Hyundai and Giorgetto Giugiaro to Rebuild 1974 Pony Coupe Concept
Hyundai Motor Company will collaborate with the Italian design firm GFG Style to recreate the 1974 Pony Coupe Concept. The concept was originally created by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Hyundai's debut at the 1974 Turin Motor Show. The rebuild project will involve both Giorgetto and his son Fabrizio Giugiaro. The new concept will be unveiled in the springtime. Hyundai announced the project during a Design Talk in Seoul, which featured Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro, as well as Luc Donckerwolke, the Chief Creative Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, and SangYup Lee, the Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor's Global Design Center.
"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," said CCO Donckerwolke. "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."
"The original Pony and Pony Coupe Concept were one of those rare creations that influenced the designs of not just one but multiple production and concept vehicles, including our award-winning IONIQ 5 and attention-grabbing N Vision 74," said EVP SangYup Lee. "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.'"
In 1974, Hyundai Motor approached Giorgetto Giugiaro to design their first independent model and Korea's first mass-produced car. Since there was no vehicle design capability in Korea at the time, Giugiaro was commissioned to design, make blueprints and build five prototypes, including a coupe. During the design process, Hyundai decided to showcase the Pony and Pony Coupe at the Turin Motor Show to introduce the brand to the global market.
The Pony Coupe featured a distinctive wedge-style nose, circular headlamps, and geometric lines. It was originally designed for North American and European markets but the project was halted in 1981 due to adverse global economic conditions, preventing mass production.
Although the concept was never fully realized, its pioneering spirit helped to jumpstart the Korean automotive industry by influencing Hyundai's first independent production models under the Pony nameplate. These models were manufactured from 1975 to 1990 and sold globally. The Pony Coupe Concept is still an important part of Hyundai's legacy and a testament to the vision of its Founding Chairman, Ju-Yong Chung.
Chung, the founder of Hyundai, played a crucial role in paving the way for Korea's automotive industry with the Pony Coupe Concept and subsequent Pony lineup. His positive mindset, bold leadership, firm belief, and tireless diligence helped Korea transition from the hardship of war to become an economic powerhouse by the late 20th century.
The Pony Coupe Concept was a significant source of inspiration for Giugiaro's work on the DeLorean DMC 12, which became famous for its appearance in the 'Back to the Future' movies in the 1980s and 1990s.
The impact of the Pony and Pony Coupe Concept can still be seen today. In 2019, Hyundai Motor drew inspiration from the original Pony for the '45' concept car, which later influenced the IONIQ 5 that debuted two years later. Additionally, in 2021, Hyundai created a restomod electric vehicle concept that reimagined the original Pony production car. In 2022, Hyundai paid homage to the coupe concept again with its N Vision 74 hydrogen-hybrid 'rolling lab' development vehicle, which was well-received by the public.
Giugiaro, the original designer of the Pony Coupe Concept, expressed his pride in being tasked with creating a vehicle for Hyundai when he was a young designer just starting his career. He felt honored to be given the opportunity to design a car for a company and country that was about to enter a fiercely competitive global market. Now, he is deeply honored that Hyundai has asked him to rebuild the Pony Coupe Concept for posterity and to celebrate the brand's heritage.