Home2012 Los Angeles Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 LA Auto Show
Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top

What is it? Hyundai has taken a can opener to its distinctive Veloster to peel back the top, creating a versatile cloth roof that can fold forward and backwards.

As a concept car, the C3 Roll Top explores the potential for some form of convertible. This approach is not dissimilar from the Fiat 500 Cabrio, which also uses a cloth mechanism flanked by roof rails. This design preserves the torsional rigidity afforded by a hardtop and often sacrificed with traditional convertible designs.

The exterior is dressed up with a custom body kit, with a dramatic front grille, side skirts, and large exhaust outlets.

The cabin is black with red accents, and it is given the show-car treatment with tiles cut from colorful skateboards and skateboard grip tape along the tailgate.

The powertrain is a 201-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, as offered in the Veloster Turbo.

What’s new or notable? The concept was designed with active lifestylers in mind, using the folding top as a means to open the cargo section to accommodate oversized gear, like a kayak or bicycle. To swallow a surf board, the roof folds forward and the small tailgate folds down.

The odd rear-wheel color is inspired by fixed-gear bicycles called “fixies,” a fashionable trend among hip pedalers. (It probably isn’t the best idea to associate a car with a nickname like “fixie.”)

CR’s take: The Veloster is a fun, affordable, clever car already. Adding some form of a convertible top would give it additional appeal, particularly in the Sunbelt. Wind noise and complexity are potential detriments, as the innovative GMC Envoy XUV taught.

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