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by Adam Lynton
Hyundai’s latest Veloster concept demonstrates an innovative dual-function roll top.
Jeremy Clarkson calls the stock Veloster "an accountant in a clown suit," so we wonder what he'd make of Hyundai's latest C3 Roll Top concept that debuted at the LA Auto Show. Finished in comical mix of red, white, black and teal, the convertible Veloster is the work of US designers from Hyundai Design North America who have created a split-personality Veloster by removing the glass top and adding a dual-function canvas roof that can be opened to the rear or the windshield, not unlike the Fiat 500C Abarth that debuted across the hall.
The resulting concept not only lets in the fresh air, but can also transport bikes, surfboards and kayaks with it rolled forward (and the rear seats folded) in so-called "recreation mode." Inspiration for the car's questionable color palate was apparently drawn from the increasingly popular "fixie" single-speed bike craze. The highly customizable fixed-gear bikes with no brakes often wear a bright-colored back wheel, and the C3 mirrors that sense of style freedom, with potential buyers (were Hyundai to offer the C3 for production) able to modify exterior elements such as mirror caps and the color of the rear wheels.
The power-retractable red soft top was apparently inspired by billboard advertising on soft-side trailers. Other highlights include 18" wheels, circular exhaust pipes, sculpted side skirts, and a black and red interior with a cargo floor mosaicked in hand-cut tiles from more than 20 recycled skateboard decks. Power comes from the Turbo's 201hp 1.6. Joining the Veloster C3 Concept in LA was a production-ready seven-passenger Santa Fe, which was introduced in New York back in March in pre-production form. Replacing the Veracruz, the long-wheelbase Santa Fe is 121 kg lighter and packs a more powerful 290hp 3.3-liter V6 in a four-inch longer wheelbase.