If Kia were a high school the Soul would be the coolest kid on campus. It makes sense then that Kia is tickling auto enthusiasts with hints that their Track’ster concept could be the basis for a Soul “family”.
Will this family wear tracksuits and hamster dance? At the very least we can expect the Track’ster to showcase one of the more exciting Soul variants on the horizon.
"The idea was to make the Track'ster tough looking, like a bulldog. 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," said Tom Kearns, chief designer for Kia Motors America. (1)
Instead of the Soul’s four doors the Track’ster has two long ones. It rolls on a stretched version of the Soul platform, almost an inch longer and more than five inches wider than the Soul. Inside fiery orange suede racing seats match the exterior paint scheme. The rest of the cabin is trimmed in Granit Gray leather and more suede.
There are no back seats. The space where they would have been is replaced by bins to store racing equipment, a spare tire and racing helmets for party rockin’ in the house tonight.
Performance ware is nice but not anyone in a tracksuit can dance. To keep it legit the Track’ster packs a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, six-speed short-throw manual and all-wheel drive. That’s a 66% power increase over the Soul with a drivetrain that’s well-equipped to put it to the ground.
"If the Soul were to evolve into a family, it would be nice," design chief Peter Schreyer said. (2)
If Kia actually released a production version of the Track’ster auto-enthusiasts would think it was much more than nice. Sadly rumor is all but confirmed that it will remain a concept indefinitely. For now we can stay Optimistic that Kia is interested in building on the Soul’s image, and that elements of the Track’ster design will eventually find their way into the Soul.
Let's hope Kia will hurry up, settle down and start their Soul family. The performance sibling definitely looks good on paper.
See photos of the Track'ster: http://tinyurl.com/7z6l9dz
PICTURE: Copyright Kia Motors America & Autoweek