The coolest car company on the planet right now is… Hyundai. Yes, the company that really not that long ago made cars like this, this, and this, is now one of the largest, most innovative, and successful motor manufacturers in the world.
Hyundai began producing cars in 1968 by building a licensed Ford Cortina, but by the mid-’70s the company wanted their own car. They hired top British engineers along with legendary designer Giorgio Giugiaro, creating their first in-house product (albeit with Mitsubishi mechanicals), the 1974 Pony. And it was rather good.
Exports began the following year, and by the next decade Hyundai products were sold in the U.S and Canada, where the Pony became briefly (and somewhat amazingly) the best selling car.
Hyundai’s growth continued throughout the ’90s and ’00s, when they completely forgot about their rather good first effort and instead produced two-decades of automotive magnolia wallpaper.
But magnolia wallpaper sells, and the profits enabled Hyundai to begin a radical transformation of both its products and itself, with rapid powertrain development, a racing division, and – remembering their roots – hiring some of the best car designers in the business (something of a relief after years of cars that looked like this).
Cue the Hyundai N Vision 74 concept, a car that incorporates a nod to the company’s sharply styled 1974 Pony, their ‘N’ high performance and motorsports division, and their remarkable leap to technology leadership, with 670bhp coming from two electric motors powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system.
It’s a demonstration to the astonishing progress Hyundai have made since the sale of their first in-house car four decades ago, and – more so – since the complete crap they foisted on the world for the whole of the 1990s and 2000s. In a decade we could well be talking about Hyundai as the largest car maker on earth. Few companies would have done more to earn it.
This fantastic Speed Champions version of the phenomenal Hyundai N Vision 74 comes from previous bloggee The G Brix of Flickr, who has constructed and presented his brick-built recreation beautifully. There’s more of the model to see at G Brix’s photostream and you can take a look at probably the coolest car anywhere right now via the link above.
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