Hyundai Motor partnered with design firm GFG Style founded by legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro is bringing back the Pony car kickstarted the Korean automotive industry as a celebration of Hyundai’s brand heritage.

Hyundai Motor contacted Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1974, when the firm was still in its early stages of vehicle production, to propose work on developing Hyundai’s first independent model and Korea’s first mass-produced car. Because there was no car design and style competence in Korea at the time, Hyundai Motor commissioned Giugiaro to design, create blueprints for, and build five prototypes, one of which was a coupe. During the design and prototyping process, Hyundai opted to exhibit the Pony and Pony Coupe at the Turin Motor Show to showcase the brand’s global debut.

The original Pony Coupe had a wedge-shaped nose, round headlights, and origami-like geometric lines; it was designed for sale in North America and Europe. Unfortunately, the project was halted in 1981, before mass production could begin, due to the weakening global economy.

“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 SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor’s Global Design Center.

Giugiaro’s work on the DeLorean DMC 12, introduced in 1983 and made famous by the “Back to the Future” films, drew heavily from the concept design (1985-90). 

The 2019 Hyundai Motor ’45’ concept car was heavily influenced by the original Pony, and its 2020 premiere vehicle, the IONIQ 5, followed suit. In 2021, Hyundai also released a restomod electric vehicle idea based on the original Pony production car. And in 2022, Hyundai once again acknowledged the coupe concept with its well-received N Vision 74 hydrogen-hybrid “rolling lab.”