The Hyundai N Vision 74 Concept is a Designer’s Dream Come True
Hyundai unveiled the N Vision 74 Concept car at its recently held N Day event and not only is it a feast for the eyes, it is also, by far, the coolest car to ever come out of Korea. To comprehend the N Vision 74, some historical context is required. The Pony, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and unveiled at the 1974 Turin Motor Show, was Hyundai’s first production car. The Pony resembled the original Volkswagen Golf of the same year, which was also designed by Giugiaro, but with a much sleeker fastback roofline and sportier details. Hyundai also debuted a stunning two-door Pony Coupe concept in Turin, also designed by Giugiaro, though it was only a static design model and the concept was eventually lost to time.
Sangyup Lee, Hyundai’s design chief, and his team of designers discovered sketches and blueprints for a previously unknown production version of the Pony Coupe in Hyundai’s archives a few years ago. It would have been an excellent sports car counterpart to the Pony, but it never materialized.
Hyundai lacked a suitable engine for the vehicle, and the business case simply did not exist. Giugiaro, on the other hand, admired the Pony Coupe’s design and went on to create the DMC DeLorean. “Please don’t say there’s a resemblance to the DeLorean, because we did it first,” Lee said at the concept’s unveiling. The N Vision 74 does not resemble or replicate a Golf or a DeLorean; rather, it is a Giugiaro design. The N Vision 74 is a modern interpretation of the Pony Coupe that realizes Giugiaro’s vision of what a Hyundai sports car could have been.
The N Vision 74 is about 7 inches longer than a Lamborghini Aventador and about the same height as a Porsche 911, but its wheelbase is nearly as long as the Hyundai Ioniq 5. It’s a fantastic blend of retro Pony cues and modern details, with the overall silhouette and roofline nearly identical to the Pony Coupe. The pointed front end features a deep splitter and a slim grille with Hyundai’s signature pixel lights, which also appear at the rear.
The massively flared boxed fenders have large intakes, and the intense ground effects kit includes a complex diffuser and deep side skirts. The back window has awesome louvers, a large rear wing, turbofan-style wheels, and a slew of other cool details. It has the appearance of a Blade Runner race car, but it is also restrained and refined. The retro design is obvious, but the N Vision 74 stands on its own as well. In person, it looks even better.
Its powertrain is as intriguing as its design. Hyundai’s latest high-performance test bed is the N Vision 74, which follows Veloster-based vehicles such as the mid-engined RM19 and electric RM20e. The N Vision 74, on the other hand, is the first to use a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, which Hyundai claims are it’s most advanced to date. A 72.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 800-volt capability and two electric motors, both mounted at the rear and providing precise torque vectoring, are included, as is an 85-kW fuel-cell stack with a 4.2-kg tank capacity. According to Hyundai, the car can be powered by either the EV setup or the full fuel-cell system, and it has a three-channel cooling system that improves performance and efficiency.
The total output is more than 671 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, which is not quite as much as the RM20e but is sufficient to propel the N Vision 74 to speeds of over 155 mph. The car takes only 5 minutes to refuel and has a driving range of more than 373 miles. Hyundai says the N Vision 74 will be tested on racetracks such as the Nürburgring, and N engineers are considering adding a third electric motor at the front axle.
According to Hyundai, the N Vision 74 will continue to serve as a rolling laboratory, influencing the development of the brand’s future performance production cars and race cars. The company remains committed to hydrogen powertrains, and this concept will aid in the refinement and improvement of that technology. While the N Vision 74 is only a concept, and Hyundai says it has no plans to produce anything similar, removing the race car bits and replacing them with the Ioniq 5’s EV powertrain would result in a seriously hot roadgoing coupe that would appear to be simple to design and engineer for actual sale. As Lee points out, history and trends always repeat themselves, and he wants to bring the 1970s design aesthetic into the mainstream.