Hyundai Turns Veloster into Crazy Off-Roader with Grappler Concept

Mihir Maddireddy
Photo credit: Hyundai

From Car and Driver

  • Hyundai has revealed its Veloster Grappler concept, which will be on display at the SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas next month.
  • The Grappler is the Veloster as (sort of) an off-roader with added ground clearance, brush guards, oversized tires, and roof-mounted utility lighting.
  • There's also a solar panel and an electric power station inside the cabin for true wilderness exploring.

Some cars are never meant to go off-road. Who in their right mind would take, for example, a Hyundai Veloster dune running? The answer is, anyone with a Veloster like this Grappler concept, which will appear at the 2019 SEMA aftermarket show held in Las Vegas in November.

The Grappler has been customized for the dirt roads, dunes, and mud pits where you'd normally expect to find the likes of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The first thing that Hyundai engineers did was increase the ground clearance and approach and departure angles of the car. They then attached custom brush guards in the front and back, along with aggressive oversized all-terrain tires mounted on "rally inspired" wheels from Method Racing. In order to accommodate the wheel and tire setup, the Grappler also features wider fenders and a modified front and rear fascia.

For a view of the trail ahead even when the sun goes down, the Grappler has a light bar from Baja Designs mounted on the roof, just ahead of a Thule utility basket, which greatly increases the cargo-carrying capacity of this small hatchback. The utility basket is a base mount for a Goal Zero removable solar panel. This in turn powers an electric portable power station mounted inside the cabin for true backcountry exploring.

The Grappler should turn some heads even in the midst of the gaudy SEMA show, as it's been wrapped in a custom vinyl wrap with a Hyundai theme. If the wrap doesn’t grab your attention, the Borla catback exhaust will. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a Seibon carbon-fiber hood.

The interior features a integrated roll cage that allows for a spare wheel and tire mount. It surrounds the occupants, who are strapped into custom Recaro seats in a vintage houndstooth-check pattern. The interior is holds off-road goodies including traction mats, a utility shovel, Goal Zero mobile power station and crush lights, roadside-assistance kit, first-aid kit, and a Napier outdoor dome tent. Hyundai's own accessories—sport shifter, sport pedals, all-weather floor mats, and ambient lighting system—are in there, too.

In the same way a Veloster N belongs on a racetrack, the Veloster Grappler belongs on a dirt road. It sure packs the equipment to do so. And, Hyundai? Putting a Veloster Grappler into production would be a good idea—that way, we could have one Veloster for the road and another one for the trail.

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