Check out this resto-modded Hyundai Pony EV

By topgear, 15 April 2021

How cool is this? It’s a first-generation Hyundai Pony that’s been thoroughly modernised by Hyundai’s own designers. Not just a model, but (we’re led to believe) an actual first-gen Pony painstakingly disassembled, re-engineered and then screwed back together again, it’s currently on display at the company’s new customer centre in Busan, South Korea. And no, you can’t buy one. Don’t be daft. 

You’ll recognise its pixelated head- and taillights from the new Ioniq 5 (whose design is actually inspired by the Pony). Otherwise the exterior is pretty faithful to the original Seventies design, just refined a bit. Inside it’s all new, though. Just look at those seats, the (what appears to be) aluminium trim and nixie-tube instrumentation. Gorgeous. 

It’s electric, of course, though we don’t know where the powertrain comes from (Kona Electric, Ioniq 5? Possibly), how far it can go on a charge or how fast it is. Doesn’t matter – this is a museum piece and is destined to remain so. Which is a great shame. 

The Pony, in case you’ve forgotten, was the very first Hyundai and South Korea’s first mass-produced car. Styled by Italdesign Giugiaro and revealed at the Turin Motor Show in 1974, it was a compact rear-drive three/five-door hatchback with the engine from a Mitsubishi. 

Question is: if Hyundai revived the Pony as a retro-tastic EV like this, would you be tempted?

STORY Tom Harrison

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