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The Hyundai Excel (Hangul:현대 엑셀), also known as the Hyundai Pony, Hyundai Presto and the Mitsubishi Precis, was the first front wheel drive car produced by Hyundai. The Excel was built from 1985 to 1994. The Excel range replaced Hyundai's rear wheel drive Hyundai Pony but the Excel was sold under the Pony name in some markets - any front wheel drive Pony is actually an Excel.

Background

The Hyundai Excel was available in hatchback and 4-door models. Originally, the Excel was supposed to be replaced by the Elantra in 1990, but ended up being sold for four more seasons until being replaced by the Hyundai Accent in 1994. The Excel was the first Hyundai car to be exported to the United States. From 1990, there was a coupe variant called the Hyundai Scoupe, which was replaced by the Hyundai Coupe in 1996. The Hyundai Excel was available with either a manual or automatic transmission mated to a 4-cylinder engine aspirated by a carburetor or fuel injection system, depending on market and model year.

Names

Some markets, including Europe, had the Excel branded as the Hyundai Pony, although it is not directly related to the rear wheel drive Hyundai Pony from the early 1980s. The sedan version of the X1 model was known as the Hyundai Presto in South Korea.

The Excel was also sold in the United States by Mitsubishi Motors from 1987 to 1994 as the badge engineered Mitsubishi Precis. Available as either a 3- or 5-door hatchback, the Precis remained in the Mitsubishi range as a "price leader," slotted below the Mirage until it was discontinued in 1992.

X1 (1985–89)

The Excel was introduced as a replacement for the Hyundai Pony. In the United States it was the company's first and only model, but thanks to a price of US$4,995 and being voted Best Product #10 by Fortune magazine, it set records for a first-year import by selling 168,882 units, helping push the company's cumulative production past one million by 1986. Similar sales success was replicated in Australia, where it was priced at A$9,990. Sales soon dropped as serious quality problems emerged with the car.