futuristic classic that has served as design inspiration for more recent Hyundai Motor models such as 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, the Pony Coupe Concept is undoubtedly an important piece of the Korean manufacturer’s history.
With its unique aesthetic sensibility, the Pony Coupe Concept was a groundbreaking model in its time. It features an origami-like exterior with flowing geometric lines, a sleek roofline, pure unadorned surfaces, dynamic proportions, and a uniquely shaped B pillar. It has an extremely graphic surface treatment with bumpers painted in body color, and its wedge-shaped snout and circular headlamps distinguished it in 1974 and still look ultra-stylish today. Its coda tronca (‘cut-off tail’) has a slim hatch to provide access to the back of the car.
The minimalist interior shows off an iconic sensibility highlighting the monocoque design and driver-centered floating architecture. A single-spoke steering wheel and two-toned slim-line bucket seats reinforce what was in the 1970s a futuristic aesthetic. Again, way ahead of its time in 1974.
Sadly, the Pony Coupe never reached the public following the economic global conditions in the ’70s. What could have been the brand’s first sensational sports car was unable to reach commercial production and was lost to history. Nevertheless, the concept embodies Hyundai’s bold determination to enter the sports-car sector for long-term leadership as an automotive company – this spirit still underlies the company’s leadership in electrification and high-performance hydrogen technology.
The N Vision 74 has big shoes to fill, and we can see and say that it’s going to do so with a lot of expectations and an even more eager public.