Hyundai and Giugiaro to Rebuild 1974 Pony Coupe Concept

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 1974 Pony Coupe Concept that young Giorgetto created for Hyundai’s debut at the 1974 Turin Motor Show.

Hyundai Pony concept at 1974 Turin Motor Show

The South Korean automaker 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.

Back in 1974, Hyundai executives had contacted Giorgetto Giugiaro to propose work designing its first independent model and “South Korea’s first mass-produced car”. The nascent company commissioned Giugiaro to design, make blueprints, and build five prototypes – one of which was a coupe.

With its wedge-style nose, circular headlamps and geometric lines, the Pony Coupe was intended for North American and European markets. However the project came to a stop in 1981 just before the mass production amid an adverse economic environment.

While the concept was an unfinished dream at the time, the company still contends 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 (pictured below) was also the first Hyundai passenger car to appear in Pakistan during the mid 1980s.

The concept design apparently also served as a source of inspiration for Giugiaro’s work on the DeLorean DMC 12 that debuted in 1983. The Pony Coupe Concept remains a key part of Hyundai’s legacy, the company insists, citing its inspiration on the design of the Ioniq 5 and the N Vision 74 hydrogen-hybrid ‘rolling lab’ development vehicle.

SangYup Lee said “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.’” Commenting about his original design, Mr Giugiaro said:

“I designed the Hyundai Pony when I was still a young designer at the start of my 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. Now, I’m deeply honored that Hyundai has asked me to rebuild it for posterity and as a celebration of the brand’s heritage.”

“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,” said Mr Donckerwolke. According to Hyundai, the rebuilt concept will be shown somewhere between March and May 2023.

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