I found the ‘pony drawing’ that I couldn’t find… A gift from Jung Seon Chung

The provision of a master plan by an Italian design firm has reportedly played a crucial role in Hyundai Motor’s restoration of the Pony Coupe, which it “first developed” in 1974. The Pony Coupe preceded the Pony (1975), Korea’s first unique model, and Hyundai Motor Group plans to actively carry on the group’s heritage in the future.

According to the automotive industry on Nov. 21, the biggest challenge in the restoration of the Pony Coupe, which was unveiled at the ‘Hyundai Lineage’ event in Lake Como, Italy, on Nov. 18 (local time), was the lack of a master plan. “We understand that the restoration process over the past two years has taken as long as the development of a new car,” an industry insider said.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun tours the venue of the Corso dell’Eleganza Villadeste 2023 in Italy. At left, Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen hybrid car, the N Vision 74, is on display. Combining a battery motor and hydrogen fuel cell, the car can accelerate from a standstill to 100 kilometers per hour in less than four seconds. Photo Hyundai Motor Company

A master design is a millimeter-by-millimeter drawing of the interior and exterior of a new car. The Pony Coupe, which was introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1974, also has a master plan, without which it would be a half-hearted restoration.

During the restoration process, Hyundai assigned a dedicated staff member to the design center at the Namyang Research Center to secure the plans. An ‘SOS’ was also sent to retired researchers. Former and current employees scoured the institute, but were unable to find the blueprints. “It seems that the drawings were lost when the lab was hit by a windstorm,” said an auto industry insider.

The interior of Hyundai’s restored Pony Coupe. Hyundai secured the original blueprints and restored the 1974 concept car. The original Pony Coupe master design was brought to Korea from Italy. Photo Hyundai Motor
The clue to securing the blueprints came from Italy, the homeland of the Pony. According to a former Hyundai executive, Hyundai contacted Italdesign, the company that designed the Pony Coupe, and received a reply saying that they “have the plans in storage.” The restoration of the Pony Coupe was then accelerated in November last year when the Pony Coupe’s designer, Italdesign founder Giorgetto Giugiaro, visited Korea. When he met with Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun, he joked, “I should get an Ioniq 5 (in exchange for the plans),” to which Chung immediately replied, “I’d like to give it to you as a gift.” Giugiaro mentioned the Ioniq 5 because it’s an electric car that inherits the Pony design.

Chung was “serious” about restoring the Pony Coupe. He attended the ‘Pony Heritage Seminar’ online and listened to the main content from the presentation to the one-on-one Q&A. “We are where we are today because of the efforts of Chairman Chung Ju-young, Chairman Chung Sae-young, Chairman Emeritus Chung Mong-koo, and all of us,” he said at the event, adding, “I think we need to have a good memory of our internal efforts.”

Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen hybrid car, the N Vision 74, at the Corso delle Ganze Villadeste 2023 in Italy. The swoopy front end is taken from the Pony Coupe. Combining a battery motor and hydrogen fuel cell, the car takes less than four seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 100 kilometers per hour. Photo Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai started its heritage restoration with the Pony Coupe. The company displayed the N Vision 74 at the Concorso dell’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2023, a classic car and concept car exhibition held in Lake Como on March 20-21 (local time).

Hyundai unveiled the Pony Coupe restoration model for the first time at the Hyundai Reunion event in Lake Como, Italy, on April 18. Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun 안전놀이터(right) and legendary Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro in the restored Pony Coupe. Photo Hyundai Motor

Featuring a wedge-shaped design inspired by the Pony Coupe, the N Vision 74 is Hyundai’s vision of a high-performance future in the post-electrification era. Its dual motors produce 680 horsepower and propel the car from rest to 60 mph in less than four seconds. It can travel 600 kilometers on a single charge.

“Hyundai will continue to draw inspiration from its unique heritage to pave the way for new forms of future mobility,” said Luke Donkerwolke, President of Hyundai Motor Group.

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