Remember when Hyundai N VP Till Wartenberg asked us what we would pay for the 670 horsepower, hydrogen-electric Hyundai N Vision 74 if it were produced? It turns out, there may have been a very good reason for that question. Back in February, Wartenberg told The Autopian, “My personal wish is to produce this vehicle,” and a report from Korea suggests his wish may soon be granted.
If Google Translate is to be trusted, Korean outlet Money Today reports that Hyundai is planning a “Pony Day” at its design studio on May 27, which doesn’t sound like it’ll include guest appearances by cowboys. Instead, it’s expected to be the debut event for a production-spec N Vision 74, allegedly called Pony Coupe.
The Pony Coupe name is entirely fitting considering the N Vision 74 is based on Giugiaro’s design for the original Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept, but also very brave. As everyone on here probably already knows, I’m Canadian, so I’m familiar with seeing Hyundai Ponys being duct-taped together for amusing purposes. Cue the Red Green Show.
This is how many Canadians remember the Pony, as a rapidly-depreciating cheap car that was largely disposable. Sure, it was rear-wheel-drive, powered by a Mitsubishi engine, and very loosely based on lessons Hyundai learned building Ford Cortinas, but don’t think it had wild sporting credentials. This was a car from a fledgling automaker that unfortunately ended up the butt of many jokes.
But in this context, a new Pony Coupe would be like a kid getting absolutely jacked and mastering the Fist of the North Star just to pummel his middle school bullies some 30 years on, and there’s something entertaining about that.
See, the N Vision 74 is, um, brisk. Not only is each rear wheel powered by an electric motor, but there’s also a hydrogen fuel cell stack on board to ram more electricity to the motors under spirited use. Combined output stands at 671 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque, and it doesn’t take a physicist to know power like that can really make a car move. I wouldn’t be surprised if a production-spec model ditches the hydrogen stack since it’s of limited use outside of locales like California, but electric torque still sounds promising.
In addition to being quick, the N Vision 74 is also gorgeous. I know, I know, pandering to borrowed nostalgia for the ‘80s is going to be passé at some point, but many enthusiasts have soft spots for Giugiaro’s folded paper design language, and not just the soft spot affected by being dropped on your head as a child.
In an age of ever-gaping grilles, beehive-busy character lines, and acres of faux-rugged plastic cladding, a certain yearning for simplicity has emerged. Perhaps a production-spec Pony Coupe can help scratch that itch.
As it stands, we have no idea what would underpin a new Pony Coupe, how quick one would be, or what one would cost. We don’t even know if it will actually exist. However, if this report turns out to be true, we may see a fresh new sports coupe soon.
It’s also worth noting that a production-spec Pony Coupe likely wouldn’t be as visually-aggressive as the N Vision 74 as concept cars just don’t need to follow certain production car rules.