Kia Track'ster concept car (2012) first official photos

Published: 06 February 2012

Kia will show the new Track'ster at the 2012 Chicago motor show. It's a concept car designed to show what a harder, faster Kia Soul hatch could be like.

Scant information is available at present, but Kia has confirmed the Track'ster was designed by Kia's Californian studio, led by Tom Kearns - and today it issued a new photograph of the Track'ster, after last week's design sketch.

Kia Track'ster concept car: a pocket rocket

The Track'ster has a 248bhp petrol engine, apparently. Enough to make this rollerskate a proper hot hatch tearaway, says Kia.

We're still not sure about the name, though: Kia loves a bit of grammatical violation, and the Track'ster has the same apostrophe nonsense as the Ceed range. CAR's sub-editors always remove the rogue apostrophe and don't allow the Cee'd style used by Kia...

It's a classic tactic to give an ageing model – the Soul is now four years old – a bit of a fillip. We hear development of the next Soul is well underway and it may be slightly less boxy, to swell its appeal globally.

Is that a shame, which may yet destroy the chunky appeal of the Soul? Or a clever marketing wheeze to broaden its customer base. We thought the Soul was deliberately more idiosyncratic, aimed at Mini buyers. Otherwise you'd just buy a Picanto if you wanted a sensible Kia supermini, wouldn't you?

Kia Soul convertible and hot hatch

The Californian studio was originally responsible for the Kia Soul hatchback; the American design team has also drawn up a Soul'ster convertible which is under assessment for final approval and production, according to Kia.

Americans bought 102,000 Souls in the US in 2011 – that's a record for Kia in the US.

There are, however, no plans for Track'ster production. Could be just the thing to give the Soul more sporting appeal.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

Comments