The interestingness of Hyundai seems to rise with each passing month. The boisterous little i30N hot hatch kicked off one of those upward trend graph thingies that has led us to the Veloster Grappler, a concept for the biggest, baddest motor show in town – the SEMA tuning show in Las Vegas.
Now, a crossover version of a four-door coupe sounds, on paper, like something that should make us very sad indeed. Hyundai’s done things properly, though. This isn’t some utterly useless niche-filler with layers of style to cover up a paucity of substance.
Nope, the Grappler’s got substance galore. Proper ground clearance for successfully climbing up things, then descending back down them. Oversized knobbly tyres wrapped around Method Racing wheels. A whopping great exhaust that, in Hyundai’s words, provides “visceral audible resonance”.
There are more spotlights than a gig at the O2, a Thule ‘utility basket’, a carbonfibre bonnet with extra vents (the engine will be working hard, it seems) and a portable power station for when its ruggedness takes you unexpectedly and inconveniently far from other actual humans.
There are Recaro seats, a roll cage, a tent, a first-aid kit… absolutely no stone has been unturned in the Veloster’s transformation from fancy little coupe to miniature monster truck.
Firmer spec details – and more pictures – should land when the car bursts into the SEMA show hall in November. It’s ace though, right?
STORY Stephen Dobie