by Mircea Panait, 17 October 2019
At the 2019 SEMA Show, Hyundai couldn’t bring any ol’ Veloster to exhibit under the bright lights of the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. This is where the Grappler Concept enters the scene, “a rugged and sporty all-terrain compact ready for any adventure.”
Only a rendering has been released so far, and the list of modifications starts with a lift kit and all-terrain tires wrapped around 10-spoke wheels from Method Racing. A brush guard with LED lights on the sides, Thule roof rack with an LED light bar, Goal Zero removable solar panel, and plastic fender flares painted in black are featured as well.
The carbon-fiber hood comes courtesy of Seibon, and even though the Veloster doesn’t need such a thing, the hood “effectively vents excess engine bay heat when things heat up out on the road.” Dear Hyundai, make up your mind about where the Grappler Concept is meant to be driven…
Heading into the asymmetrical hatchback reveals an integrated roll bar, full-size spare wheel, traction mats, a utility shovel, roadside assistance kit, first aid kit, Napier outdoor dome tent, and Recaro premium seats finished in a houndstooth check pattern. Finally, the auxiliary exterior lighting is controlled through a custom switch panel and Hyundai genuine accessories elevate the design of the pedal box, shifter, floor mats, and footwell lighting.
Oh, wait a second. Hyundai further mentions a cat-back exhaust system from Borla, the kind of modification that’d suit the Veloster N instead of this Veloster Turbo. From 2.0 liters of displacement, the Turbo R-Spec and Turbo develop 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque at the crankshaft. Only the N-modified model is more potent, packing 250 ponies from the get-go and 275 horsepower with the $2,100 Performance Package.
Even though it’s twinned with the i30, the Elantra GT won’t receive an N because Hyundai can’t make a case for such a car at this time in the United States. But nevertheless, the Elantra GT N Line still is quite an interesting proposition at $21,300 in the compact segment.