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Hyundai gives the Pony econobox a modern makeover

A stylish celebration of the Korean carmaker’s past

The Pony was the end result of Hyundai's first attempt at making its own car. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI

Looking at Hyundai now, it’s quite easy to forget the company’s humble beginnings as a fledgling automaker founded in 1967. After years of producing Ford Cortinas, the firm’s first attempt at making a car it could proudly call its own was the Pony. Underneath the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed body was a mishmash of Ford, Morris and Mitsubishi components.

The Pony sort of looks like the first-generation Volkswagen Scirocco. PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

But despite being rather underwhelming, the Pony was very important during Hyundai’s formative years. Produced between 1975 and 1990, it was South Korea’s first mass-produced and exported car. It basically kick-started the Korean automotive industry as we know today. And to honor the Pony, its maker has decided to give it some modern touches.

Those retro-look alloy wheels are making us drool. PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

The Pony’s hatchback silhouette is preserved, modernized by pixelated lighting units inspired by the Ioniq 5 EV. Fender-mounted cameras replace traditional mirrors. The matte-silver paint job is probably meant to signify the car’s aging process. Finishing off the Pony’s metamorphosis are alloy wheels that look like retro-style steelies.

The revamped interior strikes the right balance between modern and old-school. PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

The interior is a feast for the eyes, especially the dashboard gauges made out of lighted vacuum tubes. The thin-rimmed steering wheel has a cheeky button for switching on voice activation. The Pony even comes with a cradle for mobile devices, and a large stainless-steel storage box takes up residence in the cargo area.

One thing you can no longer accuse this car of is being dull. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI

Hyundai didn’t mention the car’s running gear. But it can be assumed that the power unit is electric, given the brand’s recent launch of the Ioniq 5. But as a tastefully done restomod project, this is one Pony that we wouldn’t mind driving around.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.