Kia Soul flexes 'bulldog' attitude with Track'ster concept
The Track'ster's power comes from a 250-hp turbo inline four-cylinder engine channeled via all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter engine is paired with a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission.
Photo credit: KIA
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The Kia Soul is targeted at the young, hip and those who are perhaps a bit quirky. The automaker's Track'ster concept takes that a step further -- and sportier.
Capped with an inferno-orange roof and curvy white panels, the racetrack-themed concept debuted Wednesday at the Chicago auto show. It's based on the Soul, though it eschews the four-door setup for a coupe configuration. The tall hatch in back remains.
The Soul has struck a chord with buyers, with U.S. sales advancing 52 percent to 102,267units in 2011, making it Kia's No. 2 selling model behind the Sorento crossover.
On the Track'ster, power comes from a 250-hp turbo inline four-cylinder engine channeled via all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter engine is paired with a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission.
"The idea was to make the Track'ster tough looking, like a bulldog," Tom Kearns, chief designer for Kia Motors America, said in a statement. "We wanted to base the car in reality so people instantly knew it was a Soul, but with a lot of attitude."
The Track'ster was styled at Kia's California design center, but there are no production plans for it.
Design cues include LED lights, a large lower air intake below Kia's tiger grille and an orange carbon-fiber lower valance. It rolls on 19-inch performance tires, and Brembo brakes provide stopping power.
The Track'ster measures 101.2 inches in wheelbase length, which is about an inch longer than the Soul. It's also more than five inches wider, at 75.5inches, than its production counterpart.
The cabin has orange racing seats, and the steering wheel and door panels are set off in suede. The back seat is replaced with an equipment tray and space for helmets.
Ryan Beene contributed to this report