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by Tim Beissmann

The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top concept has been unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show, revealing the Korean manufacturer’s take on a convertible version of its quirky three-door sports car.

Based on the 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre Veloster Turbo, Hyundai says the C3 (for ‘convertible three-door’) Roll Top combines the open-air freedom of a drop-top with the style of a coupe and the functionality of a tailgate.

The Hyundai Design North America team drew inspiration for the Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top from fixed gear bicycles (‘fixies’) – not in the single-speed and no-brakes sense, but in terms of their minimalistic design, highly customisable nature and youthful appeal.

The C3 Roll Top features a canvas roof that opens to either the windscreen or the tailgate. With the roof back, the Veloster concept acts as a ‘light convertible’, while with the roof forward it becomes ute-like, capable of swallowing bikes, surfboards, kayaking gear and other bulky objects that typically have no place anywhere near a coupe or a convertible.

Embracing the fixie theme, the concept sports a white body with a matt black grille, red mirror caps and roof, 18-inch black front alloys and striking aqua wheels at the rear.

 

The Veloster C3 Roll Top’s roof was inspired by the billboard advertising found on rolling soft-side trailers, while the cargo floor features an artistic mosaic of broken skateboard decks.

Hyundai says the C3 Roll Top is strictly a concept car at this stage, although the Veloster wouldn’t be the first coupe to get the ‘light convertible’ treatment if it is approved for production. The Fiat 500C and the upcoming Citroen DS3 Cabrio both feature a similar fixed-pillar, soft-top construction, giving them a point of difference in the fashion-conscious city-car segment.

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