Hyundai is celebrating its design history and looking to future technology with the hydrogen-powered N Vision 74 concept.
Design boss SangYup Lee recounted 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 Coupé, which had been designed by Italdesign’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. The 1970 Pony was designed by Giugiaro as Hyundai’s first bespoke car. To add some cachet for the then-new brand, a sporty coupé 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.