We love the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show around here. Where else can you see everything from go-fast goodies to wild one-offs, cutting-edge automobile tech to smoke shows, and if that doesn't tickle your fancy there's always blackjack and the slots. Car manufacturers particularly like to create custom builds to highlight models within their own offerings. Not only does it help to sell automobiles but it pushes design and marketing into new directions.
So without further ado, I give you - or rather, Hyundai does - the Hyundai Veloster "Grappler." Based on the Hyundai Veloster, the "Grappler" seems to fill the hot hatch on steroids segment. With increased ground clearance, greater approach and departure angles to eat-up the off-road, and front and rear brush guards, the Grappler seems more than able to tame a desert rally or the post-apocalypse landscape. While Method Racing wheels, oversized all-terrain tires, and Borla cat-back exhaust give it a menacing look and sound.
Up top the "Grappler" sports a Thule utility basket, Baja Designs high-output lighting system, and a Goal Zero removable solar panel light package to serve as a mobile power generation station. Rounding out the exterior is a custom-wrap with ghost-themed Hyundai livery and Seibon carbon-fiber hood with vents to lick away excess heat when you're pounding dirt ... or running over zombies!
The tough-as-nails approach continues on the inside with an integral roll-bar, traction mats, utility shovel, first aid kit, Napier tent, Recaro seats, sport pedals, ambient footwell lighting, and the kitchen sink. I added that last one. But you get the idea. SEMA is about showcasing the cars, available aftermarket products and the possibilities for the consumer.
In its more pedestrian form, the Hyundai Veloster is quite adaptable, and configurable. The 2020 product line has 6 variants from the mild 2.0-liter base Veloster with 147 hp to the wild N with limited-slip, torque-vectoring, sport exhaust and a turbo mill pushing out 275 hp!
Harkening back to the old days of Civic hatches, the Veloster has grown a considerable following. With great utility from its hatch, 34 mpg and long list of standard creature comforts, it gives the consumer a lot of car for not a lot of scratch. And, as demonstrated by the "Grappler," with a little bit of imagination, it can satisfy even the most wild appetites. Buckle up.