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Kia’s Track’ster Concept Hints at Next-Gen Soul

Kia Trackster Concept image

Kia unveiled its Kia’s Track’ster Concept at the Chicago Auto Show this week, showing what’s essentially a three-door, all-wheel-drive, 250-horsepower version of its cute and quirky Soul crossover. While the Track’ster likely won’t receive the green light for production, it may provide clues into what the next-generation Soul might look like.

The biggest different between the Track’ster Concept and the current Soul isn’t looks, but rather performance. Until now, the Soul hasn’t offered much in terms of sporty characteristics. However, the Track’ster hints that that’s all about to change. It boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed short throw manual transmission, a setup which routes power to all four 19-inch wheels by an all-wheel-drive system.

Although the Track’ster is a three-door vehicle, its wheelbase is almost an inch longer than the current Soul and its rear track is five inches wider. The concept’s guaranteed to stop on a dime too, thanks to 14-inch Brembos clamped by six-piston calipers up front and 13.6-inch discs with four-piston calipers in the rear.

“The idea was to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer for KMA. “But the car had to be approachable as well. We wanted to base the car in reality so people instantly knew it was a Soul, but with a lot of attitude. It had to be a bold interpretation that would change people’s conceptions of what a sporty Kia could be.”

It’s clear from the interior that the Track’ster is very far from production-ready, but it’s sporty exterior cues continue on the inside. Rear seats have been removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray that’s been designed to house helmets, race suits, gloves, tools and all the accoutrement that goes with being a serious track rat.

“We saw the Track’ster as a performance-inspired concept that could spend time on the road and racetrack,” said Kearns. “The idea was to make the tools and equipment necessary to keep the car performing in top condition easily accessible.”

The Track’ster Concept as it stands today at the Chicago Auto Show likely won’t make it to showrooms. However, it certainly makes us eager to see what’s in store for the next-generation Kia Soul.

Kia Trackster Concept image
Kia Trackster Concept image
Kia Trackster Concept image
Kia Trackster Concept image
Kia Trackster Concept image

Click here to view the embedded video.

Kia Trackster Concept Press Release

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