2012 LA Auto Show: Hyundai rolls off the Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept

Article by Christian A., on November 28, 2012

The Fiat 500C Abarth is not the only vehicle from the 2012 LA Auto Show that comes with a distinctive canvas roof that opens to the rear: ladies and gentlemen, this is the Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept. As expected, the C3 stands for Convertible 3-door as the vehicle combines open-air freedom with the style of a coupe and the functionality of a tailgate.

According to the press release, the vehicle was designed by Hyundai Design North America and comes with a dual-function power-retractable roof that is combined with the tailgate in order to give the C3 a dual personality. In fact, the vehicle acts like a stylish pickup truck: roll the top forward, open the tailgate, fold the rear seats and the car becomes perfect to carry yor surfing board, bike or kayak.

Moreover, the Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept also comes with large free flowing circular exhaust pipes, robust intake manifold sound, a bold hexagonal front grille, sculpted side skirts, diffuser vents in the lower rear fascia, eight individual headlight LED accents and new 18-inch wheels with chrome inserts.

Inside, we find broken and old skate board decks that create a unique cargo floor. Under the hood, we find the 1.6-liter supercharged GDI four-cylinder engine delivering 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,750 – 4,500 rpm with regular fuel.

Fixed gear bikes, also known as “fixies,” had its beginnings as trendy accessories that hipsters use before eventually entering the mainstream bicycle world. Nowadays it is difficult not to see in urban areas a group of riders going along the road or simply doing some tricks in the nearby park. While many of these bikes are indeed colorful, they are also seen as minimalistic given that they have no brakes and only have a single speed.

Their biggest advantage would have to be the fact that these bikes can be easily customized to fit the style of its rider. These include the hand-built wheels and even handlebars and saddles that are color coordinated. In general, it is easy enough to say bikes are half done by the manufacturers with the other half completed by the customer. This is the same experience that the C3 is offering its customers.

The design shows an excellent style but one that is also efficient and simple. In addition, the brand guarantees that any modification done on the exterior will not be expensive. For example, customers can change the color of the rear wheels and the mirror caps. With the body being in neutral white, this means an entirely new look for the C3. Indeed, it is simple and fast to change the appearance.

It is important to note that when the individual is the one doing the enhancements, the relationship of the driver and the car is changed completely. For the Veloster C3 Roll Top, Hyundai revealed that the choice of colors was inspired mainly by the fixed gear bicycle culture. The design team in particular knew that the C3 needed to have a color combination that would fit an urban setting.

The team looked into various color combinations on fixie bikes and ultimately decided on the themes of teal, black, white, and red. Thus, while the C3 has a high-gloss white paint, this is contrasted by the convertible top rails, glass close out, and spoiler, all in flat black.

In flat black as well are the badge, license plate pocket, and reflector bezels in the rear. Since the badging, front grille, fog lamp bezels, and front wheels are all in flat black, these are offset by the mirror housing in flat red. Completing the look are the smoked taillights and reflectors in red with the rear wheels being in flat teal.

Press Release

Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept

Hyundai Motor America introduced the all-new 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo armed with 201 horsepower in a world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Veloster Turbo is one bookend to Hyundai's turbocharged sports coupe line-up, paired with the refreshed 274 horsepower, rear-wheel drive 2013 Genesis Coupe 2.0T (Turbo) also debuting at the show.

"The Turbo further broadens Veloster's hero role in the Hyundai line-up to attract our next generation of buyers," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America. "It's powerful, high-tech and fuel-efficient, attributes which we think make Hyundai Veloster Turbo the ultimate innovation in the sport coupe segment."

The 2013 Veloster Turbo arrives in the Summer of 2012, facing off against worthy competitors such as the Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic Si and Mini Cooper/Clubman S with a better power-to-weight ratio than all of them, and a unique sport-tuned steering and suspension hardware set.


The 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine in the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo produces 201 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1750 - 4500 rpm with regular fuel. The Veloster Turbo is estimated to deliver 27 mpg city and best-in-class 38 mpg highway for manual transmission models. Hyundai's 1.6-liter Gamma turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery. Twin-scroll turbochargers have traditionally been used on more expensive high performance engines, but Hyundai has brought this technology down its line-up from the Sonata 2.0T.

From Zuma to Sunset, stash boards in the back and go from surfing at the beach with friends to cruising the streets of downtown Los Angeles with the top down in seconds. The simple top is the perfect answer to the dual lifestyle and is completely customizable.


Fixed gear bikes, or "fixies," moved from trendy accessories for hipsters and into the bicycling mainstream. In most urban areas one can't turn a corner without running into a group of riders zipping along the road or practicing tricks in a park. These colorful bikes are minimalistic with only a single speed and no brakes. They are also completely customizable to fit any ones style. From hand built wheels to color coordinated saddles and handlebars, half the bike is built by the customer and the other half by the manufacturer.

The C3 offers the same experience with a simple, yet highly efficient and stylish design. All of the exterior modifications are low cost. Change the mirror caps and color of the rear wheels against the neutral white body and the C3 can take on an all new look. A driver can change the look quickly and easily. The relationship between car and driver completely changes when the modifications are done by the individual.

The color palette chosen for the Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top concept was influenced by the emerging fixed gear bicycle culture. The design team felt the C3 needed an urban color combination. During the process color combinations on a dozen fixie bikes were looked at before deciding on the red, white, black and teal scheme.

The high gloss white paint of the C3 is contrasted by a flat black spoiler, glass close out and convertible top rails. The rear reflector bezels, license plate pocket and badge are also flat black. Upfront flat red mirror housings offset the flat black front wheels, fog lamp bezels, front grille and badging. Flat teal rear wheels, red reflectors and smoked taillights complete the look.

The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top concept base design also features the following:

Large free flowing circular exhaust pipes
Robust intake manifold sound
Big, bold hexagonal front grille
Sculpted side skirts
Diffuser vents in the lower rear fascia
18-inch wheels with chrome inserts
Eight individual headlight LED accents

Continuing with the urban theme, repurposed materials are used throughout the Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top concept for added character and one-of-a-kind design. The convertible red soft top is inspired by billboard advertising found on rolling soft side trailers. An industrial billboard truck tarp with a black "The C3 Roll Top" statement logo was created, then repurposed and stitched together to create a unique graphic roll top. Red was chosen as a statement color to highlight the functionality of the roll top as well as match the black and red mirror housings, taillights and red rear reflectors.

Inside the C3, broken and old skate board decks are repurposed and artistically line the cargo floor creating a unique mosaic.

"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 repurposed 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."

C3 features tiles from more than 20 skate boards on the cargo floor and rear seatbacks. Skateboard grip tape also lines the inside of the tailgate and accents the soft top when rolled forward. The black with red interior accents follow the same color scheme as the retractable roof and are highlighted by red stitching, red bolsters and a red C3 logo in the front seats.


A 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine powers the Hyundai Veloster C3 concept and produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,750 - 4,500 rpm with regular fuel. Hyundai's 1.6-liter Gamma turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery.

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