Kia has unveiled the Soul-based Trail'ster concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
The interesting concept serves as a preview for a production-spec Soul AWD and can be visually distinguished by a Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint scheme contrasted by the Terra Bronze Metallic hue of the roof and body cladding. It also boasts aluminum skid plates, a fully retractable roll-top weatherproof canvas roof and anodized red-accented 19-inch alloy wheels shod in Pirelli Winter Carving 245/45/19 snow tires.
The Trail'ster concept adopts LED headlights with projector headlamps inspired by those fitted onto the K900 while the massive fog lights enhance the crossover's rugged appearance. LED technology was also used at the back for the taillights which have been incorporated into rugged light housings.
The interior cabin is mostly carried over from the regular Soul but has received a thickset gear shifter, controls for the all-wheel drive system and a red ignition button. The seats are covered in brown leather while the floor mats benefit from aluminum inlays.
Power is provided by a four-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine outputting 188 HP (138 kW) and 251 Nm (185 lb-ft) of torque channeled to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. There's also a rear-mounted 36 HP & 100 lb-ft electric motor drawing its energy from a 1.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and sending power to the rear axle, thus enabling the Trail'ster concept to benefit from an electric all-wheel drive system.
The electric motor can work under light throttle for up to 2-3 miles while in normal driving it helps the combustion engine during acceleration when more power and torque is necessary. In addition, the electric motor also kicks in during off-road driving, on wet roads and whenever the software detects front wheel slippage. Moreover, the concept's electric motor will act as a generator to recover kinetic energy and refill the battery pack during braking or coasting.
Kia says the Trail'ster is 25-30 percent more economical in the city and 5-10 percent on the highway compared to the regular 2015 Soul upon which is based.
More details are available in the attached press release.