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Kia Track'ster concept

Thu, 09 Feb 2012

The Kia Track'ster concept has been unveiled at the 2012 Chicago International Auto Show. Beneath the racetrack makeup, the three-door crossover concept is a heavy hint at the next-generation Soul.

The Track'ster was designed in Kia's design studio in Irvine, California under the direction of Tom Kearns, Chief Designer for Kia America. "The idea was to make the Trackster tough looking, like a bulldog," said Kearns. "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."

The current Soul's distinctive features – designed before Peter Schreyer joined the company – have been refined to add a newfound layer of sophistication. The hood surface, for example, is now a clamshell with a shutline that intersects with the inner element of the lamps at its leading edge and defines the deep bezel that surrounds the side windows as it meets the doors.

The floating roof, separated by the colorway between it and the main body, suggests Kia is keen to offer Mini-style customization options. The high-set rear lamps have evolved to sit behind the deep rear glazing that features a large, horizontal highlight. Below, the large aperture, flanked by rocket-like exhausts, mirrors the front lower graphic.

Inside, the Track'ster continues its racy theme, sporting just two seats, behind which sits a full-size spare wheel, attached to the stylized strut brace. Compartmentalized sections are provided for various race accruements such as tools and race gear. The rest of the interior looks virtually production-ready and features a repeated circular motif through the IP, center console and door cars. The integration of the speakers both behind the door pulls and into the top of the outer air outlets looks particularly neat.

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