Influence of the Pony is clear, but so are links to new Ioniq models
Fuel-cell EV concept packs 670bhp and revives a long-lost design for a coupĂ© version of the 1970 Pony
Hyundai is celebrating its design history and looking to future technology with the hydrogen-powered N Vision 74 concept.Â
Design boss SangYup Lee recountedÂ that the concept’s genesis was a fortuitous coming together of projects. The engineering team sought to trial a high-performance hydrogen powertrain and wanted to clothe the engineering prototype in an attention-grabbing body. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to realise slumbering plans for an homage to the 1974 Hyundai Pony CoupĂ©, which had beenÂ designed by Italdesignâ€™s Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The N Vision 74 is powered by two rear-mounted electric motors that together make just over 670bhp. These are fed by a 62.4kWh battery which can be charged on the go by a 95kW hydrogen fuel cell. The large battery can be rapid-charged like in any BEV and the 4.2kg hydrogen tank can be refilled in just five minutes, yielding a total range of more than 370 miles.
Thanks to the two motors, the car is capable of active torque-vectoring. Meanwhile, the concept also explores ways of keeping the mechanicals cool, with separate coolant channels for the battery, fuel cell and motors controlled by a central system.
While the mechanicals look to the future, the design honours the past.Â The 1970 Pony was designed by Giugiaro as Hyundaiâ€™s first bespoke car. To add some cachet for the then-new brand, a sporty coupĂ©Â version was commissioned and appeared on the 1974 Turin motor show. However, Hyundai couldn’t make a case for producing it at that time, so the project was abandoned and the sole prototype was destroyed.Â
More recently, technical drawings from 1977 for the coupĂ©Â resurfaced, showing that the project actually lived on for longer than previously thought. For the N Vision 74, Lee and his team decided to revive the design.
Although it’s not nominally an Ioniq model, the concept does tie in with the current and future Ioniq EVsÂ through its design language. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 took inspiration from the standard 5-door Pony, while the N Vision 74 takes it into more radical territory. The light signature uses the pixel lights typical of the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 at bothÂ the front and the rear.
The concept thus fits in with Hyundaiâ€™s vision of treating its range as chess pieces, rather than Russian dolls, where all models serve distinct roles in a system without necessarily looking similar.Â
According to the designers, the N Vision 74 serves as the king, as a halo model, and as statement of intent from Hyundai that its future models neednâ€™t all be saloons or SUVs.
Although a production model is far from guaranteed, Autocar understands that a small special-series production may be considered.