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Hyundai Pony
1984 Hyundai Pony
Manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company
Production 1975–1990
Assembly Ulsan, South Korea
Successor Hyundai Excel
Class Subcompact
Layout FR layout

The Hyundai Pony (Hangul: 현대 포니), was a small rear-wheel drive automobile produced by the Hyundai Motor Company from 1975 to 1988 (until 1990 in South Korea).


When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland. He in turn hired five other top British car engineers, Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer.[1][2] With Turnbull's experience with the Morris Marina (see Korean connection), engines and transmissions from Mitsubishi, some parts from the Ford Cortina they were already producing, and a hatchback body styled by Italdesign Giugiaro, they developed the Hyundai Pony.

Pony first generation (1975-1982)

First generation
Hyundai Pony
Production 1975–1982
Body style(s) 2-door pickup truck
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon
Engine(s) 1.2 L Mitsubishi 4G36 I4
1.4 L Mitsubishi 4G33 I4
1.6 L Mitsubishi 4G32 I4
Length 4029 mm (158.7 in)
Width 1566 mm (61.7 in)
Height 1355 mm (53.3 in)
Curb weight 910 kg (2,006 lb)
Related Morris Marina

The Pony was presented at the Turin Motor Show in October 1974, and the car was introduced in December 1975 as a 4-door sedan. Hyundai began exporting the Pony to Colombia, Ecuador and Egypt from 1976 until 1988. In 1978, Hyundai began exporting to Europe, starting with Belgium and the Netherlands. Later on, the Pony was exported to Greece and by 1981 had reached the UK.

A pickup truck version was added in May 1976, a station wagon in April 1977, and a 3-door hatchback in March 1980.

The 1.2 L (1,238 cc) 4-cylinder engine and the 1.4L (1,439 cc) produced 67bhp. The 1.4 GLS was tested by the British car magazine Motor and top speed was 92 mph with acceleration 0-60 mph in 15.3 seconds.[3]


  • 1200:GLS/GL/Standard (UK: T, L, TL, GL)
  • 1400:GLS/GL (UK: TL, GL, TLS, GLS)
  • 1600:GLS/GL/Limited (not in all markets)

An estate version joined the range in 1976/77

Pony second generation (1982-1990)

Second generation
1986-1987 Hyundai Pony (Canada)
Production 1982–1990
Body style(s) 2-door pickup truck
5-door hatchback
Engine(s) 1.2 L Mitsubishi 4G36 I4
1.4 L Mitsubishi 4G33 I4
1.6 L Mitsubishi 4G32 I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic

Hyundai Pony Pickup

In January 1982, the Pony II was presented. It was a facelift from the previous model. Quoting a sales brochure: "You'll see New Pony luxury in such things as rectangular halogen headlamps, fitted in a smart new radiator grille. You'll see it in the wrap-around indicators, completely re-styled rear lamp clusters and neatly designed instrument panel with easy-to-read gauges. These new refinements are just part of many distinctive features of the New Pony." The Pony II was only available in 5-door hatchback, and 2-door pickup versions. With the Pony II, export also began to the United Kingdom in 1982. The Pony was also exported to Canada from 1983, but not to the United States because the Pony didn't pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales greatly exceeded expectations, and it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. The Pony afforded a much higher degree of quality and refinement in the lowest price auto segment than the Eastern-bloc imports of the period then available.

Engine types

For 1984, the Pony came only with a 1439 cc (88ci) 4G33 engine I4, rated at 70hp (52kW) and 82 ft·lbf (111 N·m) of torque. This engine was available with either a 4-speed or 5-speed manual or a 3-speed automatic transmission. The 1206 cc (74ci) 4G12 engine was not available in Canada. This engine was retained across the line until 1986, after which only the 1597 cc (97ci) 4G16 engine (74 hp (55 kW), 93 ft·lbf (126 N·m) torque) was available. In mid-1985, the door handles were blacked out, chrome was removed from the windshield wipers, and the "HD" badge was removed from the centre of the grille and replaced with the lettering "Hyundai" off to the left side. A 1.6 liter model 4G32 engine became available in 1985, with optional air conditioning. These powerplants had hemispherical crossflow cylinder head, 2 valves per cylinder (chain-driven SOHC), a two-barrel downdraft carburetor (manual choke) and breaker point-type ignition.

Trim levels

From 1984 to 1986, trim levels were L (standard), GL (deluxe), and GLS (glorious). L featured vinyl seats, a fold-down rear bench seat, and usually a 4-speed manual transmission mated to a 1.4 L I4 engine. GL included vinyl/cloth seats, a standard clock (which was mounted in the instrument cluster) rear wiper, passenger-side mirror, tinted glass, lockable fuel door, standard door guards, upgraded interior trim, and (from 1985) an available 1.6 L engine. GLS included the above with the option of a tachometer, passenger-side vanity mirror, full cloth seats, 50/50 fold-down seats, and (from 1985) a standard 1.6 L engine.

Only L and CX were trim levels for 1987. L was the same as the previous L, however the clock was now digital and the CX had a standard tachometer. From 1986 to 1987, interior colors available were tan or blue. From 1984 to 1985, it was grey.

Options included rear window louvres, a front air dam, rear spoiler, GT package (which included a leather-wrapped MOMO 3-spoke steering wheel), tachometer, different trim and badging, fog lamps, and extra lights in the rear. All GTs came with the more powerful 1.6 L engine. The Pony Pickup was sold in Europe (only) until the end of the 1980s.

The second generation Pony remained on sale until 1988 (until 1990 in South Korea). In some markets the Pony was replaced by a re-badged Hyundai Excel from 1985, particularly in Europe.


  • 1200:GLS/GL/Standard
  • 1400:GLS/GL/CX
  • 1600:GLS/CX

Canadian-spec (Non-ECC LHD)

The Canadian version of the Pony had to be changed slightly to meet standards of that country. The Pony was released for sale in Canada for the 1984 model year and ended in 1987. Differences between the Canadian Pony versus its European counterparts were 8 km/h bumpers, sealed-beam headlights, side marker lamps instead of indicator repeaters (also in a lower position), and slight alterations in interior instrumentation and trim application. Initial projections for 1984 called for 5,000 sales, but the final total was an astounding 50,000, and it incredibly became Canada's best selling car that year. The Pony was sold until 1987, even while Excels were for sale along side.

Pony third generation (1985-1990)

Main article: Hyundai Excel

In Europe, the front wheel drive Hyundai Excel were sold under the Pony name from 1985 as a replacement of the rear wheel drive version. In other markets, the second generation Pony continued on sale along side the new Excel.


  1. The Times July 4th 1974
  2. The Engineer. Jan 30th 1975
  3. Motor March 1982
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