In the case of the Kia Trackster Concept unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, car enthusiasts begin to salivate. Amid the driving rhythm of heavy-metal music, smoke and blinding lights, Kia Motors America (KMA) took the wraps off a performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept that hints at what could possibly be the future of Kia’s wildly successful Soul.
2012 KIA TRACKER CONCEPT
The bold attitude Kearns refers to starts with the eye-catching Whiteout and Inferno Orange paint scheme. While the white portrays complex layers and shades that contribute to dramatic depth, the orange is perfectly suited for racing. Kia’s signature grille features an air intake slit and is trimmed in lightweight carbon fibre. Smoothly integrated head lights sweep back suggestively over the sculpted front-wheel arches. The deeply recessed lenses echo the trapezoid themes found throughout the Kia Trackster Concept and are accented with compelling LEDs.
The wheelbase on the concept is stretched to 101.2-inches, almost an inch longer than the production Soul. As expected on a car with the Trackster’s performance intentions, large 14-inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled disc brakes are embraced by six-piston callipers up front and 13.6-inch discs are paired with four-piston calipers at the rear.
With performance as the top priority, the Trackster rolls into Chicago with a concept drivetrain sure to kick start any driving enthusiast’s heart. KMA’s design team dreamed big, but also kept their vision firmly rooted in reality. A 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line-four engine puts 250 horsepower to the road, a 66 per cent increase over that of the production Soul. Power is routed to all four wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. The short-throw six-speed manual transmission is capped with a stubby spherical shift lever. The Trackster rides on a lowered sport suspension tuned for track performance.
Opening the driver’s door reveals a light and airy interior highlighted with deeply bolstered Inferno Orange suede-covered racing seats. Granite Grey leather envelopes the interior landscape and imparts a feeling of strength and stability. Granite Grey suede wraps the sport steering wheel and door panels. Located deep within red-glowing nacelles, the primary instruments are large and easily readable. Auxiliary vehicle information such as oil temperature and battery voltage is found atop the dash panel while navigation, entertainment and ventilation controls are accessed through a large touch-screen panel located just above the engine Start/Stop push-button.