Hyundai reinvents original Pony as slick retro tribute

Hyundai has revealed a modern reconstruction of its seminal 1970s hatchback, the Pony, using elements of its most up-to-date technology and design language.

Created by storied car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the original Pony made its debut in 1975 and was Korea’s first mass-produced and exported car. Today, it is remembered as a landmark car for the country and Hyundai.

The Pony has also had more recent significance for the company: it was a defining influence on the first car to be rolled out under Hyundai’s new Ioniq electric sub-brand, the Ioniq 5, and, before that, the 45 concept car.

Created for display in Hyundai’s recently opened Motorstudio Busan in South Korea, the revived Pony is characterised by its angular, retro silhouette and is finished in matt silver.

Although the design is distinctively old-school and the silhouette unchanged from that of the original, the Pony recreation features modern technology, including camera-based mirrors, digital-touch transmission and the same pixelated round headlights and tail-lights as the Ioniq 5’s.

More radical modernisation work has been undertaken inside the car, where a simple aluminium-style dashboard and featureless centre console hint at more contemporary underpinnings.

Most notable, perhaps, is that the instrument panel uses Nixie tubes – illuminated vacuum cylinders – rather than a conventional clock or dial set-up, and that the Pony is equipped with a scooter-style ‘last-mile mobility device’ stowed in the boot.