Hyundai Grappler concept is a hardcore, off-road Veloster

The automaker will have this design study on display at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
2 min read
Hyundai Grappler Concept
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Hyundai Grappler Concept

Hyundai has transformed its Veloster hatchback into an off-road beast.


Some ideas aren't as crazy as they initially seem. Case in point: latest design study, the Grappler.

The South Korean automotive firm has transformed its hot-hatch into a hardcore off-roader. Loaded with accessories and some serious under-body enhancements, the Hyundai Grappler concept will fit right in at the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas, which hosts untold thousands of vendors and visitors each year.

The Grappler is a sporty, all-terrain adventure vehicle with significantly increased ground clearance and likely Jeep Wrangler-rivaling approach and departure angles. Providing grip in nearly any sort of condition are knobby, all-terrain tires wrapped around a set of massive Method Racing wheels.

In keeping with this concept's "functional ruggedness" design theme, custom brush guards protect its front and rear ends. Up top is a roof-mounted Thule utility basket to hold all the junk you can't fit in the Veloster's admittedly quite-practical trunk. This accessory is also fitted with a light bar provided by an outfit called Baja Designs. Beyond that, this utility basket also serves as the mount for a removable solar panel from Goal Zero. It provides juice for a portable power station inside the vehicle.

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A Seibon hood, crafted of lightweight carbon fiber, vents engine heat and looks cool as it, um, well, keeps things cool. Hyundai did not mention what powertrain might be lurking between this vehicle's front fenders, but we hope it's at least as powerful the turbocharged engine found in the riotous Veloster N hot-hatch.

If the Grappler's stance and accessories didn't make it look aggressive enough already, a custom vinyl body wrap emblazoned with a special Hyundai livery ought to make it really pop. Likewise, a Borla cat-back exhaust system ensures this concept sounds as aggressive as it looks.

Pop open a door and inside and you'll find a multifunction roll bar. Not only does it protect occupants while tearing it up off road, it also provides a mounting location for a full-size spare wheel and tire. The Grappler's cabin is also fitted with traction mats, a utility shovel, special lighting and even a tent from Napier. Recaro seats emblazoned with a houndstooth pattern further dress up the cabin.

Not to be outdone by aftermarket companies, Hyundai threw in a few of its own accessories. This concept is further dressed up with pedal covers, a sport shifter, all-weather floormats and more.

Look for the Grappler concept, perhaps the most unusual Hyundai Veloster ever built, to be on display at the upcoming SEMA show, which runs from Nov. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

Watch this: 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: A true hot-hatch contender