Hyundai and Giugiaro collaborate to rebuild concept.

Pony concept to be recreated

Riley Riley

Back in 1974 the Hyundai Pony Concept made its debut at the Turin motor show.

Penned by legendary Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, there is some debate over whether the concept was produced for Hyundai.

Or, as claimed by Italdesign, the company asked if it could put its name on the project after it had already been created.

Either way, Hyundai and Giugiaro have been talking and will collaborate to recreate the car which apparently no longer exists.

The concept spawned Hyundai’s first mass-produced car Pony, built from 1975 to 1985.

It was South Korea’s first mass-produced vehicle and also the first to be exported.

And, if it looks kind of familiar, then you’d be right.

The concept was also the basis for the famous DeLorean DMC 12 from the movie Back to the Future.

Giugiaro said he designed the Hyundai Pony when I was still a young designer at the start of his career.

“I felt very proud that I was in charge of creating a vehicle for a company and country that was about to take on a fiercely competitive global market,” he said.

“Now, I’m deeply honored that Hyundai has asked me to rebuild it for posterity and as a celebration of the brand’s heritage.”


Plans to rebuild the concept were announced after talks between Giorgetto, son Fabrizio Giugiaro, Hyundai’s creative director Luc Donckerwolke and Hyundai vice president of design SangYup Lee.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Giorgetto and Fabrizio to Seoul for this rare occasion and we look forward to collaborating with them and GFG Style on this extraordinary design project,” Donckerwolke said.

“Not only does this project hold historical value, but it also represents a cross-cultural exchange that could pave the way for more collaborations down the road.”

In 1974, when Hyundai Motor was still in its early days of vehicle production, company execs contacted Giorgetto Giugiaro with a proposal to design 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 Motor 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, it influenced Hyundai’s first independent production models under its Pony nameplate, which ran from 1975 to 1990 and were sold around the world.

The Pony and Pony Coupe Concept’s impact can still be felt.

In 2019, Hyundai Motor 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.

“Since the original concept car no longer exists, we’ve commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro to rebuild it based on our design philosophy, ‘Shaping the future with legacy,” Lee said.


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