Hybrids & Electrics

The New Hyundai Pony Concept Is a Painfully Beautiful Restomod

Do you know the very first Hyundai, dear reader? In 1976 the Hyundai built its very first independent car to ship globally, the Hyundai Pony. Although the U.S. never got the Pony, our friends to the north did, and the ugly little thing sold pretty well given its $5,700 price tag.

Hyundai Pony Concept EV is a restomod dream that wears brushed aluminum instead of paint
Hyundai Pony Concept EV | Hyundai

Weirdly, and thankfully, Hyundai made an all-electric tribute to Hyundai Pony with its newest and drop-dead gorgeous Pony concept. To be honest, it looks more like a DeLorean than something we’d expect from Hyundai.

What was the first Hyundai car?

Instead of building a new, sleek futuristic car, Hyundai took an actual first-generation Hyundai Pony from the 1970s and disassembled it to rebuild it as a ground-up concept car/restomod. Although the Pony is technically a 70s model, the restomod EV concept is definitely built with an 80s aesthetic in mind. 

Hyundai Pony Concept EV is a restomod dream that wears brushed aluminum instead of paint
Hyundai Pony Concept EV | Hyundai

According to Car and Driver, this ultra-rad Hyundai Pony Concept car was made in honor of the new customer center in Busan, Korea. This real first-gen body was completely stripped and fully dismantled before Hyundai’s interior chief designer Hak Soo Ha completely transformed the old 70s box. 

The Hyundai Pony concept is way too cool

Although Soo Ha used an original Hyundai Pony to start with, there are definitely more new parts and design elements than any original parts. The general lines are the same, but that is where the vintage aspects stop and the future begins. 

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The biggest thing is that the Hyundai Pony concept lost its original 1.4-liter inline-four engine, rated at 70 hp, and dropped in an electric power plant. That alone would be a drastic change to the Pony, but Soo Ha and his team didn’t stop there. 

The headlights and tail lights are simply brilliant. The 8-bit 80s block lights really bring up the vibes to a million. Hyundai even kept the period-style hood-mounted review mirrors, except now they are camera-based screens instead of mirrors.

Touches like this blend the vintage and modern, so seemingly it makes most vintage car enthusiasts pine for this sort of vintage-inspired production vehicle. 

The new Hyundai Pony interior 

While the exterior is incredible, the interior will blow your mind. I don’t personally love the interior, but there is no denying its transformation. Where the exterior is radical, it also is understated. However, the interior is a bit more concept-y.

The steering wheel and dash of the new Hyundai Pony Concept EV
Hyundai Pony Concept EV | Hyundai

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The new Hyundai Pony concept is clearly a departure from the original from the steering wheel to the seats. While each individual elements are cool, there does feel like there’s a lack of connectedness inside. It could all be saved if it weren’t for the vacuum tube instrument cluster. 

Anywho, I’m not here to nit-pick, I’m in doating mode, and this Hyundai Pony Concept deserves it. Unfortunately, just like the original Hyundai Pony, we also won’t be getting anything like this masterpiece – but then again, no one will. 

The problem with great concept cars

What really pains car nerds about incredible concept cars is that 99 percent of the time, we never see the cool ideas in real cars. I understand that making a car like this might be cost-prohibitive, but Ram is selling trucks for $100k.

I say, just once, put a brilliant concept like this Hyundai Pony restomod out in the world and see how the market reacts. 

Hyundai Pony Concept EV is a restomod dream that wears brushed aluminum instead of paint
Hyundai Pony Concept EV | Hyundai

I trust the market to buy cool stuff. Look at the Bronco. This is the first really cool, fresh off-roader the market has gotten in a while, and people are losing their minds for it. As goofy as Tesla can be, look at how much attention the Cybertruck has gotten. 

Come on, Hyundai. Make new versions of the Pony that are efficient, safe, and modern but look like the original. People will buy them. Hell, I know I would.