Hyundai Pony EV concept shows off retro style

Published: 16 April 2021

► A modern twist on the Hyundai Pony
► Which itself inspired the new Ioniq 5 EV
► Currently on show in South Korea

The Hyundai Pony EV concept is a one-off styling exercise that shows off the role EV technology will play in the exploding restomod scene. 

Legendary automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro conceived the first generation of Pony. In its day it was an icon of personal mobility created by Hyundai during its 1975-1990 production run. The hatchback car was Korea’s first mass-produced and exported vehicle.

In 2021, championed by Hyundai’s head of interior design, Hak Soo Ha, the funky electric vehicle is based on an original 1970s Hyundai Pony. 

Soo Ha and his team have set about refurbing and subtly tweaking the style of the Pony, which now presents a streak of contemporary flare.

These stylistic upgrades include reconfigured LED headlights, pixelated LED tail lights, retro alloy wheels and cameras mounted on each end of the boxy bonnet, replacing traditional wing mirrors.

Inside, the EV Pony is even more avant-garde, with a steam punk-style gas-lamp instrument cluster to gauge speed, an art deco three-point steering wheel, and a blend of chrome trim pieces contrasting with a black leather interior. 

It also contains more modern elements, not only retro style, including digital touch transmission, a cradle space for a mobile phone and a voice-activated steering wheel.

Tucked away inside the boot is also a ‘last-mile mobility device’ as Hyundai calls it – known to the rest of us as an electric scooter.

Hyundai has confirmed the normal internal combustion engine and transmission have been ditched in favour of an electric motor with a single-speed transmission. However, no details of the charged powertrain have been provided by the Korean automaker. 

To an extent, the show Pony showcases what we can expect for the future of the automotive restomod industry. 

With the way electric vehicles are being designed with skateboard-style chassis architecture, it’s going to be increasingly easy for third-party modders to simply buy a ubiquitous platform, and then adorn it with a retro bodyshell. 

One of the best examples of this type of car-making is California-based company ZeroLabs, which has created a blank-canvas EV platform specifically made for moulding with classic car shells.