Hyundai is firmly focused on its exciting electric future, but it’s not above the occasional nostalgic glance backward.
The South Korean automaker unveiled a faithful recreation of the Pony Coupe Concept from 1974 last Friday at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. The original two-door never went into production, and this version isn’t likely to either, but that doesn’t make the retro-futuristic sports car any less cool.
The Pony Coupe Concept may share a name with the Hyundai’s first car, but that’s about it. The prototype, which was designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, made its debut at the Turin Motor Show in 1974. Like Giugiaro’s most famous creation, the DeLorean DMC-12, the two-door features a wedge shape and sharp lines. Unfortunately, when the Pony eventually did go into production it was a much more utilitarian vehicle that barely resembled the Italian’s vision. Despite this, the bold concept has long been an object of fascination for enthusiasts and was the primary visual influence for last year’s crowd-pleasing N Vision 74 concept.
To ensure that the reproduction was as accurate as possible, Hyundai brought in Giugiaro to oversee the project. Under the Italdesign cofounder’s watchful eye, the vehicle was completely rebuilt utilizing the original methods and materials used back in the ‘70s. Every aspect of the car, from its headlights to its instrument panel to its wheels, looks exactly as it would have brand new. Even the power train—a 1.3-liter inline-four that produces just 82 hp—is the same.
“The restoration of this unique vehicle is a milestone in Hyundai’s history,” Luc Donckerwolke, the automaker’s president and chief creative officer, said in a statement. “It represents our beginnings and our commitment to the future. It serves as a legacy for generations to come.”
As cool as the Pony Coupe Concept may look, you shouldn’t expect to see it on the road anytime soon. All signs point to the angular sports car being a one-off. The same goes for the N Vision 74 concept that it inspired, despite recent rumors saying otherwise. Still, there’s no denying that the Pony Coupe Concept will continue to hold a special spot in Hyundai’s heart for years to come.
Click here to see more photos of the Pony Coupe Concept.