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Hyundai turns the Veloster into an off-roader for America’s biggest tuning show

Hyundai Veloster Grappler
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Half hatchback and half coupe, the Hyundai Veloster is about to get even weirder. The South Korean carmaker announced plans to introduce a Veloster-based off-roader during the 2019 edition of the SEMA show, which is the largest gathering of aftermarket tuners and modifiers in the United States.

Hyundai calls the Veloster Grappler concept a rugged, sporty all-terrain compact car, and it certainly looks the part. While it’s visibly based on a Veloster, it gains a lift kit, massive tires wrapped around aftermarket alloy wheels, and Baja Designs fog lights mounted on a bull bar with an integrated skid plate. More lights are attached to the Thule roof rack, and plastic cladding over the wheel arches allowed the builders to make the Veloster wider.

While the lone photo of the concept doesn’t show this, there is a solar panel mounted on the roof that powers a portable power station integrated into the cabin. The panel tops it up while the car is moving, and the passengers can take it with them on a hike, for example, to keep their devices charged even when they’re nowhere near anything resembling a power line. Hyundai also noted it added a roll cage, a first-aid kit, and Recaro bucket seats to the interior.

There’s no word yet on what’s under the hood, though it’s likely nothing bigger than a four-cylinder. Similarly, whether the Grappler is front-wheel drive, like the standard Veloster, or if it gained all-wheel drive remains up in the air.

We’ll learn more about the Hyundai Veloster Grappler concept when it breaks cover at the 2019 SEMA show opening its doors in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 5. We don’t expect the design study will spawn a production model, it’s a little bit too extreme to end up in showrooms and it would embody the definition of a market niche, but Hyundai has proven us wrong in the past so we won’t completely rule it out.

And, while the Veloster has never gone off-road before, this isn’t the first time it has spawned a wild, unexpected concept. Hyundai has built several mid-engined, track-oriented variants of the model with supercar-like acceleration, and one even received an electric powertrain, but none have received the green light for production. Not yet, at least.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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