HomeGarageHyundai retrofits its original Pony model

Hyundai retrofits its original Pony model

‘Retro-modern reconstruction’ designed to blend heritage and technology


You may not recall the Hyundai Pony, but you may remember its export version, the Excel, introduced to the US automotive market in 1986. 

The Pony went into production in South Korea in the mid-1970s and marked, Hyundai notes, “the dawn of Korea’s automotive industry.” 

Hyundai had been founded in 1968 to assembly British Fords. In the early 1970s, Hyundai hired Italy’s famed designer Giorgetto Giugiaro to style a new vehicle that “heralded the dawn of Korea’s automotive industry,” Hyundai said.

To celebrate that accomplishment, but with a look to the future as well, Hyundai has revealed the heritage Series Pony, “a swank retro-modern reconstruction of the original mass-produced Pony model.”

Hyundai, Hyundai retrofits its original Pony model, ClassicCars.com Journal
Vintage-style vacuum tubes are used on the retro-fitted dashboard

The idea was to reinterpret the heritage design but with “modern cool trappings and technologies.” Thus, the presence of camera-based, fender-mounted exterior mirrors, pixelated headlights and taillights, and speed-gauging instrument panel made of lighted vacuum tubes.”

The pixelated round headlights and U-shaped taillights embody the company’s ‘Pixel Road Trip’ design approach that incorporates pixels and eight-bit graphics also utilized in the Ioniq 5 and 45 concept car,” the automaker added.

The car is on display through June 27 as part of a “Reflections in Motion” exhibition at Hyundai Motorstudio Busan, where the exhibition “invites visitors to explore and reflect on the interactive relationships between time and design as well as technology and styling.”

The original Pony, a hatchback, was in production from 1975-1990 and was not only South Korea’s first mass-produced car but also its first exported vehicle.

“The Heritage Series Pony’s exterior is marked by a matte, shimmering surface of silver throughout front to rear part of the vehicle, hatchback silhouette,” Hyundai reports. 

Hyundai, Hyundai retrofits its original Pony model, ClassicCars.com Journal

“The interior boasts a string of chic and modern accoutrements, including doors made of premium materials that exude a classic feel, a modern lighting system, a speed-gauging instrument panel made of lighted vacuum tubes as well as other stylishly retrofitted design elements.

“It also contains future-oriented elements, not only retro style,” Hyundai points out. “The digital touch transmission, cradle space for mobile phone and voice-activated steering wheel conveys a modern sensibility that will catch people by surprise.

“In the trunk space, a last-mile mobility device, comprising a stainless-steel case, is installed, representing Hyundai Motor’s human-centered design commitment.”

For more information, visit Hyundai’s worldwide website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Last-mile mobility devices are things like electric-powered skateboards or scooters. The idea is that you park your vehicle and take the last-mile device to your office or restaurant or the place you need to shop.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts