Coinciding with its debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Kia has revealed the first details and images of the new Track'ster concept. Despite sharing its underpinnings with the boxy Soul, this new concept is all about high performance.

Coinciding with its debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Kia has revealed the first details and images of the new Track'ster concept. Despite sharing its underpinnings with the boxy Soul, this new concept is all about high performance.

It gets its inspiration from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that generates 250 hp ( 186 kW / 253 PS ). Power is passed to the wheels via its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system and six-speed manual transmission that features a tubby spherical shift lever.

The aggressive design draws on the basic principles of the boxy Soul, but adds a far meatier impression for onlookers. It rides on a set of 19 inch high-performance wheels that are attached to a lowered sport suspension kit that has been tuned for track performance.

"The idea was to make the Track'ster tough looking, like a bulldog," said Tom Kearns, Kia Chief Designer. "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."

Unfortunately, Kia has already confirmed there are no plans to develop the concept into a full production vehicle. "Concept cars are icing on the cake," said Chief designer for KMA, Tom Kearnes. "They allow KMA's design team to dream about what could be. Whether that dream becomes a reality or not is a separate question."

 

Be part of something big