• C3 concept based on the 3-door Hyundai Veloster.
  • Canvas soft-top opens by rolling fback; tailgate replaces rear hatch.
  • Unique finishes include cargo floor made from skateboards.

Hyundai unveiled a fun and playful concept at the LA Auto Show that's particularly well-suited to the show's Southern California locale. The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept, like the Veloster on which it's based, is dual-purpose, offering both sportiness and practicality. It shares the production model's 3-door design but uses a tailgate in place of the rear hatch and has a folding soft-top that allows either convertible-style open-top driving or more space for hauling cargo like bikes or surfboards.

In fact, the concept carries a track bike secured in the cargo area that's painted to match the Veloster C3, with white paint and teal, red and black components. Hyundai says the custom look of fixed-gear bicycles inspired the Veloster C3. It says the concept could offer drivers the same kind of easy and affordable personalization that makes the bikes popular among urban youth.

Its unique soft-top really sets the C3 apart; no other vehicle has one quite like it. The closest comparison is the folding top on the FIAT 500c. Like the FIAT, the C3 functions like a convertible with the top rolled to the back. But this top can roll forward, gathering at the top of the windshield and allowing tall items, like the bike, to fit in the cargo space. And the bottom-hinged tailgate provides additional space for longer items too.

The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept includes exclusive styling details inside and out. The rear wheels are finished in matte teal, while the front rims are flat black, a scheme also found on the 2-wheel accessory. Flat black also covers the spoiler, convertible top rails, license plate pocket, fog lamp bezels, grille and badges. The mirror caps are flat red, and the soft top--inspired by the materials used for truck tarps--is black and red, incorporating a C3 graphic.

Inside, the color scheme carries over with black seats with contrasting red stitching. In the cargo area, tiles made from repurposed skateboard decks, each showing the scars of use on the streets, cover the floor.

Under the hood, the Veloster C3 Roll Top gets the 201-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder from the Veloster Turbo, but with special intake and exhaust treatments.

The Hyundai Veloster is a refreshingly unique car that offers both sportiness and surprising practicality, thanks in part to its funky 3-door design. In the C3, Hyundai enhances both with a dual-purpose soft-top that's as odd yet loveable as the Veloster itself.

What it means to you: It's just a concept for now, but the Hyundai Veloster C3 is everything a concept should be--unique, playful and fun.

See more LA Auto Show news.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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