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Hyundai Pony Coupé, the lost prototype returns after 50 years rebuilt by Giugiaro

The remake of the 1974 concept was presented at Lake Como: ‘It re-establishes a strong link with our past’, explains the president of the Korean group

Hyundai’s return to the future is called the Pony Coupé, a 1970s prototype designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro that was lost and has now been rebuilt from scratch with the same features as the original. The concept car was unveiled in 1974 at the Turin Motor Show and Hyundai asked GFG Style – Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro’s automotive design company – to faithfully reconstruct it. “The aim of this project was to re-establish a strong link with the past and with a car, the Pony, that for Hyundai has been a symbol of style, marking the beginning of our history,” said Chung Eui-sun President of Hyundai and grandson of the company’s founder during the model’s unveiling at Lake Como.

Designed and hand-built

No technological means were used to make it: ‘We recreated this model from scratch,’ explains Giorgetto Giugiaro. “Everything was done as in the past: the classic form plan was used, the drawing and construction was done by hand, giving shape to the aluminium sheets.” At 4.08 metres long, the rebuilt Pony Coupé is identical to the original from fifty years ago: in 1974 it would have been considered a mid-size model, but today’s cars are so big (thanks to the addition of interior space and safety features) that it is now the size of a hatchback. According to Hyundai, this project marks the debut of the Hyundai Reunion, a new platform that connects people and models to showcase the heritage of the South Korean brand.

Geometric and fluid lines

The concept has a 1.2-litre, 82-horsepower four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive and has retained the typical wedge shape that characterised cars of the 1970s, with flowing geometric lines, a sleek roofline and unadorned surfaces. “These are all styling elements that can be found on our current cars such as the Ioniq 5 and the N Vision 74 hydrogen-powered super sports prototype,” explains SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s head of design.

Pony, the car that motorised Korea

Hyundai’s founding chairman, Chung Ju-young, was instrumental in rebuilding South Korea’s economy and industry after the Korean War. The Pony Coupé was never produced, but in 1975, with the help of Giugiaro, the Korean manufacturer launched the Pony hatchback. Some 685,800 units were built until 1986. The idea of making a mass-produced Pony Coupé was abandoned in 1979 despite the fact that production was planned for Europe and North America and $80 million had already been spent on tooling – an enormous sum for the time.

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Celebrating 115 years of Carrozzeria Garavini, the brand sees its rediscovery and relaunch in the world of cars, design and elegance.

At Garavini, craftsmanship, manufacture and uniqueness come together to create works of art on wheels that go beyond the concept of a simple means of transport to become symbols of passion and refinement.

115 years after its foundation, the company has decided to start again with the Alfa Romeo 4C, in the 10th anniversary year of the model’s presentation, in collaboration with the IAAD in Turin. This partnership between the historic brand and the design institute represents an opportunity to create a high-end sports car that combines outstanding Italian aesthetics with the best technologies.

Poltu Quatu immediately turned out to be the ideal location for the premiere of the project, thanks to the famous Concours d’Elegance which, as the perfect combination of worldliness, elegance and the joy of living the dolce vita, allows the meeting from all over the world of those enthusiasts who, more than anyone else, can appreciate the value and style of a vision such as Garavini’s.

The project takes its inspiration from the 1930s Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 by Garavini, the star of the Italian Dolce Vita and the birth of the classic car movement in Italy. The Garavini Perenne represents an extraordinary sports car that combines the Italian tradition of elegance and style with innovation and high quality craftsmanship. Garavini’s tribute to the model, the 4C, which, with its debut 10 years ago, decreed the real relaunch of Alfa Romeo, is no coincidence: symbolic value, as happens in all valuable initiatives, has a decisive weight in the conception and realisation of unique products.

The soul of the project is Luca Babbini, a young entrepreneur with experience in research and development for various industries, in particular the automotive industry. Babbini’s path, which started at IAAD and has been refined through subsequent collaborations, has always been linked to a passion for luxury, not so much as a material passion, but derived from the emotion that an object or an experience conveys.

“When I crossed Garavini’s path,” explains Luca Babbini, Garavini Design Director, “with family origins and values that can be traced back to mine, I thought it was a sign: the awareness of this affinity has allowed us to give life to a new chapter, a reality in which passion for craftsmanship, luxury and family heritage come together. The Garavini Perenne will be an opportunity to enhance the Turin area but in an international key, thanks to the freshness and desire to do that only a young team, such as that of Garavini and that of the IAAD master’s degree course in Transportation Design, can guarantee.”

On 8 July on the occasion of the Poltu Quatu Classic, a preview of the concept on which the students of the IAAD master’s course in Transportation Design are working, reasoning and declining the Garavini values of elegance and attention to detail, aimed at creating a modern classic with a first series of 15 examples, which aspires to become a timeless model, a source of inspiration for the present and the future. The lines are classic, inspired by a sporty use that smells of fresh air and speed. Driving pleasure is at the heart of the design with a set-up dedicated to usability on the road as well as on the track.

Again Luca Babbini: ‘The valorisation of young people is a key aspect of the project: it always seems, in the common narrative, that unreachable challenges and moments of continuous crisis await us, but the future is full of opportunities and style and beauty are not a closed chapter. The creation of new classics is the true ambition of a project, which looks to the future aware of its past but with the confidence that it can still make a difference. The Turin area, then, is rich in excellent craft realities with which to create synergies and develop a true pole of high craftsmanship. There is nothing to stop us from looking beyond the automotive field and broadening the declination of our values with incursions into other sectors… in short, there is a lot to build on, and the Garavini lifestyle begins today with Garavini Perenne.

The result of this partnership is a high-end compact sports car with a sculptural aesthetic design. Garavini is committed to satisfying a discerning international audience that appreciates the art of automotive design and Italian craftsmanship. The ability to excite both long-time enthusiasts and new customers is a challenge Garavini sets itself, aiming to create a fascinating and successful future for the brand.

The Garavini Perenne will be released in 2025.