Pickup Hatch? Hyundai C3 Roll Top pulls the roof off the Veloster


November 29, 2012

The Veloster C3's top slides forward to open up space in back

The Veloster C3's top slides forward to open up space in back

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Within a kooky concept that appears straight out of the "extreme" Mountain Dew scene of the 1990's, Hyundai brings us an interesting twist on the modern day convertible. The Veloster C3 Roll Top concept is an open-top 3-door ready for adventure, that Gizmag recently spied at the LA Auto Show.

As the Murano CrossCabriolet demonstrates beyond the shadow of all doubt, a hatchback and convertible create evil of the most unnatural order upon procreation. Hyundai has attempted to avoid this apocalyptic misstep by innovating a hatchback-friendly convertible system.

Hyundai's roll top is a canvas roof that slides electronically to the front or back, opening up hauling space in back or open sky for driver and passengers. Assisting the roll top is a tailgate in place of the Veloster's usual hatch. In this way, the spirited adventurer can fold the rear seats and haul all kinds of gear – Hyundai's thinking surfboards, bikes, kayaks and the like – or enjoy a top-down drive down a winding scenic road ... it's hauling capabilities like those of a pickup truck blended with the fun and nimble driving of a small convertible.

Hyundai designed the C3 for the Los Angeles Auto Show that began this week, thinking of it it as the perfect solution for the urban-meets-surf culture of the city on the sea. It also draws influence from the fixed-gear bicycle scene, and Hyundai envisions equipment from the mirror caps to the wheels being customized by the owner. Hyundai picked the flashy high-gloss-white/flat black/flat red/flat teal color scheme based on a sampling of fixie styles, and put a bike in back of the show car to boot.

As if the C3 didn't already have enough going on, Hyundai added one more exclusive touch. The cargo floor and rear seat backs are covered in tiles made from re-purposed skateboards, adding color and a play on the sporty-urban nature of the concept.

"We visit several shows and events like the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City every year to find new, exciting and interesting materials," said Liz Curran, Hyundai color and trim expert from Hyundai Design North America. "This year we uncovered Art of Board, a company that makes hand cut tiles from 100 percent recycled skate decks. The decks are very durable and re-purposed into art, shelves, benches and chairs. Every scratch, scrape and gouge is kept intact – adding character and making them truly original and each with its own story. They’re alive with texture, shape and color."

Hyundai has equipped the Veloster C3 with its 201-hp 1.6-liter GDI 4-cylinder engine. Other equipment includes LED headlight accents, a large intake manifold and 18-inch wheels.

We don't imagine this particular concept will be showing up in showrooms anytime in the future, but it's an interesting look at what can be done with a little creativity.

Source: Hyundai

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

I like it. Obviously you wouldn't buy it as a full time pickup but I can see bringing home a refrigerator in it.


Why do you say it's 3-door when it's clearly 5?


The roof is nothing new. It has been made by Webasto since the very early 1950s. I had a Webasto roof on a Jaguar Mk2 in 1959 and a Jaguar XJ-S in 1976. My neighbor has a 1963 VW with a Webasto. Hyundai has just added a color design....


"Why do you say it's 3-door when it's clearly 5?"

It"s clearly 3.

1 left, 2 right. The rear is not a door, just an opening roof.

Otherwise very troubled design. To many breaks on the lines and curves. The different color front and rear wheels are pointless. No headroom at the rear seats. Way oversized black "mouth" for that small car. No harmony, no consistency.

Hipsters will like it.

Iván Imhof

fugly on the outside, the different colored wheels give it the fresh from the wrecking yard look

Bill Bennett

The real reason most people need SUV's is for trips to big box mart and this attempts to solve that in a small form factor.

The other thing it would benefit from is a maybe a stock tow hitch mostly for this reason of pulling small trailers like this one: One car in that field and hundreds of trucks.

Hyundai could even offer a small trailer as an option with the car like Can Am does with the trailer for the RT Spyder or a Yakima bike rack. Even if the trailer itself isn't hugely profitable it would be a good way to market to people that you can build utility into something smaller than an SUV or truck.


Google "Open Cargo Coupe" to see where they stole this idea from. I would have wished Chevy or Ford got to market first with this. If in a year this is for sale and nobody else is even looking to do this I will stand in line and order my first Hyundai.

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