All-wheel-drive Kia Track’ster concept car debuts in Chicago

Turbocharged Kia Track’ster concept car with all-wheel-drive (AWD) system makes its official public debut in Chicago!

Kia Track’ster, a high-performance Soul-based hatchback, is not only one of the hottest concepts at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, but also one of the most attractive Kia concept vehicles ever. And it’s not just pleasing to our eyes, but pretty fast as well.

According to Kia, the Track’ster concept features a turbo-charged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with impressive 250 horsepower and short-throw six-speed manual transmission. The stylish three-door concept vehicle, which points towards a dramatic addition to the Soul range, also packs an an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system!

Although Kia has been seriously considering to expand the Soul line-up by introducing a drop-top Soul’ster (remains under evaluation for production), there are currently no plans for Track’ster production.

Find more details about the Track’ster concept car after the jump…

Kia Trackster AWD photo gallery:


Kia Track’ster official press release:

What happens when a dream becomes reality?  In the case of the Kia Track’ster concept vehicle, car enthusiasts begin to salivate.  Amid the driving rhythm of heavy-metal music, smoke and blinding lights, Kia Motors America 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.

“The idea was to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog,” said Tom Kearns, Chief Designer for KMA.  “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.  It had to be a bold interpretation that would change people’s conceptions of what a sporty Kia could be.”

Track’ster concept design

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 Track’ster and are accented with compelling LEDs.

Most striking up front is the Track’ster’s lower intake grille.  Flanked by immense LED driving lights with billet aluminium surrounds, the Track’ster is capable of devouring prodigious amounts of air to keep the engine running cool even under the most gruelling conditions.  The lower valance, trimmed in carbon fibre and accented with Inferno Orange, rides just inches off the ground and lends to the car’s menacing stance.

The Track’ster is not just another pretty face; it has a body to match.  Sculpted surfaces seem to flow into each other naturally.  The flanks are smooth but accented with well-defined wheel enclosures.  Tucked beneath the Track’ster’s hips are custom HRE-K1 monoblock billet performance wheels that were a joint effort of Kia’s California design team and HRE.

The wheels are wrapped in 245/40-19-inch front and massive 285/35-19-inch rear Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 high-performance tyres.

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 Track’ster’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.

Soul fans will instantly recognise the Track’ster’s angled roof, accented with Inferno Orange. Closer inspection reveals this concept, while Soul inspired, is missing the production car’s rear doors.  The front doors have been lengthened and adorned with smooth billet push-style handles which echo the racing-inspired billet fuel filler door.

Carbon fibre lower side valances are also accented in Inferno Orange and incorporate functional rear-brake cooling ducts.  The rear hatch incorporates a horizontal Inferno Orange “backpack” panel that accentuates the Track’ster’s 75.5-inch width, which is more than 5-inches wider than a production Soul.


Kia Track’ster performance

With performance as the top priority, the Track’ster 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 Track’ster rides on a lowered sport suspension tuned for track performance.

Interior design

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.

Behind the front seats is where Track’ster takes a significant step away from its Soul stablemate.  The rear seats have been removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tyre well.

Large panelled bins stow racing gear such as helmets, suits, gloves and tools while emergency supplies are housed within a separate and highly visible Inferno Orange container.  A custom rear strut brace incorporates a quick-release handle to allow for fast wheel changes. [Source: Kia Motors America]

14 thoughts on “All-wheel-drive Kia Track’ster concept car debuts in Chicago

  1. Yes, now just make the next gen forte like this and we can talk 250 HP turbo all wheel drive…..oh yeah!

  2. WHEW!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad this turned out for the BETTER!!!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT. Why could it not be rear wheel drive? Optional 6 is all I am asking for and I am IN BABY I need to know the colors for this I have something special I wanna do with this in mind.

  3. Whoa, look out Subaru, Nissan, Toyota, and oh yeah you too VW!! KIA is on the move and they are not take any prisoners’. World class vehiles are just pouring out of KIA. Well done and to hell with the neah sayers.

  4. I would like the Tiger Grill to be bigger and more PRONOUNCED than it is. I also would like the lower grill opening TWEAKED just a little bit to get the Ford Trapazoid look OUTTTA THERE I don’t want this baby even compared to anything Ford makes in no way shape or fashion.

    KIA is KILLING the industry. Dam do I get this or wait on the GT????????????????

  5. Wow! This has got to go into production.
    Please spend the money and get some cars with top class drivers in the WRC for a couple of years. That’ll bring the Brand even more forward.

  6. This looks like ” a PITBULL ON WHEELS WITH FOG LIGHTS ” Talk ’bout ‘an attitude’. If I had this car, I wouldn’t have to talk smack; the
    Track’ster does it for you. I love this. The only thing i would change is color. Love the wheel/tire combo.Love the 250+hp & awd.
    Love the looks. This car is ‘some of me’. Love the interior (what part I could see). I would pull up next to a Nissan Juke and say;
    “Hey Juke- put up your dukes” This makes the Juke look like a “Sidewalk Sissy”.

    KIA, you Hit this one right out of the automotive ball park.

    Build it as close to this as you can. Please keep it affordable with 10 yr/100,000 warranty.

    AS i’ve previously stated; I’m 66 years young & I love this. Build it. I will buy it. Great Job all you on Design/style team.

    Please keep us all posted as to ‘future production plans’ Thank you KIA. –‘BAAAAAAD TO THE BONE”

  7. Wow that is the one I want to be driving when I move on from the Carnival now in my life…. bring it on…

  8. Do you really want to know what I think? I like the Track’ster. I really do think it is edgy and fresh, and unique. Unfortunately, I think that Hyundai and Kia are at the end of their glory period. I have been seriously less than impressed with how things are going, and was expecting a lot more out of Kia. I doubt the Track’ster will make production. Kia wouldn’t want to take such a big “risk”. If they don’t get their act together they are going to end up like Toyota. Don’t get me wrong, Kia is still my favorite car brand, and I will never drive anything else, but come on Kia. Where is the new Sedona? I can’t hold onto my Sedona forever…it already has 205,000 miles on it (330,000 kms). The 2012 Sedona is a joke, the quality of the interior materials is a step back from what they were offering on the 2008 Sedona! I also want to know where the Acadia/Traverse competitor has been hiding. Lets pump a few billion of your profits into building a new factory or two. How about standardizing dealerships and service departments – or at least setting better standards for them. Kia still has areas they need to work out, and they have been growing too fast, and I have a feeling if they don’t get their act together will lose repeat customers. Just my $0.02.

  9. I seriously doubt the Rondo will get AWD. My guess is when they Rondo goes into production, they will scale back FWD Sportage production. That way the Rondo won’t eat the Sportage’s cake. Oh, and the Grand Cherokee/Durango is still BOF/RWD. Look at how well those twins sell. They are both darn good looking vehicles, too, with nice interior materials. I have said it before…Chrysler is the next Hyundai-Kia. You just watch – they have some good stuff coming out.

  10. one thing you guys don’t know, this was the last work of Massimo Frascella at KIA before joining Land Rover in November.
    He is the designer of Sorento, Sportage, Rio, Kue, Ray and Track’ster. Big loss.

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