Pickup Hatch? Hyundai C3 Roll Top pulls the roof off the Veloster
By C.C. Weiss
November 29, 2012
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.